It’s very clear Hichilema doesn’t want to see Lungu on the ballot paper – M’membe

It’s very clear Hichilema doesn’t want to see Lungu on the ballot paper – M’membe

He writes:

It’s very clear that Mr Hakainde Hichilema doesn’t want to see Mr Edgar Lungu’s name on the presidential ballot paper in 2026.

But this unbridled determination to block Mr Lungu from contesting elections in 2026 is very dangerous and can lead to a series of problems, violations, and destruction of institutions.

The Constitutional Court is certainly not the best institution to aid Mr Hichilema in this undertaking. The hands of the Constitutional Court are tightly tied by Res judicata. It is certainly not well placed to play this assassin role. Let them do something else.

They have tried the stealing and destruction of PF to deny Mr Lungu a platform for his 2026 presidential election bid, but it doesn’t seem to be yielding the desired result. The best thing they can do is simply to let Mr Lungu stand and work very hard to defeat him in a free, fair, and peaceful elections by delivering to the Zambian people on their many promises.

Whereas it might not have been easy for the Constitutional Court to decide Mr Lungu’s eligibility to stand as a presidential candidate in the 2021 elections, it is now very easy for the Constitutional Court to deal with the case before it challenging his eligibility. This is because a final decision was made by this court on this same matter that Mr Lungu was eligible. It will be a gross injustice to Mr Lungu to reverse this decision.

The normal rule is that the judgment by the Constitutional Court is final. A departure from the principle can be justified only when circumstances of a substantial and compelling character make it necessary to do so. We see no such a compelling character in this case. Not being agreeable with the court’s decision is not enough. The Constitutional Court being one of the two highest forums, and the apex courts of our country, it has to be really careful about its final judgment and make sure that there is no miscarriage of justice in a particular case.

Justice is above all. It should also be noted that review is not on any day an appeal in disguise. It can’t be put in the same par as the original hearings of the case. Appeal is to a higher court from a lower court when a party is affected by the judgment.

It is well settled that a party is not entitled to seek a review of a judgment delivered by an apex court merely for the purpose of a rehearsing and a fresh decision of the case. When an apex court reviews a judgement, it does not mean that it is asking itself to run through the proceedings again and decide for a fresh judgment. It is just some kind of reconsideration to a case when it believes that there has been some mistake or miscarriage of justice. It is just an acceptance to the reality of apparent human philosophy, which is inherent to fallibility. Justice is the highest priority, and thus, review could only be done for the sake of justice. Until and unless there is something really obvious that has been missing or omitted in the judgement, there could be no review as according to the normal rule, the decision of the Constitutional Court is final.

There is a saying that justice cannot just be seen, it must be felt in the hearts of the people and in the soul of the country. Justice is above all indeed. Our courts are not mechanised robots and computers when you know for sure that nothing could go wrong in the process.

Judges are humans, and humans are bound to make mistakes. Mistake once done has to be given a chance for fixing as well. This is the normal human psyche. So why not the decisions when the justice is on stake? Like, in day to day life, people make mistakes and amend mistakes, things change. Thus our Constitutional Court, which is the paramount of justice, has also been given a special power. This power is exclusive.

It is just accepting to the wide known fact that humans are not infallible. But this does not mean that the judgment’s given out by the Constitutional Court and its judges are anything less than perfect. Sometimes, you may overlook some grave evidence or some mistake that couldn’t have possibly been foreseen then. Thus, the Constitutional Court has an exclusive right to review its own judgments in the rarest of rare cases.

But it has to be noted that review is not substituting a judgment. A judgment cannot be unsettled when declared. This is a fundamental principle. It is only reconsidering when the Constitutional Court feels that something of grave nature has gone wrong in the judgment. Judgments cannot be taken lightly when they are declared. It has to be understood that power to review is only exercised in rarest of rare cases. We cannot take our Constitutional Court casually. It is true that humans can make mistakes but we are not supposed to have only that in our minds.

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