UPND President and Hakainde Hichilema are still locked in the petition zone with their battle on why President Edgar Lungu did not step aside during the Presidential petition to allow Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to act still going on.
The UPND had filed a motion in the Constitutional Court after the August 2016 elections seeking an order for the Speaker of the National Assembly to act as president while the presidential petition was in court.
Hichilema and his deputy Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba sued President Lungu after he did not step aside until the Constitutional Court decided the Presidential petition within the 14-day window.
The petitioners cited President Lungu and the Attorney General in their action but the Constitutional Court has struck off President Lungu on grounds that he enjoys immunity.
This was after the Attorney General, Likando Kalaluka applied to have President Lungu disjoined from the matter.
Constitutional Court Judge Palan Mulonda, disjoined President Lungu from the proceeding stating that the Attorney General was the right person to be sued.
The court ruled that Article 98 of the constitution clothed President Lungu with immunity from any legal and criminal proceedings in respect of any acts performed in his capacity as President.
Judge Mulonda stated there would be no prejudice suffered by the UPND leaders if President Lungu was disjoined as the reliefs sought in the petition did not affect his direct interest and therefore should be handled by the Attorney General.
“A consideration of the petition and the reliefs sought reveal that the petitioners are seeking a declaratory relief against President Lungu for breaching the constitution when he performed the functions of President in his personal capacity,” he said.
“It is with this consideration in mind and the provisions of the law as set out in Article 104 that I find that President Lungu did perform those acts in his personal capacity and therefore immune from the continuation of legal
In the petition, the UPND leaders wanted the Constitutional Court to issue an order to prohibit President Lungu from performing the executive functions of Republican President.
They also wanted an order commanding the Speaker of the National Assembly to perform the executive functions until President Lungu was declared in the presidential petition as validly elected or until another person was elected president.