THE United Party for National Development (UPND) this morning suffered yet another major setback in its petition to have the election of President Edgar Lungu nullified when the Constitutional Court threw out their application to extend the period of the hearing of the matter outside the constitutional 14 days period.
And the entire UPND leadership including Hakainde Hichilema, his vice-president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, Mutale Nalumango, former MMD president Nevers Mumba and other sympathisers yesterday camped at the Supreme Court where their petition to have the election of President Edgar Lungu nullified is being heard by the Constitutional Court.
Yesterday, the UPND lost its bid to amend its petition in which it has challenged the election of President Lungu as the Constitutional Court adjudged that it was against time as the hearing which commenced today is expected to end before midnight tonight.
Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba yesterday applied to the Constitutional Court that a full bench of justices to hear the matter but Justice Annie Sitali threw out the application.
And in a matter in which Mr Hichilema and Mr Mwamba applied for the interpretation of the 14 days provided by the Constitution to hear and determine a presidential petition, the full bench of the Constitutional Court has reaffirmed its own ruling delivered yesterday to the effect that the 14 days expired yesterday 2nd September, 2016.
In a show of political force, Mr Hichilema, Mr Mwamba and Nevers Mumba led a large delegation into the Constitutional Court in what legal experts believe is nothing but an act to intimidat the Judges.
The Constitutional Court has also thrown out an application by UPND to refer the matter regarding the 14 days interpretation to the High Court.
In its ruling, the Constitutional Court reminded petitioners that it was a Superior Court and by all legal standards, could not refer a matter to a subordinate Court.
The petition trial commenced and was to be determined by 23:45 hours last night. Both respondents and petitioners were given six and half hours to argue their case.
Meanwhile, the UPND has applied that ZNBC avails them all 19 hours news bulletins from May 5 to August 11 because they needed to refer to them in their evidence.
The Constitutional Court has further put on record that its existence and work is bound by a Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.
The UPND got the Constitutional Court with several applications but only managed to file in three in their preliminary and the Constitutional Court has since thrown out all of them.
The UPND had come to the court with a voluminous 200 pages of bundles which were to be presented to the court.