By DELPHINE ZULU –
THE Constitutional Court yesterday heard that the lawyer representing the Patriotic Front (PF) and secretary general Davies Mwila in President Edgar Lungu’s 2021 eligibility case has abandoned the matter.
Mr Mwila told the ConCourt that he needed time to engage another lawyer to represent them because he could not represent himself.
“I’m appearing in person because we have parted company with our lawyer, so we need time to hire other lawyers,” Mr Mwila said.
He said he would accept the court’s ruling, saying as PF it had already indicated that the party needed resources to engage a lawyer and applied for an adjournment.
The matter was coming up for consolidation of all preliminary issues raised and to hear whether parties had reached a consensus.
In the last sitting, Attorney General Likando Kalaluka told the court that he tried to engage parties in the case where four opposition leaders are seeking the interpretation of the Constitution on whether President Lungu is eligible to contest the 2021 presidential election but that they failed to reach a consensus.
He said he had engaged the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), opposition UPND and Brigadier-General Geoffrey Miyanda but they could not reach an agreement.
But Gen Miyanda yesterday reminded the court that when the matter was adjourned, it was in order to explore what was placed on record to resolve the matter and not to hear his motions.
The other lawyers representing Dan Pule and others led by Bonaventure Mutale submitted that they wanted to find a way of consolidating the issues raised in the matter and see how they could resolve the preliminary issues around the case.
They said it was their opinion that Mr Mwila was not capable of appearing in person.
“The greater interest of justice will dictate that Mr Mwila be given time to find his own lawyers to represent him,” they said.
Mr Sakwiba Sikota said it was vital to allow him place a lawyer on record, otherwise the interest of justice would be limited.
The ConCourt in the ruling observed that the matter had dragged on or had been adjourned several times but in the interest of justice, the court allowed an adjournment to enable the second respondent to find a lawyer.
The court said it had noted that the notice to withdraw was only filed late afternoon on Monday, an indication that he had little time to hire one as he could not represent himself.