Lawyer says Lungu can’t go for third term

Lawyer says Lungu can’t go for third term

By Mwape Mbwelela

CANADA-based Zambian lawyer Elias Munshya says President Edgar Lungu must vacate office in 2021 as he is not eligible to stand for a third term.

Munshya said according to the 1996 Constitution, President Lungu’s election in 2015 was a term of office and that he could not therefore claim the privilege of the Constitution he signed last year.

“Zambia is a going concern. It is a State. The 1991 Constitution amended in 1996 and in 2016 did not abolish the Republic and start afresh. The question is not just about is the law now, but rather what was the law then?” Munshya asked.

“President Lungu can’t use what is the law now to justify an assault on what was the law then. For example, Constitution 2016 introduced dual nationality. However, the introduction of dual nationality in 2016 doesn’t retroactively confer dual nationality on anybody before 2016. With regard to Mr Edgar Lungu, Constitution 1996 stated that his election in 2015 was a term of office. He is bound by that law. He can’t rely on Constitution 2016. Constitution 2016 has nothing to do with what was happening when Mr Lungu commenced his term in 2015 and it cannot cancel that term.”

He stated that President Lungu could not claim privilege of Constitution 2016 as he knew what he was doing when he ran for office in 2015.

“Mr Lungu knew or ought to have known what he was getting himself into when he ran for office in 2015. He can’t claim the privilege of Constitution 2016. He must vacate office in 2021. He isn’t eligible to stand again as stated by Constitution 1996,” stated Munshya.

Last Thursday, President Lungu said he had read the constitution and discovered that he was eligible to stand in 2021.

Addressing PF cadres on arrival at Kalulushi’s South Down Airport for his Copperbelt tour, President Lungu said he would stand in 2021 if he so wishes.

“I read the Constitution yesterday and I am eligible to stand in 2021…I want to say that there are some disgruntled people trying to divide our party but I will not allow them. Leave the party if you are not happy with me,” said President Lungu.

“You cannot sit in a meeting in Luanshya and begin to say that ‘Lungu has failed’. You cannot begin to say that ‘we will remove him out’ because I have just started working, please.”