Now we will never know!
It looks like the election petition has been concluded, before it even started. Many people have suggested, and reports seem to confirm, that last month’s elections were not entirely free and fair, but now we will never know. Whether or not the reports are true, President Lungu will reign for another five years, but always in the shadow of accusations of having rigged his way to the throne. In Zambia, such talk has a way of assuming a life of its own. No matter how many good deeds President Lungu carries out, his presidential tenure will remain tainted by allegations of having stolen the elections in 2016. The Constitutional Court would have done President Lungu a favour by allowing him to clear his name. Yet, it decided to throw out the election petition before it was heard. The learned judges, presumably the best we have, since they sit on the bench of one of our highest court, turned into pen pushers, and threw out the petition on a technicality. Furthermore, they explained in their judgment that “equity does not assist the indolent”, suggesting that the UPND was to blame, arguing that it had been slothful, presumably by raising a lot of preliminary motions, and therefore is not entitled to justice. The UPND is currently challenging the Constitutional Court in the High Court, and even though it is unlikely that the latter will rise against its big brother, I hope the UPND will continue to demonstrate that it does not consist of sloths. I hope it will use other means to publicise its purported evidence, in order to give the rest of us a chance to judge for ourselves, now that the court has decided it will not do it for us. It would allow President Lungu to begin his second term in peace.
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly