TRANSPORT and Communications Minister Mutotwe Kafwaya says while it is true that President Edgar Lungu has already been sworn in twice, that does not mean he is not eligible to stand in 2021.
And Kafwaya says some people in his constituency are not registering as voters because they are busy harvesting caterpillars and are not aware that the old voter’s card will not work.
Speaking when he featured on Kasama Radio, Monday evening, Kafwaya wondered where people that wanted to challenge President Lungu’s eligibility would go because the Constitutional Court already made a ruling on the matter.
“It is true that President Lungu was sworn in twice but that doesn’t mean he cannot stand in 2021. There are three arms of government: the legislature, the Executive and there is a Judiciary. So the President’s case on eligibility was taken to court to find out if he was eligible to stand or not. The Constitution Court said 2015 to 2016 was not a full term. Because it did not amount to three years. Because for a term to be regarded as a full term, it has to be more than three years. Anything less than three years is not a term. The big issue is that a lawyer or even I cannot interpret, the only institution that can interpret is the court. The court already interpreted and said 2015 to 2016 was not a term. Meaning that the term that needs to be counted is the one on which he was elected in August 2016. He was finishing up president Sata’s term. I can’t start fighting the court. What is surprising is that there is nowhere to appeal to. It is a court of final jurisdiction. It is the same when the Supreme Court makes a ruling, there is no where you can appeal,” Kafwaya said.
When asked what he thought of people that planned to challenge President Lungu’s nomination, Kafwaya wondered which court they would go to.
“Which court are they going to go to? The same court that said this was not a term? Or they will go to another court? You think people at the ConCourt did not know what they were doing for them to make that ruling and decided that they should embarrass themselves? The judges are still there, no one has died. Now they want to go back to the same court? When Bill 10 fell off, the UPND celebrated, they were feasting on chicken and chips from Hungry Lion worth K26. Imagine, members of Parliament eating that. They celebrated that women and youths will not be represented in parliament. So now they have seen that they don’t have what to tell the people and people will be against them, they now want to shift people’s attention to the President’s eligibility case. And their lawyers are disagreeing with the judge. What kind of lawyer disagrees with a judge? The President will stand unless he doesn’t want to stand. There is nowhere in the constitution that is barring the President from standing. If you hear that he doesn’t want to stand, then that is his decision,” he said.
And Kafwaya said some people in his constituency had not yet registered as voters because they were busy harvesting caterpillars.
“I was taking a tour in my constituency and have found some problems. Some people have gone to harvest for caterpillars and with the rain season, some people have started farming. And some don’t know that they are not supposed to use the old registration cards in next year’s election. So I am calling out to you that please take this exercise seriously. People are the ones that put leaders in power so let us try to go in numbers to register as voters. You will find that the leaders you want are not voted for because people that went to vote were a few. Look at the many developments that have happened under the PF and the communication towers that have been mounted country wide. All these things come as a result of good leadership. But this government will be voted out if we don’t vote. Bad leadership can be voted into power and things will be difficult for us,” said Kafwaya.
Meanwhile, Kafwaya said it was total nonsense to accuse the ruling Patriotic Front cadres of beating Chilanga UPND aspiring candidate Charmaine Musonda.