Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly Cecilia Sikatele has asked the Constitutional Court to remove President Edgar Lungu and the National Assembly from the petition where LAZ is challenging the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019, arguing that the two do not have legal capacity to sue or be sued.
Sikatele has submitted that the proper party against whom the proceedings may be maintained is the Attorney General only.
In this matter, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has dragged President Lungu, the Attorney General and the National Assembly to the Constitutional Court for attempting to alter the Constitution of Zambia through Bill 10, 2019.
On Friday, the Constitutional Court ordered that the petition would be heard this Friday after it dismissed the State’s preliminary application asking it to throw out the said petition.
But in an affidavit in support of summons for an order of misjoinder filed in the Constitutional Court, Monday, Sikatele argued that since the court in its ruling last Friday ordered that the petition would be heard and that the respondents should file an answer and an affidavit verifying it, it had become necessary that the President and the National Assembly be misjoined or removed from the proceedings before the hearing of the petition.
She added that she believed LAZ would not suffer any prejudice if this application is granted.
Sikatele argued that the court had already pronounced itself that if a party wished to sue a government official, the proper person to be taken to court was the Attorney General.
“This court has repeatedly pronounced itself on the matter and has ruled that that where actions are commended against government institutions and State offices that have no legal capacity to be sued, such as the President and the National Assembly, the rightful person to be sued is the Attorney General. We humbly submit that the President of Zambia cannot be sued either in his personal or official capacity in the manner that the petitioner has purported to do. The National Assembly is equally an organ of the State with no legal capacity to sue or be sued. Therefore, the President and the National Assembly should be removed from the proceedings,” stated Sikatele.