Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Although Zambians may have been expecting their president's death it has nonetheless left many in a state of shock.Following President Michael Sata’s passing on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, Vice President Guy Scott was named interim leader of Zambia (as dictated by the Zambian constitution) until national elections take place within 90 days. On the night of Monday, November 4, however, riots broke out after Interim President Scott announced that he would dismiss General Secretary Edgar Lungu from his role as leader of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) party, without revealing the details behind his decision. Some observers have argued that Scott’s move was a power play to remove Lungu from becoming a top contender for the PF’s presidential candidate as Lungu is from an opposing faction within the PF party. On Tuesday, Scott reversed his decision and restored Lungu to the role of secretary general in the hopes of stemming the protests. On Wednesday, the riots dissipated, and Lungu has since made statements in full faith of the Zambian democratic system and the capacity of the PF to put forward a worthy candidate for the presidential elections, despite factional struggles.

Scott, Mrs Scott, Lungu
Scott, Mrs Scott, Lungu and acting chief justice Chibesakunda
PF secretary General Edgar Lungu, through Newton Nguni has petitioned the High Court to force Acting president Guy Scott to hand back power to him.
Newton Nguni is a former deputy minster of Finance in the Fredrick Chiluba era.
Justice Gertrude Chawatama has since set Friday, November 14, 2014 as the date for an inter-parte (both parties) hearing into the case regarding the transfer of power from Mr Lungu to Dr Scott.This is the matter in which a judicial review application has been filed against the decision of cabinet to transfer power from Mr Lungu to Dr Scott..The court order follows a petition by Mr. Newton Nguini who has sued Dr. Guy Scott as first respondent, Attorney-General Musa Mwenye and Hon Edgar Lungu as second and third respondents respectively.

Under Order 53(3) of the Supreme Court Rules, Mr Nguni sought judicial review against the decision of the respondents to transfer power from Hon. Lungu to Dr Scott under Gazette Notice No 638 of 2014 at a cabinet meeting held on 29th October 2014.Mr Nguni relied on sworn evidence by the Minister of Tourism Hon. Jean Kapata who has submitted that no Gazette Notice, no Letter of Transfer of Power and no instrument were signed to signify the transfer of power from Mr Lungu. As a result, she contends that the decisions of the Attorney General and Secretary to the Cabinet were illegal and requires urgent address.
Kapata has submitted that the transfer of power was done under duress and threats of treason against Mr Lungu and all ministers who opposed Mr Mwenye’s opinion.“Mr Musa Mwenye insisted that if Mr Lungu did not surrender the instruments of power, he would be charged with treason, including all cabinet ministers who opposed his advice,” Hon Kapata says.Kapata further explains that when Home Affairs Minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakuka, argued against Mr Mwenye’s opinion and was joined by Joseph Kasonde and Professor Nkandu Luo in challenging the validity of the Attorney General’s opinion, heightened threats of arrest were made by Mr Mwenye.

Mr Mwenye then came back with even a more direct threat if the ministers continued to argue with him, the police would then move in and arrest them for treason.At this point the meeting adjourned to 09:00 hours and on resumption, Mr Mwenye continued with his threats that Mr Lungu should handover power to Dr Scott otherwise he and all ministers opposing this view would be charged with treason.“I believe that what happened at this 2nd meeting of the cabinet is illegal and requires urgent redress,” Mrs Kapata submits.And Mr Lungu, in his affidavits in support of the motion submits that the Attorney General warned him that police were on stand-by to arrest him and other cabinet ministers opposed to his opinion.Mr Lungu submits that the Attorney General instilled fear in him and cabinet ministers forcing him to surrender the instruments of power to Dr Scott.

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