THE Constitutional Court has refused to allow former Foreign Affairs Minister Joseph Malanji to produce his grade 12 certificate as evidence in a matter in which he is challenging the nullification of his Kwacha parliamentary seat.
The court has ruled that Malanji’s notice of motion in which he was seeking an order to produce his grade 12 certificate has no merit, and it has therefore been dismissed.
In November last year, Lusaka High Court judge Kazimbe Chenda nullified Malanji’s seat on grounds that he did not have a grade 12 certificate as required by the law and as such, he did not qualify to stand as a member of parliament.
Malanji however challenged the High Court’s decision in the Constitutional Court and later moved a motion, asking the court to allow him to produce his grade 12 certificate as part of his evidence in the matter.
He argued that he was in possession of the mandatory minimum qualification of grade 12 certificate and had successfully filed his nomination as member of parliament for Kwacha.
Malanji submitted further that the grade 12 certificate was confirmed by the Examination Council of Zambia on March 16, 2021.
When the matter came up earlier before Constitutional Court judges Annie Sitali, Mungeni Mulenga, Prof Margaret Munalula, Palan Mulonda and Judy Mulongoti, Malanji through his lawyers submitted that the production of his Grade 12 certificate would assist in making a final decision on whether to uphold or dismiss the High Court’s decision.
The court was implored to call for the production of Malanji’s grade 12 certificate and if desired, to call the director of the Examinations Council of Zambia to validate the said certificate.
But UPND losing candidate Charles Mulenga who petitioned Malanji’s election had through his lawyers, objected to the application and argued that there was no provision of the law that allows Malanji to file a copy of his grade 12 school certificate at the stage of appeal when he did not do so in the trial court.
He argued that Malanji’s decision to submit the school certificate at the stage of appeal was an aftermath, as such, should not be allowed.
When the matter came up for a ruling yesterday, the Constitutional Court dismissed Malanji’s notice of motion on grounds that it lacked merit.
“We find that the notice of motion for an order to produce the respondent‘s (Malanji’s) grade 12 certificate and or to order the attendance of the witness to validate the said certificate has no merit and it is dismissed,” justice Munalula said on behalf of other judges.
Judge Munalula noted that to permit Malanji to submit fresh evidence at appeal stage which was not produced in the trial court would defeat the principle that the fresh evidence sought to be admitted on appeal should not have been obtainable with reasonable diligence at the time of trial.
“This application has therefore not met the requirements for necessity and expediency in the interests of justice required by section 25 (1) (b) of the Act,” ruled the court.