Publication Date



The discrete legal issue to be decided by the Court was whether the continued stay in office by the Vice President, Cabinet Ministers, Provisional Ministers and Deputy Ministers – after the dissolution of Parliament on 11th May, 2016, and after the enactment of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Act No. 2 of 2016, was ultra vires the constitution and therefore unconstitutional. If unconstitutional, a follow up issue was whether the salaries, allowances, and emoluments drawn by the above officials during their unlawful stay in office should be repaid. The case was filed as three separate causes, but by consent of the parties, the court consolidated the causes and determined them simultaneously. Steven Katuka, suing as Secretary General of the United Party for National Development (UPND), and the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) acted as petitioners in the matter.

The Constitutional Court was faced with the unenviable task of interpreting constitutional provisions that were on their face, ambiguous and even somewhat contradictory. The need for interpretation arose from the change in constitutional dispensations brought about by the enactment of a new constitutional amendment in January 2016.