Tension in Zambia as opposition refuses to accept court decision

2016-09-06 11:39
Zambia's opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema. (Joseph Mwenda, AFP)

Zambia's opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema. (Joseph Mwenda, AFP)

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Lusaka - Tensions remained high in Zambia, as losing candidate Hakainde Hichilema refused to accept a constitutional decision to dismiss his party's petition against the re-election of President Edgar Lungu. 

Hichilema's United Party for National Development (UPND) described the court's decision as a "clear miscarriage of justice".

Zambia's constitutional court on Monday threw out an attempt by the Hichilema to annul August's election results, clearing the way for Lungu's inauguration.

The opposition leader, who lost the election by just 100 000 votes, claimed that the result was rigged and launched a legal bid to stop Lungu retaining power.

Lungu took office last year when he beat Hichilema in a snap election following the death of president Michael Sata.


According to Lusaka Times, Hichilema claimed that his party's petition was dismissed by three "mischievous judges".  

The report said that three out of five judges of the court ruled that the matter brought forward by the UPND could not be heard, as the mandate of the court expired last Friday at midnight.

Hichilema, however described the judges' decision as unethical, adding that the planned inauguration of President Edgar Lungu at Lusaka's National Heroes Stadium next Tuesday was "illegal".

"That is an illegal inauguration, it is against the constitution because we have not been heard. We are going to the High Court because as you may know in the so called ruling, the president of the Constitutional Court objected to what the three judges did. She is not alone, another judge Munalula also dismissed it that was mischievous," Hichilema was quoted as saying. 

According to a previous News24 report, the opposition leader claimed the outcome of the petition was pre-determined.

He said that the Constitutional Court's decision had made a mockery of the legal system.

Read more on:    pf  |  upnd  |  hakainde hichilema  |  edgar lungu  |  zambia  |  southern africa  |  zambia 2016 election

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