Abraham Lincoln once said..”We the people are the true custodians of the Constitution and power and we the people shall stand firm to protect and defend the constitution against men and women willing to subvert and pervert the provisions of the Constitution with impunity”.
In Article 106, a person who has held the office of President twice is NOT ELIGIBLE TO STAND. The law does not say a person who has already bought party Regalia is eligible. The law does not say terms of office shall be be used to disqualify the number of times one has held office. The law does not say one who has not done a full term can stand again. Why did the Authors of the constitution use the word HELD OFFICE TWICE is NOT ELIGIBLE to stand. It was not because the law is a copy cut of the Kenyan law NO. It’s because the authors expected that before we read the constitution, we must have three principles in our brains ;1. Rudiment of history. 2. Cognisance of logic and 3. Awareness of Science.
A term of office was designed to give a limit of length of time for office of presidency to be operational before a next election. The inauguration ceremony or swearing in was designed as an act of giving the button of power to hold the to a newly elected president Immediately the inauguration is done and then one starts holding the office of presidency and if you experience this act again after a next election, it means you will hold office for the second time. The question is have you gone through an inauguration twice by now and you held the holy bible too in that two times to accept before Gods eyes that you will hold the office of presidency? If you did this two times, then you held the office of presidency twice and not eligible to stand.
WHY HOLDING OFFICE TWICE MAKES ONE NOT ELIGIBLE INSTEAD OF TERMS.
Because the original authors of the constitution had not only wisdom, but common sense and language interpretation skills in English and they expected us to have the same perspective and understanding that once you inaugurate someone, you have no control of how long they will be in office…May die, resign or impeachment. So to avoid a vacancy they thought of a limitation to length of stay in office and called it a term. This is why bye-elections are held in the middle of the term of office before another general election should an incumbent not manage to get to the general elections. The term of office is not subjective to and individual but to the office being fully functional till another general election. WHERE as for holding office, this is the possession of executive powers after a successful inauguration. So in a life life time, you only get inaugurated twice in order to hold office twice in the Zambian Constitution.
NOTE: Presidents are not elected to be compelled to rule till another general election but to hold and carry out executive functions. Term is for guidance to limitation on length of stay in office and holding of executive powers held is what constitutes holding office.
When you change the law during incumbency, you can not back date the law to before you were in office because by operation of law, an amended law or new law is meant to affect those that have not yet acted contrary to it. Simple example; if today Zambia changed the treason charge from non bailable to bailable offence, you can’t go to jail and get all those who are awaiting trial and give them bail because they acted contrary to the pre-amended or old law and they remain non bailable till trial is completed and judgement would be rendered using the pre-amended or old law. Only new offenders will be subject to bail. Similarly, the incumbent President in Zambia can not use Article 106(6)(b) to say because he didn’t rule upto three years therefore he can stand again, because he entered office under the 1996 constitution and being the same individual in office under that, law can not be escaped. Otherwise if he insisted, may being a Christian nation, we can let the Country hold elections next year August since that will be three years and a term enough for him to face an election in August 2019(Unfortunately the law is clear on eligibility and he can not stand having held office twice).
-The constitutional Court registry must not have admitted this case st the court registry because you can not go to court to present a law for the Court to prove the law wrong by referring to the same law to make a determination
-In a civilised democracy, this type of statute is non debatable (Held office of President twice one can not stand again)
-The 2016 election Petition is still alive in the high Court on basis of the right to be heard(A fundamental human right to be heard)
– There will be no chaos if the law will be followed as clearly stated
THE CORRECT SLIGAN IS NOT ONLY “NO THIRD TERM” BUT “NO THIRD INAUGURATION”.
By Joseph Nyundu