Court of Appeal dismisses appeal to stay Kabushi and Kwacha elections

 Court of Appeal dismisses appeal to stay Kabushi and Kwacha elections

The Court of Appeal has denied a motion by the Patriotic Front (PF) to have another stay given for the by-elections slated to take place tomorrow for Kabushi and Kwacha Constituencies on the Copperbelt because there is already one in effect before the High Court.

The Court has also stated with regards to an instruction letter by the Attorney General to adjourn the matters before court from October 19th to October 21st that it is normal, just like when it has issued such an instruction in the past when the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is holding an Annual General Conference.

The Court of Appeal in it’s sitting comprising Mr Justice Justin Chashi, Mr Justice Mwiinde Siyavwapa and Mr Justice Kelvin Muzenga noted that it was not in order for them to issue a stay on elections for Kabushi and Kwacha Constituencies as there was one already in effect before the High court.

Lawyer Makebi Zulu argued that he was extremely worried because the court had rules of which should be adhered to.

“My concern is in a matter of public interest, which is that of staying elections. The consideration of elections should have been more important than the matter of an arbitration. If this matter is adjourned, then the elections should not go on tomorrow,” he said.

However, Mr Justice Chashi stated there was already a stay on elections.

“What is the point of you asking this court for a stay if there is another stay. A stay itself is already there, asking for another will have no effect,” he said.

He instead advised the Lawyers to work on the issue of contempt proceedings which were filed before the court.

“The Court of Appeal has nothing to do with the stay. We have no jurisdiction. That is why we must distinguish this, because we have specific matters before us. You are questioning yourselves because of mixing issues. Your are in doubt with yourselves. What is before us has nothing to do with the main elections and you know very well. We will not add confusion to confusion,” he said.

In his argument Tutwa Ngulube argued that there was no communication before the court as to why there was absence from the state.

He further argued that if elections should proceed tomorrow, it will be an issue of contempt as there was a matter to stay the elections.

In response to the communication from the state not being given, Mr Justice Chashi stated that there was an instruction which was also in public domain stating that there should be a adjournment in the matter as the Attorney General had other matters to attend to which was normal.

Mr Justice Muzenga also clarified that issuance of the letter of adjournment was also done in the past when there was holding of matters such as an Annual General Meeting by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and so such was normal.

The Court of Appeal then adjourned the matter to Friday October 28 next week.

Meanwhile, after Court, Mr Zulu said whatever the outcome of tomorrow’s on by-elections, they will argue it next week Friday because the court has alluded to the fact that what is happening is an illegality as the high court stay of election is valid.