CSOs URGE THE PUBLIC TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH SANGWA

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CSOs URGE THE PUBLIC TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH SANGW

A CONSORTIUM of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) have commended Constitutional Lawyer John Sangwa for his bold and unwavering fight for constitutionalism and the rule of law.

The CSOs stated that the petition in which Sangwa is seeking an amendment of the affidavit for presidential candidates and running mates to include the number of times the candidate has held office as President, will bring the said affidavit in line with the Constitution for present and future purposes.

This is according to a joint statement issued by ActionAid Zambia; Caritas Zambia; Centre for Trade Policy and Development; Chapter One Foundation; GEARS Initiative; Peoples’ Action for Accountability and Good Governance in Zambia; Transparency International Zambia; and Zambia Council for Social Development on Wednesday.

Chapter One Foundation executive director Linda Kasonde on behalf of the other CSOs urged the public to show solidarity with Sangwa and the action before the Constitutional Court as it affects every citizen.

She added that the protection of the Constitution was the duty and right of every Zambian.

“We CSOs wish to commend Mr Sangwa SC for his bold and unwavering fight for constitutionalism and the rule of law. The defence of our Constitution is the duty and right of every Zambian citizen, as provided by Article 2 of the Constitution; it is not the preserve of a select few individuals. The strength of our Constitution is dependent on our resolve to uphold and defend it. On 4th May 2021 Mr John Sangwa SC petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking to enforce Article 106 (3) of the Constitution. The petition by Mr Sangwa SC will, if successful, see the amendment of the ‘Affidavit for Presidential Candidate/Running Mate’ by the inclusion of a paragraph to the effect that the candidate has “not twice held office before”. This amendment will bring the Affidavit for presidential candidates in line with the Constitution for present as well as future purposes,” Kasonde stated.

“To this end, we charge the members of the public to not only show interest in this matter but to take up the duty to defend our Constitution in whatever way they can. We urge the public to show solidarity with Mr Sangwa SC and the action before the Constitutional Court, as it affects every Zambian citizen and the right of citizens to participate in their government. While we note that the action is extremely time sensitive as the nomination for Presidential Candidates is scheduled to take place from 17th May 2020 to 20th May 2020. We have every intention of supporting Mr Sangwa SC’s action, by any expedient legal means, and we strongly urge other like-minded stakeholders to do the same.”

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