The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has rejected the nomination papers for former Kabushi Member of Parliament Bowman Lusambo on the basis that he does not qualify to recontest the Kabushi seat that was nullified by the Constitutional Court citing to Article 72 (4) of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016.
The ECZ Officials at the nomination center for Kabushi Constituency informed Mr Lusambo that his nomination is invalid and any questions henceforth should be addressed to the Courts of Law.
The officials further urged Mr Lusambo to desist from causing any form of violence outside the nomination center premises.
Speaking after his rejected nomination, Mr Lusambo who’s commonly known as the Bulldozer stated that the game is till on until his face is found on the ballot paper, because the ECZ is not the final institution to make a final decision as there are institutions in the country such as the Courts of Law.
“There will be no election in Kabushi Constituency without his face “Bowman the Bulldozer” appearing on the ballot paper and God is his witness,” he mentioned
“We have just come from the Courts and the Court did not disqualify anyone,” Mr Lusambo stated
Mr Lusambo added that despite today being the last day to file nominations, he is confident that everything will be fine as the anointing of God is upon him.
“I will come back, we are ready for them, and am inviting that person whose fearing me so much, he knows himself let him come and stand in Kabushi,” he said
Yesterday the Electoral Commission of Zambia Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga issued a statement stating the Commission’s position on the eligibility of candidates whose elections were nullified by the Constitutional Court and thereby causing vacancies in the National Assembly.
Ms Luhanga noted that the Commission’s stance was in accordance with the nominations currently taking place today Thursday the 25th of August, 2022.
Ms Luhanga cited that the Commission in line with Article 72 (4) of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016 will therefore, not accept nominations from any candidates who caused a vacancy in the National Assembly.
“Article 72 (4) of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016 states that (2) The office of a Member of Parliament becomes vacant if member; (h) is disqualified as a result of a decision of the Constitutional Court; (4) A person who causes a vacancy in the National Assembly due to the reasons specified under clause (a), (b), c, d, g, and h shall not, during the term of that Parliament (a) be eligible to contest an election,” she cited
She added that Electoral stakeholders should take note that the above position relates to the National Assembly elections and not the Local Government elections.
Ms Luhanga said that the Commission is urging stakeholders to acquaint themselves with the two recent judgments and the Constitutional Provisions on eligibility of candidates who caused a nullification or a vacancy in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, the Law Association of Zambia President Lungisani Zulu said that the with the ongoing debate surrounding the eligibility of former Kabushi Member of Parliament Mr Lusambo and the former Kwacha Member of Parliament Mr Malanji to re-contest their seats that were nullified by the Constitutional Court last month, the Association has felt statutorily bound to offer its understanding of the law.
Mr Zulu stated that eligibility to stand as a Member of Parliament is provided for under the Constitution of Zambia and adherence to the provisions of the Constitution affects the rule of law and it is for this reason and in light of the extended public interest that the Association has felt compelled to explain the law.
Mr Zulu explained that regarding eligibility following nullification of election as determined by the Constitutional court in the matter of Lusambo vs Kanengo and Anor (CCZ/A 19 of 2021) [20221 ZMCC 13 (28 July 2022), the question of whether a person can re-contest is dependent on whether the courts not only nullify the seat but also disqualify a person in such a petition.
Furthermore, according to the Constitutional Court decision in The Law Association of Zambia vs The Attorney General 2021/CCZ/0051, where this issue was addressed, the Court stated that a nullification of a seat by the court is distinct and not the same thing as disqualification of a person.
“Our perusal of the decision in the Lusambo vs Kanengo case reveals that the court merely nullified the seat without disqualifying Mr Lusambo in the election petition,” he said
He added that LAZ has also noted the observations of the Constitutional Court in the Lusambo vs Kanengo case on the gaps or lacunae in the Constitutional provisions relating to Members of Parliament and re-echoes the call for Constitutional reforms to urgently address these to enhance their clarity.
Mr Zulu mentioned that as far as eligibility following nullification on the basis that one does not possess a grade 12 certificate as determined by the Constitutional Court in the matter of Joseph Malanji vs Charles Abel Mulenga and Electoral Commission of Zambia 2021/CCZ/A0021, the question of whether Mr Malanji can recontest is dependent on whether he possesses the minimum qualifications set in the Constitution at the time of nominations.
“Mr Malanji’s eligibility will therefore depend on whether he will adduce evidence that he possesses a Grade 12 certificate at the time of filing in of nominations,” he mentioned