Constitutional Court Judges

THE eligibility case of President Edgar Lungu will be heard by five constitutional court judges following the rejection of an appeal to have the full bench hear the matter.

The ruling follows attempts by Danny Pule and three others to have the bench of judges reconstituted to seven to hear the presidential eligibility.

This is in a matter in which four opposition political party leaders led by Pule wanted the bench reconstituted from five judges to seven to hear the main petition as the questions raised are complicated and of constitutional significance whose outcome will have legal, social and political consequences.

But all the judges hearing the case have dismissed the application as the power to constitute a panel is the prerogative of the court and not that of the parties or litigants.

Justice Hilda Chibomba has ruled that the composition of the panel is an administrative matter which is purely at the discretion of the court.

According to the judges, ordinarily this matter should not be a subject of litigation.

The court says it did not see the relevance of this application because at the time this application was filed and heard, the panel that would hear the main matter had not yet been constituted.

In this case president Edgar Lungu’s elibility for the 2021 poll is being is yet to be determined.

The lawyers representing the UPND had opposed the reconstitution of the panel to seven, the current available number of judges at the constitutional court.

Margaret Munalula, Enock Mulembe, Hilda Chibomba, Mungeni Mulenga and Anne Sitali.

The appellants had sought the inclusion of two judges namely Palan Mulonda and Martin Musaluke.