THE CONSTITUTIONAL Court has delayed hearing in the matter in which the UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has questioned whether Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima should go ahead with the inauguration ceremony of President-elect Edgar Lungu and his Vice President-elect Inonge Wina when the court has not declared them winners.
Constitutional Court Justice Mungeni Mulenga was forced to adjourn the hearing to Monday following the petitioners’ failure to serve summons on the third and fourth respondents, Chief Justice Mambilima and her deputy Mr Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa.
Ms Justice Mulenga was yesterday scheduled to hear the interim reliefs in the matter where the opposition leader was asking the courts on whether the Chief Justice or her deputy should proceed with the swearing in ceremony when the Constitutional Court had not declared the winner.
The Constitutional Court on Monday dismissed a petition where the UPND was challenging the declaration of the PF presidential candidate as the winner of the August 11, 2016 elections for want of prosecution.
The court had earlier set 21st September 2016 as date for inter-parte hearing, but allowed the petitioners to submit interlocutory issues ahead of the hearing. Mr Hichilema has gone back to the Constitutional Court to seek an interpretation of the law on whether the inauguration ceremony should go ahead without the determination of the failed presidential elections petition which was thrown out.
The opposition leader has requested that the Court allows him to be heard outside the 14 days period, saying that the Bill of Rights supported him to be accorded a fair hearing within reasonable time.
He said the period allocated in the amended Constitution was not enough to exhaust such a magnitude of a case as a presidential elections petition, against the scheduled time in accordance with Article 101(5).
Mr Hichilema has cited President-elect Mr Lungu, Vice President-elect Ms Wina, Chief Justice Mambilima and her deputy Justice Mwanamwambwa in his petition charging that the inauguration ceremony should not go ahead until after the Constitutional Court concludes and determines the presidential elections petition.