The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has noted the public sense of anxiety and uncertainty as to the legality and effect of the threatened state of emergency declared by President Edgar Lungu on 5th July following the fire that gutted Lusaka City Market on 4th July 2017. LAZ wishes to give its view on the following issues:
Was the threatened state of emergency invoked legally under Article 31?
Article 31 of the Constitution of Zambia States as follows:
”The President may [emph.ours] at any time by Proclamation published in the Gazette declare that a situation exists which, if [it] is allowed to continue may lead to public emergency”.
Clearly, Article 31 gives the Republican President the discretion as to whether or not to invoke Article 31 if a situation exists which may lead to state of public emergency. In our view, the procedure of issuing the proclamation in the Gazette was done in accordance with Article 31 of the Constitution.
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