PeP leader ready to proceed with eSwatini land gift case
By Staff Reporter
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo says he is willing to go ahead with the case in which he is seeking court’s legal interpretation of the ‘land gift’ President Edgar Lungu received from eSwatini.
Tembo had made application to the Constitutional Court to have the petition withdrawn in the spirit of reconciliation due to the ongoing national dialogue.
In a reply filed in court on the State’s objection on his application that the case be discontinued, Tembo stated he decided to apply to discontinue the case because there was a clear correlation between the case and the on-going national dialogue and reconciliation process.
“If the court decides not to allow the petitioner to discontinue the matter and thereby give the Church-led process of national dialogue and reconciliation a fair chance to succeed, then the on-going national dialogue and reconciliation process will definitely crumble, as the parties will be sitting on the reconciliation table with hardened hearts, knowing that they are currently fighting over the same matters in court,” Tembo states.
He adds that the discontinuance of the matter may not necessarily guarantee the success of the Church-led national dialogue and reconciliation process but that it would significantly increase the chances of success of the said process.
“If the respondent is unable to discern the possible consequences on the future of this Republic, of the on-going Church-led national dialogue and reconciliation process failing, then the petitioner is ready and willing to withdraw the application to discontinue this matter, and instead proceed to trial,” Tembo says.
On the State’s submission that he applied to discontinue the case because it collapsed after witnesses refused to testify, Tembo argues that the fact that his application to subpoena witnesses was dismissed on November 28, 2018 did not mean that the witnesses are not available to testify.
He applied to subpoena Information minister Dora Siliya, the President’s special assistant for press and public relations Amos Chanda and three journalists namely Oliver Chisenga from The Mast, News Diggers Stuart Lisulo and Steven Mvula of the Zambia Daily Mail but the court dismissed his application.
He however, submits that two of the witnesses are ready and willing to testify.
Tembo also submits that the State’s assumption that his application to discontinue the case is motivated by the possibility that the case is now weak was a fallacy.