The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has sought leave of the Constitutional Court to direct Minister of Justice Given Lubinda and Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to testify at the hearing of its petition, challenging government’s attempt to alter the Constitution through Bill 10, 2019.
Last month, the court set aside LAZ’s subpoenas on Kalaluka and Lubinda for being irregular.
Constitutional Court judge Martin Musaluke ruled, on behalf of other judges, that the summons to subpoena Lubinda and Kalaluka were irregular because LAZ did not seek leave of the court before issuing the notice.
And now LAZ has complied with the court’s guidance to seek leave.
In this matter, LAZ and Chapter One Foundation Limited are challenging government’s decision to alter the Constitution of Zambia through (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.
They have cited the Attorney General as respondent in the matter.
According to ex-parte summons for leave to issue subpoenas, LAZ asked the court to command the witnesses to avail themselves and give evidence about what they know concerning the Bill.
With regards to Lubinda, LAZ stated that it wants him to bring with him and produce on the day of hearing; reports, research materials, memoranda, write ups or data in whatever form stored or any material whatsoever, generated before the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill 10 of 2019 was drafted and published in the government gazette.
LAZ further wants him to show the extent to which the Constitution as amended on January 5, 2016, satisfied or failed to meet the mandate and terms of reference of the technical committee appointed by late President Micheal Sata in November 16, 2011.
It wants him to detail the changes, problems or constraints faced by the republic or the State in the governance of the Republic since the amendment of the Constitution on January 5, 2016.
LAZ also wants Lubinda to show how the decision to alter the Constitution as set out in the Bill will protect the Constitution and promote the democratic governance of the Republic as required by Article 61 of the Constitution.
It further wants him to explain how the decision to alter the Constitution in the manner set out in the Bill will promote the well-being and benefit of the people of Zambia as required in Article 90 of the Constitution.
LAZ wants Lubinda to show how the President’s decision to alter the Constitution in the manner set out in he Bill was consistent with his constitutional obligation under Article 91 of the Constitution and whether they respect, uphold and safeguard the Constitution.
Meanwhile, in an affidavit in support of ex-parte summons for leave to issue subpoenas, LAZ president Eddie Mwitwa stated that he had a reason to believe that the materials ought to be generated in the form of reports, research materials, memoranda, write ups of data in whatever form stored to justify the decision to alter the Constitution that was generated before the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill no 10.
He stated that this had been the trend which had preceded all major constitutional developments and the materials in the process had been made available to he public.
Mwitwa stated he was advised by counsel for LAZ that the Constitution under Article 18(9) of the Constitution commands the Constitutional Court to accord LAZ a fair hearing of its petition.
He added that this could be achieved by compelling Lubinda and Kalaluka to attend court and give evidence on behalf of LAZ.
Mwitwa sought an order for leave to issue a leave of subpoena ad testificandum directed at Kalaluka and Lubinda commanding them, wherever they may be, to attend trial of LAZ’s action and give evidence for LAZ.
“I believe that the process which culminated into the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill no 10 was undertaken under the patronage of Lubinda and Kalaluka,” stated Mwitwa.