PRESIDENTIAL PROTECTION FROM LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
There is a debate whether the treason case which the state dropped against now President of Zambia, Haikainde Hichilema and others which resulted in them suing the state can be pursued or prosecuted now that he is President of the republic.
Other questions are that whether or not the sitting President can sue his own Attorney General!
Article 98(2) of the Constitution of Zambia, however, *prohibits* a sitting President from instituting or continue *civil proceedings against a person* in his/her private capacity and vice-versa.
Article 266 defines a person as to mean *an individual, a company or an association
of persons, whether corporate or unincorporate.*
However, the Constitution seems to be silent on criminal proceedings and so it will be good to be guided whether this is a criminal or civil matter.
The Constitution in Article 98(1) guides thus;
*A person shall not institute or continue civil proceedings against the President or a person performing executive functions, as provided in Article 109, in respect of anything done or omitted to be done by the President or that person in their private capacity during the tenure of office as President.”
Subarticle 2 stresses that *the President shall not, in the President’s private capacity
during the tenure of office as President, institute or continue civil proceedings against a person.*
Subarticle 3 says *For purposes of clauses (1) and (2), where a law limits the time within which proceedings may be brought against a person, the term of office shall not be taken into account in calculating the period of time.
Subarticle 4 Subject to clause (9), further states that *the President or a person performing executive functions, as provided in Article 109, is immune from criminal proceedings which immunity continues after that person ceases to hold or perform the functions of that office*