THE Lusaka High Court will determine if Vice-President Guy Scott, whose parents were not Zambians can act as Republican President.
According to article 34 of the Constitution, a president must have both parents as Zambians by birth or decent but Dr Scott who is now Zambia’s Acting President had both parents as Scotish.
Kabwe High Court Judge Mwinde Siavwapa has told Kaluba Musenda Simuyemba, a Mbala resident who had applied for judicial review over the legality of Cabinet decision to appoint Dr Scott as the Acting President that the matter was already in the Lusaka High Court and could not therefore be determined in the Kabwe High Court as that would be duplicity of the matter.
Mr Simuyemba had applied for judicial review over the legality of the decision taken by Cabinet to appoint Dr Scott as the Acting President.
Justice Siavwapa in his ruling called the application bad duplicity because the relief sort in the matter was similar to that of another case at Lusaka.
“It is, however, within the applicant’s right to apply to the High Court at Lusaka for the order to be joined as a similar application to cause number 2014/HP/1783,” Mr Justice Siavwapa said.
Mr. Simuyemba in his application alleged that Dr Scott’s appointment was illegal as both his parents were of foreign nationality and did not renounce their Scottish citizenship.
He had sued the Attorney General Musa Mwenye and Dr Scott as first and second respondents respectively. But Justice Siavwapa said the application could raise conflicting outcomes with the case before Lusaka High Court with the same respondents. “It is however noted and I take judicial notice of the fact that cause number 2014/HP/1783 is pending before the court in Lusaka.
But Dr. Scott argued that he renounced his Scottish citizenship in 1965 and that he duly qualifies to ascend to the position. According to a letter dated 3rd November, 2014 and signed by Sean Melbourne as acting British High Commissioner to Zambia, Dr. Scott renounced his citizenship in 1965.
Dr. Scott who until the death of President Sata on 28th October was PF party and vice president of Zambia assumed the presidency after a Cabinet decision on 29th October to appoint him as acting President for the transition period leading to the by-election on January 20, 2015.
Before the death of President Sata, Dr. Scott was never appointed to the position of acting President whenever the Head of State travelled out of the country.
At the time of his death then PF secretary general and minister of defence Edgar Lungu was Acting President but the decision was reversed during a Cabinet meeting which saw Dr. Scott take over power.