Former Secretary to Cabinet Dr Sketchley Sacika has observed that the Constitutional Court did not declare President Edgar Lungu eligible to contest the 2021 elections.

In an interview, Dr Sacika said the Constitutional Court deliberately refused to rule on whether or not President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021 because it wants the Head of State to be the one to tell the nation that he is no eligible.

Dr Sacika stressed that President Lungu had already held the office of President twice and that there was no way he could be eligible to contest the Presidency for a third time.

“The Constitutional Court has played a very shrewd political game, for which it must be congratulated. If the issue of President Lungu’s eligibility to stand in the 2021 elections had not been properly handled, the country might have experienced some political instability and maybe the complete disintegration of the PF. Those celebrating that President Lungu has been cleared to stand in 2021 are either being mischievous or do not quite understand the ruling of the court. The court refused to rule on whether President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021 or not. The matter which was so central to Danny Pule and his fellow petitioners, because President Lungu is not eligible to stand. By refusing to rule on this matter, the court wants President Lungu to be the one to tell his supporters and the nation as a whole that he will not be on the ballot paper in 2021,” Dr Sacika said.

Dr Sacika said there was no way President Lungu could run again in 2021.

“President Lungu knows that he is not eligible to stand but his problem is, how does he convince his supporters? This is where we expect him to show leadership and strength of character. President Lungu’s major task as I see it is to start preparing a new leadership take over from him in readiness for the 2021 elections. The issues that the Constitutional Court dealt with are important only in so far as entitlement to the terminal benefits to the President are concerned. In order to qualify for these benefits, a person must serve a minimum of three years. If President Lungu had not won the elections in 2016, he would not have entitled to these benefits. All judge Chibomba said was that President Lungu did not serve a full term as stipulated in the Constitution. The substantive question here is whether President Lungu has twice held office of President and the answer is yes because he has been twice elected as President. So there is no way he can run again as President,” said Dr Sacika.