What is in the petition?: Publish it for the whole World to see the evidence – International Lawyer

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Dr Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

Dr Munyonzwe Hamalengwa

International Lawyer Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa has advised Hakainde Hichilema and his running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba to publish what is contained in the petition there are challenging the reelection of Edgar Lungu so that the whole world can see how the election was rigged.


The Constitutional Court has thrown out the petition saying it has no jurisdiction to hear it after 14 days stipulated in the constitution.


But Lawyer Hamalengwa who has practised law in Canada, US and South Africa among other countries says  the petitioners have an option to publish the petition in the media.


Below is his full statement:


There are many qualities in the legal practices of other countries that are never negative and would be useful to emulate in Zambia. Transperancy, publicity and accountability are some of these qualities.


If it was in Canada or the US, or Australia, or Britain, the Petition and all the evidence and all court documents would now be on the internet for easy access by the entire world. The documents, all of them, would be on the website of the Supreme Court of Canada (S.C.C) and SCOTUS  websites. There would be bound copies of the petition in bookstores and street corners for the public to buy and digest. The New York Times and other newspapers would have links to the entire cache of court documents. Why not in Zambia?


Once a document is filed in court, it is a public document and can be viewed and copied by anybody. A lot of people would now be knowing the extent of fraud and rigging, if any that took place. They would not be left to speculation.


There has never been any harm in publicizing the court process, in transparency and accountability in having an open court concept, subject of course to justifiable public policy grounds. Right now the biased media has the monopoly of weapons of mass deception. They have access to these documents. They are lying through their teeth to the gullible public.


Close to 100 percent of Zambians know nothing about what is in the Petition that was aborted. They have no clue about the extent or lack thereof of fraud and rigging. They have no clue of the extent or lack thereof of the evidence of fraud and rigging. Yet there are public documents in the constitutional court and in the hands of the lawyers on both sides. The public has no money or time to go and copy all those documents ( there are even no public photocopying machines in the court houses- this is a travesty of Justice and the open court concept  framework of modern judicial process) but many could read them if they were posted on the court websites, the Internet or sold in bookstores and at street corners.


Given that there is no more Petition in the Constitutional Court or any court for that matter, what is the harm in publicizing in physical or internet form the founding documents of the Petition? Even if there was a Petition going on, what harm would transparency, publicity and accountability do to the process? Canada, US, Australia and other countries believe that the public benefits from having easy access to the court documents. Answer this question, who benefits from lack of access to the Petition documents and evidence in Zambia? It certainly is not the Zambian people. Who benefits from this secrecy? Who benefits from lack of transparency, accountability, publicity and silence? Not the Zambian people.


Just publicize the entire documentary evidence including founding affidavits, factums or memorandums, witness statements, evidence, replies of the respondents and all motion records and supporting documents and any resulting court orders or directives. Let the Zambian people know what level of justice we have sunk to or climbed to. Was justice served or was injustice perpetrated? This should be the age of transparency and not secrecy. The Petitioners will be vindicated if the public sees their side of the story.  Similarly the Respondents will be vindicated if the public sees their side of the story. It is a win win situation for the Petitioners, for the Respondents, for the public, for LAZ, for Zambia, for the legal system and for the entire international community. Just do it.




Dr. Munyonzwe Hamalengwa  also teaches law at the school of law, Zambian Open University. He is the author of The Politics of Judicial Diversity and Transformation ( Make inquiries at Planet Books). His forthcoming book is entitled, The Book on Judges.



44 Responses to What is in the petition?: Publish it for the whole World to see the evidence – International Lawyer

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31