John Sangwa


THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss lawyer John Sangwa’s petition because it is out of time.
Sangwa, who is a constitutional lawyer on Tuesday filed a petition in court in which he wants the ECZ to be ordered to amend an affidavit for Presidential candidates/Running Mates to include words: “I have not twice held office as President”.

But the ECZ in its answer to Sangwa’s petition and skeleton arguments filed in court today, submitted that the Constitution has prescribed the manner and fashion of challenging the constitutionality of Statutory Instruments which is 14 days of the publication of the Statutory Instrument.

“The Statutory Instrument which the petitioner has sought to challenge was published in August 2016,” Nshindano stated. “We submit that given that the Statutory Instrument in question was published on 12th August 2016, the petition is therefore, clearly out of time.”

He urged the court to dismiss it with costs.

“We submit that the delay in challenging its constitutionality is inordinate and inexcusable and in line with Article 67(4), the petitioner’s claim should be dismissed with costs for being vexatious,” Nshindano argued.

And Nshindano also argued that as advised by ECZ’s lawyers, the contents of the affidavit for Presidential candidates/Running Mate conform to the requirements of Article 100 of the Constitution which relates to the qualification of disqualification of Presidential candidates.

Sangwa in his petition contended that the affidavit for Presidential candidate/Running Mate does not meet the requirement of Article 52 of the Constitution because it does not require a candidate in order to qualify for nomination as a Presidential candidate to state on Oath the number of times the candidate has held office as President as required by Article 106 (3) of the Constitution.

Meanwhile, the Constitutional Court has allowed Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to join these proceedings.


  1. What Nshindano has presented is exactly what pf surrogate Isaac Mwanza of Yali published earlier on in his long winding article. Looks like Yali is legal advisor to ECZ. Out of time? the damage has just been discovered now so the statute of Limitation cannot start accruing from 12 August 2016. From all indications, the Concourt is not going to grant the relief Sangwa is praying for going by the schemes they have been pulling over the eligibility issue. Imagine denying the litigants the right to withdraw the case and even hear the case without the petitioners counsel, un precedented indeed.


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