The Constitution is in need of some serious editing
What all this hullaballoo about the election petition clearly demonstrates is that our new Constitution is in serious need of some editing. It contains too many ambiguous clauses, and perhaps even some typos, and is therefore open to some sweeping interpretations. Take the 14-day clause as an example: some people believe we are talking about 14 working days, others about 14 weekdays. Most people accept that a petition must be heard within the 14 days, but no one agrees whether or not this means that the hearing must be concluded, or simply started, within this period of time. Even the Constitutional Court has no idea, as it kept changing its mind during the election petition. Our new Constitution is the result of numerous reviews, and has probably been rewritten an equal number of times, inevitably resulting in inconsistencies creeping in, despite the good intentions of the drafters. This was actually pointed out when the ruling PF party rushed through the new Constitution towards the end of 2015, but government was too busy trying to stem mounting criticism of its failure to produce the long-awaited document as promised. Unfortunately, it looks like the Constitution is in need of another review. Surely, a Constitution should be clear and unambiguous?
Camilla Hebo Buus, Editor Zambia Weekly