UPND national chairperson Mutale Nalumango says UPND does not expect the Constitutional Court to rule against President Edgar Lungu in the eligibility case on Friday.
And Nalumango says Zambia needs to reshape the court system because it is bringing confusion in its current form.
Speaking on Hot FM’s Frank on Hot, Tuesday, Nalumango said her party was not expecting the ConCourt to disqualify President Lungu from contesting the 2021 elections when she was asked to state what the opposition party expected from the impending ruling.
“He [President Lungu] has already told them [the judges]. Unless a shock comes, PF always wins,” Nalumango said.
“On the declaration, it is extremely possible [that he will be declared eligible], 90 per cent because of the precedence set.”
Asked if UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema was ready to face President Lungu again in 2021, Nalumango replied in the affirmative.
“Why not?” Nalumango asked.
“Why not? Under an environment that is free and fair, that is balanced, he is very ready and Zambians are ready to vote for Hakainde. Zambians, this is the man. On Friday we were listening to another opposition leader who said ‘this man is a unifier’. And indeed, after people tried to divide Zambia, I think he has worked to try and unite it. So he is coming in to unite Zambia and to improve the economy.”
And Nalumango observed that the judicial system was confusing people in its current form as there was no proper hierarchy.
“I personally have a problem with the ConCourt for many reasons…even the Judicial Complaints [Commission], remember, in their report, they said they didn’t use the 14 days. The ConCourt must be looked at. There are many things that we have to reform if we have to move forward as a country and benefit out of our own institutions and systems. The courts today seem to confuse us because even to say who is the real leader of the Judiciary, who is the top, is difficult because the ConCourt is final in itself, the Supreme Court is final so who answers to who?” Nalumango asked.
“We are getting confused. We put this in place but it seems problematic and we need to reform. The ConCourt, the entire judicial system needs to be relooked at and we are hoping this can be cone even before we come into power. We don’t want to come in and look like we want to change everything, no. The good must stay but the ConCourt needs to be looked at. I don’t want to start criticizing the judges themselves, no, but I am criticising the system. Is the system really working?”
Nalumango warned that it was dangerous to go through the next elections with the current judicial system.
“You have people appointed by the President. The President can stand on a podium and declare that ‘I appointed those judges, they can’t decide otherwise’, it hurts! The Judiciary is a very important institution. When you talk about a failed state, it is the Judiciary because when people have no where to go and breathe, then they have to help themselves. It is dangerous so we need to reform, probably in the manner of appointments and in the manner in which the courts are joined together. We need a pyramid, there must be somebody of higher authority over everybody that people will appeal to if there is need but right now, it is not like that, this is a crisis,” said Nalumango.
“The Judiciary must be made strong. If we go into another election with that kind of behavior, where you go in and you feel unwelcome, right on face value, you feel you will get nothing, that is dangerous.”