Attorney General Likando Kalaluka says he is not representing President Edgar Lungu in the ongoing eligibility case in the Constitutional Court.
But Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP) leader Sean Tembo has demanded that Kalaluka must resign as he cannot continue to waste tax payer’s money on advancing an individual’s political ambitions.
Responding to a letter from Tembo, who challenged him to stop representing Lungu in the eligibility case as it had nothing to do with his executive functions, Kalaluka noted Tembo’s concern.
In his letter of response to Tembo, dated March 14, 2018, Attorney General Kalaluka stated that petitioners in the matter sued him with reasons that the case raised issues of constitutional and public interest.
“I acknowledge your letter of 27th February 2017, whose contents I note. I wish to thank you for taking time to write to me on this important matter. I advise that my chambers are not representing the Republican President in the ongoing Constitutional Court matter relating to the eligibility of the President to stand in the 2021 presidential elections. The petitioners in the said Constitutional Court proceedings saw it fit to sue me as Attorney General, because the proceedings raise constitutional and public interest issues. Perusal of the court documents in that case will clearly show that the Attorney General is cited as a Respondent on account of being the Chief Legal Advisor to the Government, and also as Chief Defender of public interest,” Attorney General Kalaluka stated in his letter.
He stated that since the Republican President was not a party to the case, his chambers could not represent him.
“Please note also that the Republican President is not a party to the said Constitutional Court proceedings and my chambers cannot represent a non-party in the proceedings. While admittedly, the Constitutional Court proceedings have a bearing on whether or not the Republican President is eligible to contest the 2021 presidential elections should he so wish, the Republican President enjoys immunity from suit in terms of Article 98 of the Constitution,” read his letter.
He stated that he advised his chambers in accordance to the law not to represent President Lungu in the case.
“I, however, hasten to mention should any person consider commencing any court proceedings against the Republican President. I, as Attorney General of the Republic of Zambia, on the strength of Articles 98 and 177 of the Constitution, and the State Proceedings Act, shall apply to be substituted as a party in place of the Republican President. For your present comfort, I advise my chambers are not representing the Republican President in the Constitutional Court proceedings herein. Once again, I thank you for writing to me herein,” wrote the Attorney General.
But in a statement, Wednesday, Tembo asked Kalaluka to resign, insisting that he was wasting tax payers’ money by representing Edgar Lungu, the individual.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we hereby call for the immediate resignation of the Attorney General for the Republic of Zambia, Mr Likando Kalaluka, for his failure to uphold the mandate of his office to protect the public interest and instead veering off to start advocating for the personal political ambitions of Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, in the on-going Constitutional Court matter in which Mr Lungu’s eligibility to stand for a third term in 2021 is being challenged. As far as we are concerned, the issue of Mr Lungu’s eligibility to stand for a third term in 2021 has nothing to do with the public interest. It is exclusively a matter to do with Mr Lungu’s personal political ambitions, and the Attorney General has no authority, whatsoever, to waste taxpayers money to defend Mr. Lungu’s personal political ambitions,” Tembo stated.
“On 14th March 2017, the Attorney General wrote to us and assured us that he will not be defending Mr. Lungu in the matter. Therefore, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress were utterly shocked when, during oral arguments in this matter before the Constitutional Court this Monday, 7th May 2018, the Attorney General was clearly quoted advocating that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is eligible to stand for a third term in 2021. Clearly, the Attorney General’s advocacy for Mr Lungu’s third term bid is not in the public interest and is therefore outside the mandate of his office. It is also contrary to the assurances and guarantees that the Attorney General made to the Patriots for Economic Progress in his letter dated 14th March 2017 attached hereto, that he will not be defending Mr Lungu.”
Tembo stated that Kalaluka had failed to live up to the expectations of his office.
On the basis of the foregoing, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress have determined that the Attorney General, Mr Likando Kalaluka has dismally failed to live up to the expectations of his office and to discharge his primary mandate, which is to protect the public interest. On this basis, we would like to demand, as we hereby do, for the immediate resignation of Mr Likando Kalaluka as Attorney General, as his continued stay in office is adverse to the interests of the Republic of Zambia in general and the public interest in particular. If Mr. Kalaluka is desirous of providing personal legal services to Mr Lungu, then he must do so under the auspices of private practice and not under the umbrella of a public constitutional office such as that of Attorney General, which is funded by taxpayers money,” stated Tembo.
“Suffice to mention that the good citizens of this Republic can be rest assured that we in the Patriots for Economic Progress will not sit idle as the laws of this Republic are being violated with impunity, by those that swore to uphold them.”