THE Constitutional Court has set March 25, 2022 as the date of judgement in a matter in which Mkushi North PF member of parliament Christopher Chibuye appealed against the nullification of his seat by the High Court.
The High Court nullified Chibuye’s seat after establishing that the allegations by the UPND losing candidate that he engaged in electoral malpractices to win the election were true.
UPND losing candidate for Mkushi North Topson Kunda petitioned the election of Chibuye, alleging electoral malpractices.
Kunda also cited the Electoral Election Commission (ECZ) as the second respondent in the petition.
But Chibuye appealed to the Constitutional Court against the High Court’s decision to nullify his seat.
When Chibuye’s appeal hearing came up before the Constitutional Court, Tuesday, his lawyers led by Bonaventure Mutale told the court that Circular number 12 of 2020 had no legal effect and that the Secretary to Cabinet did not have authority to perform a legislative function such as issuing the Statutory Instrument.
Circular 12 of 2020 directed that all public officers, including those serving in foreign missions intending to participate in the 2021 general elections had to resign from public office not later than November 30, 2020.
Mutale argued that his client had ceased to be a civil servant and therefore, he was not captured by the said circular.
“Clearly the circular in issue can’t be the basis of the nullification of the election of the appellant for Mkushi North Constituency. Our prayer is that the appeal be allowed with costs to the respondents,” he submitted.
Topson Kunda’s lawyer Henry Mbushi however argued that Chibuye was still getting his salary at the time he was contesting the election.
He said the argument that the money he was using was his gratuity could not stand as he had no documents to show to that.
Mbushi further argued that Chibuye’s conduct to continue getting a salary and hold meetings at government buildings was unlawful and that his seat should be nullified on that basis.
After hearing arguments from both parties, Constitutional Court judge Anna Sitali set March 25, 2022 as the date of judgement for the appeal and cross appeal.