EASTERN Province Minister Makebi Zulu says contempt proceedings against Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa State Counsel have to be instituted because he is being mischievous by suggesting that Edgar Lungu’s attempt to stand in August will amount to treason.
And Zulu has insisted that President Lungu’s eligibility was already settled by the Constitutional Court, and raising the issue again is a waste of time.
He has further challenged Sangwa to declare his political ambitions if he so wishes to join politics.
On Monday, Sangwa said the moment President Edgar Lungu files his nomination to contest the August elections, he would have committed treason by attempting to seize power through unlawful means because he does not qualify.
But in an interview, Zulu said choosing to deliberately mislead the public was contemptuous.
“To deliberately choose to mislead the public is in fact contemptuous and perhaps contempt proceedings should be instituted against him. He is being mischievous because he lost the case, he went to court all the arguments he is arguing in the public court, he argued in court and lost. So what is he trying to achieve? If he wants to be political, let him just openly join politics and deal with politics as they are. Otherwise his propositions to deal with treason is very preposterous, it is not expected that he would argue in such a manner. This matter is a settled matter, we can’t be agitating an issue which he lost. The early he accepts his loss the better. Otherwise his comments are now bordering on contempt of court,” Zulu said.
“We are not worried, no one is worrying about eligibility. The ones that are worried are the ones talking about it, the ones that are afraid of President Edgar Chagwa Lungu. He will contest and he will win. This election that is coming, it is for PF, it is for President Lungu. When you lose a case in court as a lawyer, you don’t have to be personally attached to a case, there is nowhere you can appeal at least for the matter that was settled in the Constitution Court, he can’t appeal anywhere. If anything, even the idea of saying he is going to come, there is no one who has stopped him from filing, let him just keep quiet and file it when he wants to file and he will lose again we all know that and he also knows it.”
Zulu said Sangwa’s intentions of petitioning the Head of State did not scare the ruling party.
“It doesn’t scare us (the petition) can even be at 1,000 percent ready, because it has no content, nothing! The matter is settled. Whatever he is doing is bordering on contempt, you can’t be disregarding the court like that. A court that already passed a judgement. It is really unfortunate that a man of his nature could drive to such an extent. He is very wrong and if that is his new way of interpreting the law, then I fear for the future. I don’t know what came over him to want to think in that manner. If there is anyone breaking the law now, it is himself who is being contemptuous of what the court said in their judgement,” said Zulu.
But in a separate interview, Sangwa challenged Zulu to start contempt proceedings against him immediately.
“If they believe what I have said amounts to contempt, let them move the court tomorrow. They shouldn’t just be issuing threats, let them move the court. And if they are so sure that the issue of eligibility is closed, why can’t they move the court for the court to confirm that? It remains my position that the man doesn’t qualify, he is not eligible to contest the elections and any attempt to impose basically amounts to mutilating the constitution and it is the duty of every citizen to make sure that, that doesn’t happen,”he said.
Sangwa said it is laughable for any one to suggest that he lost a case which he did not take to court.
“There was no case to be lost. I never took that case to court in the first place so how can I lose? We simply intervened because we did not agree with what was being cooked between the Attorney General and the PF. Encourage your readers to go and read the judgment. LAZ did not start the case, LAZ simply intervened into the case because both the Attorney General and Danny Pule’s lawyers were on the interpretation. We had to intervene to give another dimension to the case. So it is not about losing the case, there was no case to lose because we did not move the court,” said Sangwa.
“The applicant or the petitioner was Danny Pule and the respondent was the Attorney General. So we were simply interveners. In fact General Miyanda was even there, we simply joined the proceedings. But if they are so sure, we are waiting, if there are so sure there is no problem. But why are they even threatening and accusing judges of corruption if they are so sure? If they are sure that’s fine but don’t just issue threats on contempt. Move the court. Tell Makebi Zulu to say let him file the necessary papers tomorrow for contempt. Don’t just issue threats carry them through. Let the court decide. If it is contempt, he doesn’t even understand what contempt is anyway. But you tell him, if he is convinced that I have committed contempt, tell him to file papers tomorrow.”
He said he has never had political ambitions, but he takes his oath to defend the Constitution very seriously.
“Just a reminder, I have no political ambitions, I have never had political ambitions but I have taken my oath to defend the constitution very seriously. First of all before anybody can comment, you should read the facts of the case,” said Sangwa.