By Chintu Malambo
LUSAKA Central Member of Parliament Margaret Mwanakatwe has asked the Constitutional Court to grant her leave to submit correct records of appeal against the nullification of her seat as opposed to losing candidate Dr Charlotte Scott’s demands that the appeal should be thrown out.
Earlier, Dr Scott had raised preliminary objections to dismiss Ms Mwanakatwe’s appeal citing irregularities in the records of appeal and that the appeal was against the rules of the Constitutional Court.
This is in a matter in which Patriotic Front (PF) winning candidate Margaret Mwanakatwe appealed to the Constitutional Court against High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa’s judgment that nullified her seat.
According to her arguments in opposition to Dr Scott’s preliminary objection to dismiss the appeal, Ms Mwanakatwe through her lawyer, Eric Silwamba, submitted that this was a proper situation in which the court would allow just hearing and determination of the case it was to regard procedural technicalities.
“The appellant may at any time by leave of the court amend or add to the grounds of his appeal. The court may from time to time make any order necessary for determining the real question in controversy in the appeal, and may amend any defect or error in the record of appeal,” she submitted.
Ms Mwanakatwe maintained that her record of appeal was not defective as the Constitutional Court Statutory instrument provided that if the respondent (Dr Scott) was of the opinion that the record filed by the appellant (Ms Mwanakatwe) was defective, the respondent may without prejudice to the respondent’s right file 20 hard copies and an electronic copy of a supplementary record of appeal containing copies of any further documents which in the respondent’s opinion were required for the proper determination of the appeal.
Further that unlike the Supreme Court rules, the Court of Appeal and the High Court, the Constitutional Court rules did not have express provisions of amendment and default, however, in practice the Constitutional Court had invoked its inherent jurisdiction to order the amendment of records of appeal