The Constitutional Court fails to hear petition

UPND-Cadres - Watermelon - Picture credit Tunfweko
UPND-Cadres - Watermelon - Picture credit Tunfweko

The Constitutional Court has adjourned to Monday next week the hearing of the presidential election petition which was earlier set to be heard and concluded on Friday yesterday.

The Court has also ordered that two days each be given to both the petitioners and respondents to argue their case.

This was after the Constitution Court failed to hear the petition by stroke of midnight of yesterday.

The petitioners Hakainde Hichilema and Geoffrey Mwamba had applied to the Court that it gives them ample time to seek fresh lawyers to represent them after the lawyers that were representing them earlier excused themselves from the proceedings before the Court.

Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba have argued that they will need legal representation if the hearing of the petition is to continue to be heard fairly.

They have contended that they came to Court to seek justice and therefore justice would not be done if they were not represented by lawyers.

They state that it is in fact their constitutional right to be represented by lawyers and be heard fairly by the Court.

The two petitioners have also asked the Court to keep in mind the expectation that Zambians have that it delivers justice in the petition before it.

But lawyers representing the respondents opposed the request by the petitioners.

Their argument is that the Constitutional Court’s hands were tied to allow ample time to the petitioners to seek fresh legal representation.

The respondents’ lawyers reminded the Court that it is bound by the Republican Constitution to hear the petition by midnight Friday the 2nd of the September 2016.