THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) says that only persons whose parents automatically qualified to be Zambian citizens at independence in 1964, qualify to stand as candidates to the office of President.
Meanwhile, LAZ is contemplating joining the legal proceedings in which a Lusaka politician Newton Ngu’ni has challenged the eligibility of Guy Scott to act as Republican President.
LAZ president George Chisanga said in a statement that the courts of law had to determine if there was a dispute on whether a presidential candidate’s parents qualified to be Zambians on Independence Day but should be assessed on a case-by-case basis according to facts.
Mr Chisanga said the Supreme Court of Zambia had given guidance on the issue in the 1996 case of Akashambatwa Mbikusita-Lewanika and others versus Frederick Chiluba.
The petitioners challenged Dr Chiluba’s eligibility to contest the Republican presidency on grounds that his father was not Zambian as provided for in Article 34 of the Constitution.
In that case, the Supreme Court ruled that under Section 3 of the 1964 (Independence) Constitution, the following automatically qualified to become Zambian citizens at Independence:
“Every person born in the Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia and who was a British protected person. Every person who was born outside of the former Protectorate of Northern Rhodesia who was a British protected person as at 23rd October 1964 and whose father became or would have become a Zambian citizen had they not died before Independence Day 1964,” Mr Chisanga said.
The Supreme Court further guided that there was a further class of people who did not automatically become Zambians on Independence Day but were eligible to become Zambian citizens only upon registration.
On what constituted Zambian parents by birth or descent at the time of independence, the Supreme Court ruled that Zambian citizenship only commenced on October 24, 1964.
Mr Chisanga explained that according to the Constitution, parents of anyone born prior to independence who were Zambian by birth or descent could meaningfully only be construed as a reference to those who automatically became Zambians on October 24, 1964 or who would automatically have become Zambians had they not died before independence.
LAZ was hopeful that the returning officer would be able to accept nominations from persons who met the criteria as provided by the law.
On joining the case between Mr Ng’uni and Dr Scott, Mr Chisanga said the association was contemplating joining the proceedings as amicus curiae (friend of the court).
LAZ has also joined calls by the civil society and other stakeholders for the candidates of the 2015 presidential election to make the need for the enactment of a people-driven Constitution an election issue.
THE Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) owes various debtors in excess of US$1.5 billion as of August 2014, Parliament has heard.
Of the US$1.5 billion, US$ 600 million was debt and liability related to the short term while the remaining $900 million were long term debt and liabilities.
Mines, Energy and Water Development Deputy Minister Richard Musukwa disclosed the KCM debt in Parliament yesterday.
Mr Musukwa said the debt the company owes would be cleared through bank long term loans through a repayment schedule based on what KCM made according to the terms of agreement.
He said the company would also pay dividend liabilities and price participation as soon as the cash flow of the mining giant improves.
“Other short and long term liabilities will be cleared as and when they fall due,” Mr Musukwa said.
Mr Musukwa was responding to a question raised by Patriotic Front (PF) Chipili MP Davis Mwila who wanted to know the total indebtedness of KCM as of August 2014.
He also wanted to know when the indebtedness would be cleared and why the mine had not been put under liquidation.
Mr Musukwa explained that KCM had not been put under liquidation because the business was not in a threatening situation to require such a measure.
The debts of KCM were a long legacy issue that Government and the company had been dealing with through several talks on its survival.
He assured the House, the country and KCM employees that Government was watching closely the situation at KCM
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has ordered Information and Broadcasting Services Minister to explain what transpired at the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) concerning harassment of Journalists by a Cabinet minister and PF officials.
MMD Copperbelt executive members have said the former ruling party risks not participating in the forthcoming presidential by-election if plans to field former president Rupiah Banda are not dropped.
MMD Copperbelt Information and Publicity Secretary Peter Phiri said in line with the party constitution and democratic tenancies, Mr Banda had no legitimacy to contest the presidential by-election on the MMD ticket.
Mr Phiri said this in an interview in Kitwe over the weekend shortly after scores of Copperbelt University (CBU) students, thronged MMD Copperbelt women chairperson Edith Mataka’s residence in Parklands residential area to denounce Mr Banda’s return to active politics.
Mr Phiri who was flanked by Ms Mataka said the Copperbelt party executive would not recognise any other candidate apart from its legitimately and constitutionally elected Nevers Mumba.
“It is illegal for some Members of Parliament and the party national secretary Muhabi Lungu to impose Rupiah Banda when the MMD has a constitutionally and democratically elected president. We on the Copperbelt have refused to support that illegality,” Mr Phiri said.
He took a swipe at Mr Lungu for his alleged conduct to produce a disciplinary letter written to Dr Mumba in a tabloid newspaper.
Mr Phiri said he was aware of a plot by Mr Lungu to reconstitute the Copperbelt party executive following the stance to refuse to accept Mr Banda’s candidature for the presidential by-election.
“We don’t hate Mr Rupiah Banda, we love him but we are saying he ran his time in politics and it’s now time for others. The best thing for him to do is to step aside but if he wants to dare us, we are ready to take him,” Mr Phiri said.
He said personally, he was ready to do anything within his means to block Mr Banda from contesting the forthcoming by-elections.
OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) has launched its 2015 presidential campaigns.
The UPND has also unveiled party president, Hakainde Hichilema, as the candidate for the presidential election scheduled for January 20, 2015.
Mr Hichilema has since promised an inclusive government with each province being represented in Cabinet and that the civil service would be improved to have professionals and not politicians in order to accord opportunities to qualified Zambians.
He was speaking yesterday at a Press briefing at Golden Bridge Hotel in Lusaka where he also outlined the party policies, among them, to deliver a people-driven Constitution before 2016.
Mr Hichilema further pledged to improve the education sector through the provision of best education skills that would help improve young people’s chances of securing jobs, and owning businesses.
“A good education starts with good teachers, but this noble profession has been neglected by Government for too long. If elected, I will improve education by enacting policies that support teachers,” Mr Hichilema said.
“Teachers deserve access to soft loans, where they can also be entrepreneurs and have access to their retirement benefits while they are still working, as long as they have served a specific number of years.”
Mr Hichilema also promised to improve accommodation at higher institutions of learning, as well as student’s meal allowances and lecturers’ remuneration and accommodation.
He said education was key to making sure that women had the same opportunities as men and that his party would demand that access to education for girls and women be equal with that of boys and men.
The UPND leader said he would use his economic background and push the country’s economy to 10 per cent growth, which would in turn help to improve and provide free and cheap quality healthcare to all Zambians.
His government would respect the traditional leaders and would recognise Henry Sosala as Paramount Chief Chitimukulu of the Bemba people because his party believed that the process of choosing a chief should not be interfered with.
He would not risk the future of Zambia by building up too much debt and burdening the treasury through reckless borrowing but would increase domestic resource mobilisation through appropriate mine taxation policies, and ensure that contracts are awarded fairly and transparently.
Mr Hichilema said he would immediately re-introduce the fuel subsidies to reduce the cost of living for all Zambians and help businesses grow and create jobs.
Former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, former secretary to Cabinet Sketchley Sachika, former resident Rupiah Banda’s son, Andrew and political advisor Vernon Mwaanga all endorsed Mr Hichilema for the January 20, 2015 election.
Others were former prime minister in the UNIP government Malimba Masheke, former Chawama MP Geoffrey Samukonga, Lusaka prominent lawyer Christopher Mundia and former MMD Chimbamilonga MP Brian Sikazwe.
A TWENTY-TWO-YEAR-OLD woman in Kitwe has been brutally murdered after being raped by unknown people.
The body of the woman was found naked with blood stains in the nose in an unfinished building in Mulenga Township.
This is the second time a woman has been killed and the body dumped in an unfinished building in the area.
Another woman was recently found murdered and the naked body dumped in an unfinished church building in Ndeke Township.
Copperbelt Police Chief Joyce Kasosa said the incident happened last week between Thursday around 18:00 hours and Friday morning.
Ms Kasosa identified the deceased woman as Christabel Chibale Chileya of house number 34/83, Mulenga Township.
She said the body of the late Ms Chileya was found on Friday morning dumped in an incomplete building.
There were blood stains on the nose while the neck was swollen.
“We suspect the woman was raped before being murdered and the body dumped in an unfinished building in Mulenga Township,” Ms Kasosa said.
She said the body of the woman was taken to Kitwe Central Hospital and that police were waiting for a postmortem report.
Meanwhile, Ms Kasosa said a 14-year-old girl of Chililabombwe’s Kawama Township had fallen pregnant after she was defiled by an unknown man.
Ms Kasosa said the girl, who was defiled between July 15 and November 15 this year, was two months pregnant.
“The culprit is at large but the girl can identify the man if she sees him,” Ms Kasosa said.
THE ruling Patriotic front (PF) has been dragged to court again by another member, Francis Fube Mulenga who is this time seeking an injunction to restrain the party from convening the general conference.
Mr Mulenga claims that the convention should not go ahead on grounds that the nomination process of filing presidential application letters by some aspiring candidates had been marred with irregularities.
He stated that the ruling party should be restrained from convening the general conference scheduled for November 28, this year because the process was breached in accordance with Article 52 of the party Constitution.
He said the filing process was not followed as required by the party Constitution as the aspiring candidates were all made to file before the Acting President instead of the party General Secretary as had been the trend.
In his affidavit filed at the Lusaka High Court Registry on Friday, Mr Mulenga asked the court to call for fresh filing in of nominations before the general secretary or the deputy to ensure that the party was not inconvenienced. In this matter, Mr Mulenga had sued Bridget Atanga as general secretary of the party in which he is seeking an interim injunction to restrain the party from going to the convention until the determination of the matter.
He said Article 52 of the Constitution gives powers to the central committee to scrutinise the applications of aspiring presidential candidates and not the Acting President which was the case now. Mr Mulenga said after the scrutiny, the central committee was then expected to recommend the names of those eligible to contest to the National Council for them to take to the general conference and not any other committee.
Lusaka High Court Judge-in-Charge Isaac Chali in conduct of the matter has since set November 24, 2014 this year as the date for hearing.