THERE is a long held view that laws should not be interpreted as people wish them to be but as they are in the statute books and if there is a dispute, the opinion of the court should be sought.
Zambians should start looking at the laws as enshrined in the statute books and not how they wished them to be.
There is so much wishing of how the legal system in Zambia should operate when the very experts rarely participate in the processes to come up with the desired laws.
Self-proclaimed legal experts advance a lot of convincing arguments imported from other countries, ignoring the prevailing laws.
Such arguments are mostly driven by those who have studied in foreign countries.
They have studied other countries’ legal systems to a point of memorising commas and full stops and yet, it is rare that such educated people dedicate their minds to their legal system in Zambia.
This has led to the ordinary Zambian being misled by the perceived educated legal brains about a lot of laws which they expect to be in our statute books.
We are happy that with the assenting to the new Constitution, Zambians now have the Constitutional Court to turn to for interpretation of constitutional matters.
There is absolutely no need for any Zambian to resort to negative vices to resolve legal challenges when governance structures are in place which can easily settle misinterpretation of laws.
The case of ministers continuing in office after the dissolution of Parliament is such a case needing the Constitutional Court interpretation.
There is no need for politicians to start threatening each other when they can easily seek the legal opinion of the courts to settle the matter.
When the contentious Grade 12 certificate clause was enacted as the minimum requirement to stand for elective political office, an aggrieved member of society challenged the law in court.
The final verdict is in public domain and Zambians have benefited from the ruling that the Grade 12 clause cannot deter those with superior qualifications from standing.
But even as we express our happiness about the new commands of State, we are alive to the fact that there are also some shortcomings in the new Constitution.
There are real and perceived ambiguities in the amended Constitution which need re-aligning.
Like anywhere in the world where countries call themselves democracies, Constitutions are not cast in stone.
The 12th National Assembly of Zambia has a duty to refine the new Constitution to bring it in line with the current social and economic aspirations.
Zambians should prod the new Parliament to enact Bills which carry their aspirations.