The Constitutional Court has ruled that former Kabushi Law maker, Bowman Lusambo and Kwacha counterpart Joseph Malanji are eligible to re-contest their seats because nullification is not a disqualification.
And in a ruling delivered by Constitutional Court this afternoon, Judge Palan Mulonda who presented the majority decision stated that nullification was different from a disqualification.
“Article 72 (2) distinguishes the difference between nullification and disqualification which cannot be used interchangeably,” he said.
Meanwhile, reacting to the judgment, one of the Lawyers for Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji , Makebi Zulu agreed with the court’s decision stating that a nullification is not a disqualification, which meant that his clients are eligible to re-contest because the court in declaring their seats vacant did not outline disqualification.
Similarly, Attorney General Mulilo Kalesha said according to the court’s ruling, a nullification is not a disqualification, but that they would wait for a final outcome from the High Court where the duo had petitioned ECZ.
Yesterday during hearing, lawyers representing Mr Lusambo and Mr Malanji argued that ECZ had overstepped its mandate to bar the duo from filling nominations.
Their lawyer,Tutwa Ngulube in his argument stated that ECZ cannot just wake up and make a set of disqualifications for a certain group of candidates as it diffuses National values.
He said the impunity by ECZ contravened the provisions of the constitution and that the commission overstepped its boundaries.
And Mr Zulu who was also representing the duo, suggested in his arguments that ECZ did not understand Article 72 (4) as they failed to distinguish between a nullification and a disqualification.
He contended that the Article was misapplied, misinterpreted and an injustice.
However, the State in it’s arguments through the Solicitor General Marshall Muchende said the best decision was to dismiss the matter in totality.
Mr Muchende said it was important to mention that Article 72 (2) b and h did not require the court to expressively state that a member was disqualified.
He said in the context, becoming disqualified is a metamorphosis and not a result of expression decree of the court and that the word disqualified is capable of assuming different things in terms of causality.