FORMER Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa has insisted that President Edgar Lungu is not eligible to stand in next year’s general election.

Last Wednesday, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Isaac Chipampe said the President was not worried by the eligibility debate and that he was standing in next year’s general election.

But in a brief interview, Mwitwa observed that the eligibility debate would not die down anytime soon until the Head of State filed in his nomination papers.

“My personal view on the matter still remains as it was when LAZ participated in the eligibility case, which is that I do not think that President Lungu is eligible to stand in 2021 or thereafter. I don’t think that this debate will end any time soon because the only time the ConCourt can be called upon to say something on the question will be when President Lungu files his nomination papers,” Mwitwa said.

And when asked if the ruling Patriotic Front should take President Lungu’s eligibility case lightly, Mwitwa said: “not at all.”

Chipampe said President Lungu was not moved by the ongoing national debate surrounding his eligibility ahead of next year’s general election because the period from 2015 to 2016 did not count as a term.

“The President is going to stand, he is going to be the (PF) candidate because he is eligible, he qualifies to stand. This issue was resolved by the court judgement which everyone saw. The matter is closed as everyone is saying. The matter is not in any way related to Bill 10. If you remember very well, in Bill 10 if you check, there is nowhere where there is mention of the President’s eligibility or ineligibility to stand. As far as he is concerned, it is closed. He is not worried in any way, he is going to stand and he is not moved, he is going to stand because that was not a term as the ruling from the ConCourt stated. The 2015 to 2016 (period) was not a term. A term should be at least three years as you know that is what the ruling said and that is what the President is saying. The President did not cover three years between 2015 and 2016,” said Chipampe.