Petition hearing: Proceedings and Decisions

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15. BREAKING: HH given time to engage lawyers. Case continues Monday.

ConCourt President Hildah Chibomba ruled that since the petition had not been heard due to the events of the day, HH will need to find lawyers and commence trial on Monday. The Court further ordered that each party will have two days to be heard.

14. PETITION UPDATE: Court had adjourned for 30 minutes to render the ruling on the application by Hakainde Hichilema and GBM to hire lawyers who are willing to represent them.

Judgement about to be made.

13: PETITION UPDATE: GBM addressing the court.

THE FULL VERBATIM
02/09 23:26] [02/09 23:25]
HH : Responding to the respondents who submitted that the legal counsel representing the petitioners were disorganized, HH argued that “We are not as disorganized as the Edgar Lungu who wants to go in reverse, I am moving forward “. For the respondent’s to make [those] unpalatable assumptions that we are disorganized is stretching us too far because we are not here to joke and I don’t want to hear that again from the respondents. We are here for serious business.
GBM : My ladies and my Lord, you may wish to know that there is a break down in the rule of law in this country, and this can be seen in the manner in which the ECZ conducted itself…where people could vote in some cases for more than 72 hours…this is unacceptable and ECZ must take the blame…I wish to submit my ladies that this court has an obligation to provide justice and in so speaking, the court has failed at law
[02/09 23:26] : Adjourned for 20min
[02/09 23:26] : HH and GBM represent self before a full bench in the constitutional court:
HH: The court has denied us justice on the basis of a decision made yesterday by one single judge Anne Sitali which we believe was ill intended to deny us justice. We can not represent ourselves in two hours for such a matter of great magnitude. Legal representation is our constitutional right. It is not in question that we need…a fair hearing. We cannot be an exception to the rules of natural justice. To be given a fair hearing, It’s not a matter of whether one needs justice or not…it’s a matter of obligation. The delay to hear one of our petition, to have the president vacate office in accordance with article: 104 (3) cannot be over looked. We also wish to submit that this court lives to our expectations in delivering justice.
GBM: it’s very important that the court is mindful of what the 15million Zambians are expecting. We came here expecting that we shall be heard and not in 2 hrs. It’s our constitutional right for this honourable court to hear our petition. But if the court decides not to hear one side of the party, it will be unfair to many Zambians who want to hear both sides. I have been in this court from morning to hear this matter. It’s clear that a single judge who handled this matter misled the court because of backtracking on her initial position. We believe that we have to be given enough time for us to prepare witnesses in a shortest possible time so that our witnesses can be given a fair hearing. Am obliged my Lord.
12. BREAKING: AG urges court to declare Edgar Lungu duly elected by midnight.

11. PETITION UPDATE: HH has asked for an hour to stand down as he has gone to confer. Then he will be back to present his case and defend himself.

10. BREAKING: The ConCourt has granted leave for all petitioners lawyers to leave. They have all left now. As a result, Hakainde Hichilema is now addressing the Court…..He now blames the court for the change of directions.

HICHILEMA BLAMES COURT: FOLLOWING the collapse of the electoral petition challenging the election of President Edgar Lungu and the protest withdrawal of his lawyers from the case, United Party for National Development (UPND) Leader Hakainde Hichilema took the stand and addressed the Court.

He has blamed the Court for the failure of the Case.

He also accused the Court of failing to rule on the application they made regarding who should exercise executive functions during the period of the Petition.

The Court had given 14 days in which the Petition could be heard as provided for in the Constitution.

Hichilema also blamed what he termed a single Judge, who the Constitutional Court tasked to hear preliminary matters.

first Petitioner Hakainde Hichilema took the stand and claimed that the court has a pre determined judgment on the petitioners’ case as concourt judge Anne sitali seemed to be supreme on the bench in his view.

He claimed that Judge Sitali was able to influence the entire bench and he could read this through her body language.

Mr. Hichilema who claimed to be a villager from bweengwa further cited that the constitutional court was bias to litigants who had no power like him “a villager from bweengwa.”

However, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka rose on a point of objection and stated that mr. Hichilema needed to be curtailed by the court as he was in contempt of court.

Attorney General Kalaluka said allegations that the court was bias could not be entertained because other litigants would feel the court would never give them fair justice.

Hichilema stated that he had come to seek Justice but had been failed by the Court.

Hichilema also insisted that he should not have been bound by time limits as stipulated by the Constitutional Court as his right to heard was a fundamental human right.

Mr. Hichilema further asked the court for one hour to confer with his lawyers and party members on the way forward before he could stand in front of the court.

The court has granted this application and has henceforth recessed. It announced that it would re-convene in an hour.

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9. John Sangwa has asked to leave the court because he says he won’t be able to defend the constitution. This is due to the way proceedings have been conducted. Musa Mwenye also applying to leave court. He says he is unable to discharge his duties as counsel for petitioner.

John Sangwa has walked out of court an so is Muna Mwenya

Jack Mwiimbu and Nelly Mutti follows suit and walks out of Court after John Sangwa and Musa Mwenya.

Mrs. Mushota also leaving. Martha Mushipe also leaving the court room.

 

 

8. Petitioners have now been asked to call their first witness

 

 

 

7. The first ruling on application by LAZ to join as amicus curie (friend of the court) has been heard first. Application not allowed because of delay in making the application. Next ruling is the renewal of application for amendment and filing new witness statements. The application also denied.

 

 

 

6. PETITION UPDATE: Mwangala Zaloumis challenges the Court to allow the Respondents to file an answer to the petition outside the 5 days as provided in the law. She contends that, in the same manner, witness statements from petitioners which were expunged must be re – admitted, though filed outside the 7 days in which they should have filed. They also contend that by the same principle, the Court must also allow amendments.

 

 

 

6. When LAZ earlier applied to address the court in a bid to join proceedings as friend of the court, the ConCourt stopped them saying they had no mandate to address the court. The court said what have they been waiting for and asked them to make a formal application.this angered UPND lawyer Martha Mushipe who accused the court of discriminating against the petitioners. She said the proceedings leaves much to be desired.

 

HH, GBM and other UPND officials are in attendance.

 

 

 

5. BREAKING: The LAZ application to join the case as friend of the court has been objected to by PF lawyers. Counsel for 1st , 2nd, 3rd and 4th Respondents all objected to LAZ joining the petition. Tutwa Ngulube said cited the following as grounds for objection to LAZ joining proceedings:

 

1. Conflict of Interest

2. LAZ was in court on Ministers

3. LAZ monitored the last election

Sakwiba Sikota also objected to LAZ joining proceedings.

 

4. PETITION UPDATE: The Constitutional Court this afternoon threw out four applications by the UPND in which the party was, among other things, contending that concluding trial in the main petition by midnight would not be a trial and will violate Article 18 (9) of the Constitution.

 

The ConCourt also dismissed an application by the UPND in which they wanted the court to compel the Electoral Commission of Zambia and ZNBC to produce documents and news bulletins respectively which related to the allegations in the main petition for lack of merit.

The ConCourt comprising president Hildah Chibomba, judges Mungeni Mulenga, Margaret Munalula, Palan Mulonda and Anne Sitali went on to dismiss UPND’S application in which they wanted the latter to recuse herself from hearing its renewed application before the bench because she earlier heard the matter as a single judge.

In dismissing the application on judge Sitali, the court said she could hear the renewed application because it was not an appeal, adding that she heard the earlier application as a single judge.

 

3. BREAKING: All applications made by the petitioners have been dismissed.

 

 

2. PETITION UPDATE: The ConCourt is about to make rulings on four preliminary issues that were raised before witness statements can start in the main petition.

 

Some of the motions raised included compelling ECZ to render documents relating to what was mentioned in the statements filed in court, and that judge Anne Sitali should recuse herself from the bench because she is the one who gave the earlier directive that both petitioners and respondents would have two days for trial each, which was reversed this morning.

 

1. BREAKING: Concourt orders that the main petition be heard today up to midnight.

 

And Concourt has dismissed UPND’s application to refer for interpretation to the High Court the issue of the 14 days for lack of merit.

But UPND lawyers have responded that they raised the issues of inflation of the votes because Edgar Lungu challenged them to provide evidence in his answer to the main petition.

Meanwhile, the UPND has applied that ZNBC avails them all 19 hours news bulletins from may 5 to August 11 because they need to refer to them in their evidence.

The Matter has stood down for 5 minutes to enable PF lawyers to respond to the new applications.

Further, the court insists there isn’t much time because the trial has to be concluded by 23.43 hrs.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. if PF was the one asking for more time opposition would have started rioting that its against the constitution to allow petition go beyond 14days. this time the ConCourt has broken the Law.

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