Concourt to dismiss UPND petition if they don’t comply with orders for directions

By Staff Reporter
CONSTITUTIONAL Court judge Palan Mulonda has threatened to dismiss the Presidential petition case in  which  UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema wants the court to declare that the Speaker of the National Assembly should have assumed powers of the President during its hearing.
Judge Mulonda  said this when the case came up for status conference.
He said the case will be thrown out if parties fail to comply with the orders for directions.
This is in a case where Hichilema and then UPND vice president Geoffrey Mwamba petitioned the court in August 2016 and were seeking an order directed at the Speaker of the National Assembly to assume executive powers until determination of the presidential petition.
They also wanted the court to prohibit President Edgar Lungu from performing the executive functions.
Meanwhile, UPND lawyer Jeffrey Chimankata from Simeza Sangwa and Associates submitted his clients were serious with the prosecution of the matter but that they wanted to amend their request in the petition.
“We will rely on the skeleton arguments filed on August 31, 2016 save for an amendment to the prayer that was there. Otherwise, the petitioners are serious with prosecution of this matter and would like to see it concluded,” Chimankata said.
However, State advocate Francis Mwale from tye Attorney General’s chambers said he would wait for the amendment to the petitioner’s prayer so that they respond.
In his ruling, judge Mulonda said he was granting  the last status conference and ordered parties  to file the necessary documents as agreed by July 9 or he will dismiss the matter for want of prosecution.