The Constitutional Court yesterday reserved judgment in a matter where Sesheke PF losing candidate Dean Masule is challenging the High Court’s decision to declare UPND’s Romeo Kang’ombe as duly elected member of parliament.
And Kang’ombe has argued that Masule’s appeal lacks merit and should be dismissed with costs.
In this matter, Masule has appealed to the Constitutional Court against the High Court’s decision to declare Kang’ombe as the duly elected member of parliament for Sesheke.
In May this year, High Court judge Gertrude Chawatama declared UPND’s Kang’ombe as duly elected Sesheke member of parliament saying the will of the people prevailed.
In her judgment, judge Chawatama found that the violence that characterised the elections was perpetrated by both parties.
But Masule, being dissatisfied with the judgment, filed a notice and memorandum of appeal in the Constitutional Court against the High Court’s decision.
In his memorandum of appeal, Masule filed two grounds, arguing that the High Court judge erred in law when she held that the provisions of Section 97 (2) (b) of the Electoral Process Act No. 35 of 2016 exclusively governed the activities of the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
He further stated that judge Chawatama erred in law when she held that the case of Josephat Mlewa v Eric Wightman (1995-1997) ZR171 has restrictive application in the current electoral law.
When the matter came up for hearing of the appeal, Tuesday, the full bench of Constitutional Court judges Hilda Chibomba, Mungeni Mulenga, Enock Mulembe, Prof Margaret Munalula and Martin Musaluke, after hearing arguments from both parties, said it would deliver judgment on a date to be communicated to the parties.
Earlier, Masule’s lawyer Joseph Jalasi of Eric Silwamba, Jalasi, Linyama Legal Practitioners informed the court that Silwamba was supposed to argue the appeal but he was sick.
He added that Masule would rely wholly on the head of arguments that he filed in August.
“The appellant filed on August 9, 2019 detailed heads of arguments. We intend in arguing this appeal to wholly rely on those arguments,” Jalasi said.
In response, Kang’ombe’s lawyer Mulambo Haimbe said the respondent (Kang’ombe) also filed heads of arguments on September 11, 2019 which he would rely upon.
He added that Kang’ombe also filed detailed submissions on May 10 in the court below (High Court), which he also wished to rely on.
Haimbe further asked the court to dismiss the appeal with costs as it lacked merit and that the ConCourt should uphold the High Court’s decision.
Haimbe said judge Chawatama was on firm ground when she refused to nullify Kang’ombe’s election.