By AARON CHIYANZO
THE State has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss with costs the petition by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) over the Constitution (Amendment) Bill Number 10 of 2019, saying it is irregular, incompetent and lacks merit.
On August 12, 2019 LAZ sued the President, Attorney General and the National Assembly in the Constitutional Court over the bill.
According to skeleton arguments against the LAZ petition submitted by Attorney General Likando Kalaluka in the Constitutional Court, the petition is incompetent because the petitioners have not explained how the President, who is empowered by the Constitution to initiate bills, contravened the said articles it has cited.
Mr Kalaluka argues that LAZ did not indicate how the Attorney General contravened the law when he was constitutionally empowered to sign government bills.
He says the petitioners did not also point out how the Nation Assembly contravened provisions in the law by providing for the gazetting of a bill, which seeks to alter the Constitution, tabling of the bill and causing it to be presented for first reading as mandated by the same Constitution.
He said the rest of the petition was a reproduction of constitutional provisions without clearly outlining how the same had been abrogated.
“We therefore submit that the petition is irregular, incompetent and does not reveal any cause of action against the respondents which would warrant an answer, let alone deserve the court’s time, in determining the matters herein,” Mr Kalaluka says.
He argues that the President’s action of initiating a bill was no way a breach of the law or tantamount to amending the Constitution as claimed by the petitioners.
In his conclusion Mr Kalaluka says: “Your Lordships and Your Ladyships, we humbly submit that based on the foregoing, the petition be dismissed with costs to the respondents.
LAZ is being represented by Simeza Sangwa and Company while Mr Kalaluka is representing President Lungu, the National Assembly and the State through his chambers.