The Constitutional Court has thrown a preliminary application by UPDN presidential candidate Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba to compel the court to keep custody of election materials including ballots.
Making the ruling, the Constitutional Court also discharged an interim injunction that restrained the Electoral Commission of Zambia from conducting scheduled and regular reconciliation of ballot forms and other documents used in running an election.
Justice Anne Sitali in the ruling said, “I have considered the affidavits and arguments filed in support by both parties as well as oral arguments. This court has jurisdiction to hear an application for interim relief and the application is properly before me. In view of the fact that the verification process is statutory requirement and the ECZ has statutory responsibility to safeguard the election materials The application by the Petitioners is not tenable at law”. The application fails and is dismissed”.
The Court also ruled on the injunction restraining the ECZ from conducting scheduled and regular reconciliation of ballot forms and other documents used in running an election.
“Regarding an order of injunction as prayed by the petitioner, ECZ has statutory duty to safeguard election materials. Petitioners have not provided evidence of the basis of their apprehension that the ECZ will tamper with election materials. I dismiss the application accordingly”.
Meanwhile, the Attorney General has applied to the Constitutional Court to be joined to the second petition in which UPND President Hakainde Hichilema and his Vice President Godfrey Bwalya Mwamba have applied that Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini should assume executive functions of government.
In the petition, Edgar Lungu is the 1st Respondent while Dr. Matibini is the 2nd Respondent.
In the summons, the Attorney General has also applied that Dr. Matibini be misjoined to this matter.
The matter came up for hearing today before Constitutional Court Judge Hildah Chibomba at 09 Hours today .