Organising the Law: Towards a theory of legal presumptions in the common law

By E. Munshya, LLB, LLM, MBA, M.DIV.


Of the Alberta Bar

The law, like life itself, is not an exact science. Or perhaps we could say, the law is both a science and an art, with the art part being much more pronounced. Since time immemorial, the desire for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has consumed the common law legal tradition throughout the world. However, for the law to arrive at the truth, it must work under some well-founded presumptions. A presumption is a truth assumed by the law, unless it is rebutted by other facts to a requisite standard of proof. Legal presumptions are necessary so that the law is predictable. Without legal presumptions, the common law legal tradition would be much more complex and hazardous than it already is. The law uses presumptions to arrive at truth, for truth is impossible without basic foundations upon which truth could be built. Presumptions are the building blocks of truth. Legal presumptions are the troughs that guide the rivers of justice. Legal presumptions do help organise the law and the society in which it functions. Without legal presumptions, we will be like beasts unguided by the restraints of law. Presumptions are not the truth per se, but a guide towards the truth. There are too many presumptions at law and they would not fit this article today. But let me hasten to mention a few.

The first presumption is the that of innocence. In criminal law, an accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent and impartial tribunal. The law here does not state that an accused is innocent, but rather that they are “presumed” innocent. The law creates and imputes upon all people, including the accused, a blanket of innocence. It is from innocence that a case can then be built against the accused until they are convicted. Bizarrely, even when you catch a thief piddling into your house at midnight, the law still presumes that they are innocent until a competent and impartial tribunal rules otherwise.

400px-Coat_of_Arms_of_ZambiaThe second presumption is that a court intends to stay within its jurisdiction. In the Zambian system of justice, we have several courts. Broadly, these courts can be divided into courts with common law powers (courts which are courts because they are courts!), statutory courts (deriving almost all of their powers from statute or the constitution), customary courts (courts under customary laws), and statutory tribunals (such as a tax or revenue tribunal). Navigating through the maze of jurisdiction is one of the finest distinction of legal practice. Recent events in Zambia show us how ambiguous and confusing the question of jurisdiction can get. After the August 11 2016 elections, we learnt a lesson or two about which court has primary jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. Both Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba have taken their jurisdictional argument from the Constitutional Court to the High Court. We are watching closely how those matters will be resolved. But for now, as an organisational tool, there is a presumption that a court hearing a matter intends to stay within its jurisdiction. If for example, a tax tribunal entertained a matter it has no jurisdiction over, a higher court reviewing the acts of the tribunal will have to overrule that tribunal on the basis that it had no powers so to act. When a higher court rules on that question it will be effecting this important presumption: a court is presumed to stay within its jurisdiction.

The third presumption is that of gifts and donations. The law presumes that people do not intend to give gifts but to buy a bargain. If someone gives you K10,000.00 and says to you, “here is the money for you to buy a car or to buy a house”, the law presumes that the money you are given is not a gift, but is given to you in exchange for something or a bargain. A person who gives another person something is presumed to be wanting something from that other person in return. The receiver of the gift must in turn rebut that presumption if it is called into question. This theory is far much broader though, and I hope in trying to simplify it, I am not sacrificing the broader complexities of the gifts, the giver, and the given.

A fourth presumption is that of intention and consequences. Here is how it is stated: a person is presumed to intend the consequences of their actions. If you act in a certain way, the law presumes that you intended the consequences of that action. That presumption may be open to a rebuttal, but at least at the very basic and organisational level, you are presumed to intend the consequences deriving from your actions. A few months ago, a Zambian at an airport in South Africa, rather naively and jokingly told a nosy customs agent that he was entering South Africa with a bomb in his luggage. The airport went into lockdown and the Zambian was arrested. If your actions cause panic, the law will presume that you intended to cause panic even if a joke is what is was on your mind!

A fifth presumption is that of family. A child born out of a married couple living together is presumed to be the natural child of the husband. The law does not leave this matter to further proof. This is how bizarre it can get. Let us assume for a very strange reason an African, black married couple have a child that looks biracial, the law presumes that the man married to the mother is the natural father, even if he could as well not factually be the father. Practical facts and legal facts could be at odds sometimes. The law does not ask questions unless that presumption is certainly rebutted by positive evidence. A husband cannot refuse paternity of a child simply because a child looks like the neighbour! Unless rebutted, the law presumes that “you are the father”.

There are many other presumptions: a presumption of death: a person who disappears for specific number of years is presumed dead. There is also the presumption of birth: a child found wandering on Zambian soil without relatives is presumed to have been born in Zambia, even if factually they could as well have been born in Lilongwe or Lubumbashi. There is also the presumption of power: a person with statutory powers is presumed to intend to stay within that power. I will end here for now.

_________________________________________________________________ The Author is a Zambian thought leader and pentecostal minister practicing civil litigation, estate law, and administrative law at West End Legal Centre, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In addition to seminary education, Elias holds an LLB from England, an LLM from Northwestern University in Chicago, and an MBA in Law from Wales.

Zambia’s Constitutional Court Must Assume Concurrent Jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights: Here is why

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV

Where should Zambians go to enforce the Bill of Rights? Should it be the Constitutional Court (ConCourt)? Or the High Court? Or can Zambians go to both? Why can’t both the High Court and the Constitutional Court have concurrent jurisdiction? The rulings coming from the ConCourt seems to suggest that they do not want to have anything to do with the Bill of Rights. They are reading the current constitution too strictly. Honestly, we cannot have a divided jurisdiction where someone who has a constitutional question that engages the Bill of Rights will have to go to the High Court instead of receiving help from one court. I believe though that the ConCourt should assume jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. It is the right thing to do.

The Zambian Bill of Rights is part of our constitution. It is the entrenched part of the constitution. Constitutional entrenchment is some kind of legal fiction, basically, stating that of all the constitutional provisions, the Bill of Rights is more deeply buried and much more difficult to amend. Whereas parliament can amend all the other parts of the constitution, a referendum is needed to change or amend the Bill of Rights. A referendum is needed so that there is direct input of the electorate into the entrenchment of the Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights assures citizens of fundamental human rights such as the freedom of assembly, association and conscience. It also safeguards several fundamental rights such as the right to be heard and the protection from unreasonable search and seizure.


E. Munshya

When at the beginning of the year 2016, President Edgar Lungu signed the 2016 amendments to the 1991 Constitution into law, he could not sign the new Bill of Rights into law as it needed the referendum. Well, on August 11, 2016 when the referendum was held, the new Bill of Rights was rejected as it did not meet the required threshold. This led to the failure of the referendum question. A new Bill of Rights was not entrenched leading to a situation where we have a new constitution (I am using “new” here even if it is just an amendment), with an old Bill of Rights. While Zambia has an amended constitution in almost all areas, one area that has remained unchanged is its Bill of Rights. Constitution 2016, however, established the Constitutional Court to be the highest court over constitutional matters. In some respects, such as a presidential petition, the ConCourt has original and final jurisdiction.

The proposed Bill of Rights, which was rejected on August 11, 2016, provided that the Constitutional Court would have jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. However, after the failure of the referendum, the current Bill of Rights provides that those aggrieved may enforce the Bill of Rights only in the High Court. It is absurd to have a Constitutional Court that has no jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. We must find a way to resolve this absurdity. I propose the following.

First, Zambia could hold another referendum and put a simpler question to the electorate. Instead of amending the whole Bill of Rights, it could be possible to simply ask the electorate to vote on giving the ConCourt jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. This step would be quite expensive and after the recent elections, our people are quite tired of campaigns and voting. This route might prove difficult.

The second proposal is to ask that parliament passes an un-entrenched provision in the current constitution giving the Constitutional Court some jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights concurrent with the High Court. This should not be controversial as parliament does enjoy some level of sovereignty as the law maker and law giver in our democracy. While the entrenched provisions of our Bill of Rights are clear that parliament cannot unilaterally amend the Bill of Rights, the law should recognise parliament’s ability to help our courts enforce the Bill of Rights. By giving the ConCourt jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights, parliament is enforcing the law and showing strong fidelity to the rule of law.

The third proposal is directed at the Constitutional Court itself. The Court should peel away at its recent rulings and reclaim jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights. It is absurd that we should have a Constitutional Court which is refusing jurisdiction over helping citizens enforce their fundamental rights. The Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution, and the ConCourt has jurisdiction over the entire constitution. This entire constitution, I must submit, includes the Bill of Rights in spite of what the Bill of Rights says about jurisdiction. What happened during the presidential petition where Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba had to engage the High Court to enforce their rights under the Bill of Rights should have been avoided had the ConCourt accepted jurisdiction over the question. What is even more bizarre though is High Court Judge Chitabo’s ruling that he too could not accept jurisdiction over Mr. Hichilema’s fundamental rights as his case had already been handled by a court higher than his! Judge Chitabo played ping-pong and the Constitutional Court must stop this High Court-ConCourt ping-pong by assuming and accepting some jurisdiction over the Bill of Rights.

The fourth proposal is that if none of the three proposals above work, then the President should appoint the current ConCourt judges to the Lusaka High Court as well. In that case, they will be able to have both High Court and Constitutional Court jurisdiction. If we continue under the legal fiction that the Bill of Rights should be enforced in the High Court only, the ConCourt judges can circumvent that limitation by sitting as High Court judges. In that situation we will have a win-win situation. Those with Bill of Rights grievances can still go to the High Court, but those with constitutional issues that trigger the Bill of Rights can still be heard by ConCourt judges who also have concurrent High Court jurisdiction by virtue of parliamentary appointment.

Constitutional Court judges are best suited to handle the Bill of Rights. They should forthwith assume jurisdiction without fail.


A Zambian holding three law degrees from England and Chicago, USA, Elias Munshya is a  seminary trained pentecostal minister practicing law in Alberta, Canada.


The Philosophy of Judicial Reasoning: Making sense of Zambian Constitutional Court’s “14-days” ruling

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV


Of the Alberta Bar

The decision of the Constitutional Court to not hear Mr. Hichilema and Mr. Mwamba’s presidential electoral petition is really not about which of the several views expressed by the judges is “right” or “wrong”. Both the minority and the majority in the case may have been right. Judicial decision making is sometimes not about how judges choose the correct decision from an incorrect one, but how they choose between two competing decisions that could both be necessarily correct. A decision of the Constitutional Court does not become legally right because it is morally superior to an alternative decision, but it becomes legally right because it has been chosen by a majority of judges to be so. Judges do not objectively decide and select the inherently correct decision between competing decisions, rather the decision they make becomes legally right making their choice the law. Legally right or legally correct decisions become correct because judges say so and not because the decisions themselves are objectively or inherently correct.

To put it in other words, some legal questions do not have the objectively right or wrong answer. The question of 14 days does not rise or fall on what is right or what is wrong, but rather on the decision of the majority judges at a particular time. From the “14 days” decision of both the majority and the minority judges, it is clear that the decision could have gone either way. The 3-2 decision was very close and the Chibomba-Munalula minority may have carried the day had one more judge from the Sitali-Mulenga-Mulonda majority agreed with them. How do we make sense of this?

First, the law cannot objectively resolve most of our political problems. We need political solutions to political problems. The idea that we can always run to the court to resolve our political disputes is practically untenable. It takes more than the courts of law to make democracy work. For example, Justice Munalula in her minority opinion states that the ConCourt needed to hear the petition to provide some healing for the nation. The truth is there is no ruling from the ConCourt that would bring healing to the nation. Healing is not a product of legal shenanigans, it is a product of political will and action. The court cannot through evidence help heal a nation, in fact, it could lead to more difficulties.

Second, an over-reliance on judges for absolute and ultimate justice is a self-defeating goal. Human experience should make you realise that judges could rule against your position, not because it is a wrong position, but rather due to several other considerations. Maturity helps you deal with such disappointments.

Third, the idea that the law is blind is true only to an extent. There are several instances where the law is and should be blind, but no one in the common law tradition, world-over, has ever held the law to those blindfolded statues. The law may as well have feelings, eyes, and a big mouth. The law grows according to the magnanimity of those who lose under its breath, and win under its wind. Right from the likely tribal split of the Constitutional Court itself should give you an idea that the Court is not an objectively moral compass that churns out court rulings like a blindfolded woman. It is a little more complex than that.

Fourth, the philosophy, and practice, of law is very consistent with a liberal outlook on life and human experience. The law could lead to conclusions that are unfair to a party, as long as the outcome is part of the reasonable conclusion. This does not justify unfairness; it only shows the fragility of our unbridled faith in having the justice system resolve all of our problems. How can the law resolve the problems Mr. Hichilema is alleging? Particularly the more academic and philosophical ones?

Fifth, legal legitimacy should be taken as a whole, as the whole system. Immediately we begin analyzing the integrity of a judicial system on the basis of one or two court rulings, we lose the true picture of our judicial structure. Judges may have ruled differently on the 14 days issue, but they ruled unanimously on the question of cabinet ministers not to stay in office beyond the life of parliament. Zambia’s Constitutional Court cannot just be judged by the 14-day ruling, but by the entire intercourse of rulings it has released in its life. You cannot blame a court just because it has not lived to your expectations on Mr. Hichilema.

It appears like we have now become a very litigious nation. I now hear that several citizens are now taking Constitutional Court judges to the Judicial Service Commission. What nonsense! We cannot go on like this. This is becoming absolutely ridiculous. We must be more gracious to our judicial system and give the Constitutional Court some time to grow and develop. The idea that each of the parties that is aggrieved should now go the Judicial Service Commission to have judges fired is repugnant to common sense.

Judicial reasoning is not an exact science. It has never been. From the English roots of Zambia’s constitutional jurisprudence to the American constitutional order and back to Zambia’s new Constitutional Court era, judicial reasoning in constitutional matters is chaotic and constantly changing. Respect for the law is never about respect for the objective validity of the law, but it is always the respect for the heritage of the societies that have chosen to be guided by such legal structures.


Rev. Elias Munshya is a Zambian theologian and lawyer practicing at West End Legal Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. In addition to several degrees in theology, he holds an LLB from England, an LLM from Northwestern University in Chicago and an MBA (law) from Wales.


Elias Munshya of the Alberta Bar

The Law Association of Zambia and the challenge of policing politico-legal speech

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV

It is common knowledge that the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has issued a circular reminding Zambian legal practitioners that they must obtain permission from both LAZ and its Legal Practitioners Committee before they comment on legal subjects in Zambia. I have taken Isaac M. Mwanza’s (of YALI) position that the laws and regulations forbidding legal practitioners from commenting on legal subjects are archaic and need reform. In an earlier article, I highlighted ways the law could be reformed particularly by splitting LAZ’s regulatory function from its fraternal function. As the situation stands now though, it is still law currently that legal practitioners must not comment on legal matters without clearance from LAZ. I have reservations over this law, but as a legal practitioner myself, I must agree with it. The law is what it is, not what we wish it should be.

Ireen Mambilima

Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima

All lawyers in Zambia including politicians such as Hon. Tutwa Ngulube (Patriotic Front legal advisor) and Mr. Lusenga Mulongoti (UPND member and practicing lawyer) need clearance from LAZ before they comment publicly on legal subjects. That is the law. This regulation must be read strictly and it is clear that it is aimed at regulating “legal practitioners” and not all citizens in general. LAZ has no mandate to police Zambians’ debate on any subject. LAZ has no legal mandate to police what citizens debate on social media. The mandate of LAZ is restricted to forbidding legal practitioners. Citizens on social media or on MUVI TV have the liberty to lead and mislead themselves on any question of law, fact or anything in between. Press freedom and freedom of thought and association includes the freedom to read and misread the law, to lead and mislead self, and the liberty to debate and degrade dialogues. LAZ lacks the legal mandate and has no legal competence to regulate general public discourse on legal, political or constitutional matters.

LAZ can no more regulate public attitudes to Article 101, than the Resident Doctors Association of Zambia can regulate public speech on tumors and red blood cells. LAZ can no more regulate the Zambian public’s speech on an electoral petition than the Engineering Institute of Zambia can regulate public attitudes towards the structural integrity of FINDECO House.

Elias Munshya NewFor those citizens, who intend or are already, in the process of becoming legal practitioners in Zambia, it is important that they follow LAZ guidelines now so that it does not create an unnecessary distraction when they apply to practice. In fact, I would encourage all law students in Zambia to become student members of the Law Association of Zambia so that they begin getting used to draconian provisions that restrict freedom of thought and expression for legal practitioners. LAZ, its statutes and its regulations must change, however. And each one of us has the responsibility to suggest those changes. It will not be easy for LAZ members and legal practitioners to change; it must take the collective effort of all citizens.


E. Munshya of the Alberta Bar

The legal profession by nature is very respectful of tradition and does not change easily. It is nearly impossible to change the legal profession from inside. Once you take the great Barristers’ Oath and wear the gown, you suddenly realise that you are part of the long tradition of legal ancestors such as Justice Coke, Lord Denning, Lord Diplock and all the great men and women of the jurisprudential old. Nevertheless, at great personal sacrifice, some in Zambia must begin dramatizing for change to the profession. In my case, as a legal practitioner licensed in a different commonwealth jurisdiction where we do not have restrictions like my colleagues have in LAZ, it provides me some freedom to freely debate and advocate for changes in Zambia without having to worry about getting into trouble with the Zambian regulator.

My professional ethics in Alberta though still impose upon me the burden to be civil when I debate legal issues beyond the borders of our jurisdiction. So, LAZ is right, legal practitioners it licenses must get permission to make legal and perhaps political commentary. LAZ however, has no mandate to police all citizens who comment on legal subjects. LAZ can’t police students but it would be advisable for Zambian law students and graduates to stop getting under LAZ’s skin. Those that want to get under LAZ’s skin and advocate for some changes, though, will find me ready to meaningfully contribute to a worthy dialogue within limits of my professional obligations as a practitioner, albeit in Alberta.


Linda Kasonde – LAZ President


Divided We Stand: Politics of national cohesion after Zambia’s 2016 elections

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV

The so called divisions we think have emerged in the aftermath of the August 11 elections could be good for our democracy. They show that our democracy is working, and working very well. If the people of Zambezi feel that they are not being heard, there is no better way to demonstrate their displeasure with Lungu than withholding their vote. The people of Dundumwezi also have the prerogative. We must give up this incessant desire to want to control and manipulate the choices that people must make. The people of Chiengi have made their choice and so have the people of Mkaika.

400px-Coat_of_Arms_of_ZambiaThe people of southern province dropped over 500,000 votes for Hakainde Hichilema. The tsunami has shocked some of our people. After the August 11 elections, some of our people are suddenly waking up to the so called regionalism that they think is going to erode our national unity. These fears are unfounded. The people of southern province do not owe anyone an explanation for their decision to overwhelmingly back Mr. Hichilema. Zambia is a democratic country and in a democracy, individuals, provinces or regions have the prerogative to choose the leader they want. It becomes an affront to democracy once we begin dictating how people should vote. Zambia might as well be divided between green Zambia and red Zambia; it is within our democratic character to do so. Political divisions are not bad per se, political divisions must exist in any democracy and in fact, political divisions do exist in all democratic countries on earth.

Democracy never guarantees uniformity. Democracy is an orgy of difference. It is a party of differences. Democracy is a coat of many colours. It is a fabric of mosaic patterns. The patterns might be injurious to our ego, but they are part and parcel of our democratic character in any case.

There has never been any guarantee in our democracy that Zambian regions will vote uniformly. Uniformity of votes is not a character of our democracy. It is a myth to suggest that the voting patterns we saw will automatically lead to national divisions. Well, democracy is chaotic and divisive. The question is what can we do about our political divisions.


Elias Munshya (of the Alberta Bar)

President Lungu has emerged victorious and it is clear that he performed very poorly among the southern, western and northwestern voters. He needs to humble himself and go and listen to the concerns of the people concerned. Democracy is not just about the majority winning or achieving 50% +1, but also about lending our ears to the voices expressed by the minority votes. Those who have not achieved 50% +1 are as legitimate parts of Zambian democracy as those who have achieved the threshold. The challenge here is that if we are to be true to democracy, we must let Lungu and implore upon his party to go and listen to everybody. It will be foolish of the Patriotic Front to do nothing about the clear voices of the people who have expressed displeasure with the status quo. Lungu and the PF must not carry on as if everything is alright. Ifintu tafili bwino, iyo. It is time to listen and listen very well.

Great democracies such as the United Kingdom have their own internal regionalism that seems to make no sense to an outsider. But those divisions should not mean that the UK is less democratic. The UK has a system of respect for regions. In Zambia, we could develop a system of democratic respect for regions. The same Americans who could be lecturing us about the divided electorate have red states and blue states, and no matter how beautiful or handsome you are, not even a tsunami would have Texas vote for a democrat. In spite of this ideological regionalism America remains a beacon of democracy.

Zambia can still be a democracy, and a good democracy even in the middle of regionalism. We should not fear regionalism, instead we must embrace it and leverage it for national development. I am surprised that some are invoking Kenneth Kaunda’s one party dictatorship as a model for uniting the nation. Kaunda’s time is over and he tried to bring the nation together by betraying tenets of democracy occasionally. Zambia needs to unleash its democratic beast that unleashes our great potential.

Regions are pinnacles of democracy and we need to respect them. What we need in Zambia, is an unwavering respect for regional diversity. We are One Zambia One Nation, but beyond that we have no one who forces or dictates to us how we should vote. The voting patterns we saw on August 11 will force us to cooperate with one another. The East must cooperate with the West, and listening to each other is the first step towards that.

The idea that we are now divided among tribal lines is just nonsense. Which tribe does Lungu and Wina belong to for them to win the north? What about Hichilema, how come he won in Mwinilunga? These elections have nothing to do with tribe, they have everything to do with regions and there is only one way to deal with regions: listen to all, respect for all and an appreciation for diversity.


A version of this article appeared in Zambia’s Independent newspaper, The Zambia Daily Nation.

Elias Munshya is a Zambian practicing civil litigation, administrative law and corporate-commercial law at West End Legal Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Learning from King Cobra: Sata, Hichilema and the politics of electoral defeat

By E. Munshya, LLM, MBA, MDIV.

There is no better way to win an election than to win an election. For those who win elections, they win elections by winning elections. Those who want to win an election must win an election by winning an election and not winning a court case. In 2006, Michael Chilufya Sata of the Patriotic Front lost that year’s presidential election very terribly. He lost to President Mwanawasa who commanded a comfortable lead all over Zambia except for the urban areas and Bemba-speaking areas. Sata whined a little bit but went to work. In 2008, he lost again. This time to Rupiah Banda. Sata fumed pouncing all over Mulungushi Conference Centre and the Supreme Court grounds. But for some reason, he held himself back and took control of the narrative. He realized his strengths and weaknesses. He saw his losses and found an opportunity. He went to work. That is the behaviour of a winner.

Elias Munshya New

E. Munshya

In 2008, Sata looked at the electoral map. The urban areas of Lusaka and Copperbelt were in his bag, Bemba areas of Northern and Luapula were also in his grasp, but to win the presidency he needed to turn around a non-Bemba area, so he went for a Barotse offensive. The time for the King Cobra to charm the Barotse had come. Right in the heartland of Barotseland, Sata took a message that the Barotse wanted to hear – a message that would honour some aspects of the Barotseland Agreement of 1964. From 2008 to 2011, Sata worked on his message. Taking advantage of Rupiah’s Barotse lapses, he collaborated with Inonge Wina and Mubukwanu. And boom! In 2011, Barotseland had given Sata the votes he needed to beat Rupiah. Sata’s Barotse votes were very significant in that he did not just do “well” or do “better” he actually won big and got seats right in the Barotse heartland. That is how you win. You learn from your weaknesses, tweak your message, and go for an electoral offensive.

Come 2016, Hakainde Hichilema has an opportunity to turn his loss into something meaningful. Mr. Hichilema insists that he has won the election, but he has not won anywhere else apart from his strongholds of Southern, Western and Northwestern Provinces. He has no Member of Parliament in Bemba areas, no MPs in the East, and certainly no MP in urban Copperbelt or urban Lusaka. Without MPs in these areas, Mr. Hichilema has failed to replicate the Sata strategy of turning a hostile constituency into a friendly electorate. For Mr. Hakainde to win he did not need to just do well in Bemba and urban areas, he needed to have one or two MPs in those areas. Having MPs does not necessarily correlate with winning the presidential vote, but it is very significant in telling us the trends of where the presidency is leaning. It is nearly impossible for a candidate to win the presidential election without some corresponding increase in the number of Members of Parliament. You cannot win the presidency in Zambia without the good number of MPs being on your side, even if the presidential election is a separate election from that of MP.

While it is true that Lungu’s incumbency may have disadvantaged the opposition, we have a long history in this country where the opposition has beaten the incumbent – in both 1991 and 2011. It is doable. Blaming Lungu’s incumbency is not good strategically, Mr. Hichilema must take some responsibility and do better next time around. He is still young. He does have an opportunity to turn things around and if he stayed on, he could scoop 2021.


Hakainde Hichilema

Mr. Hichilema’s continued overconfidence is a put-off. I doubt if anyone stole his votes. I will leave that up to the determination of the venerable Constitutional Court. However, to the extent that we provide for the ruling of the Constitutional Court on this matter, we can safely speculate that Mr. Hichilema lost because Mr. Hichilema lost. No one stole his votes. The urban areas have not yet turned away from the Michael Sata “Don’t kubeba” coalition. That coalition is still intact. Consequently, insulting the Michael Sata urban coalition is not a good strategy for the UPND. The “dununa reverse – don’t kubeba” urban coalition needs to be courted not insulted. All these slights springing up in the media about how poor urbanites will continue living in poverty due to their continued support of the PF and Lungu exposes something that the UPND might need to understand about urban politics. Lungu won because he has won hearts of the suffering poor – the very suffering Zambians in our compounds. Unless the UPND figures out why the urban poor are still voting overwhelmingly for Lungu, their relevance will soon fade. The UPND must stop insulting and shaming urban areas and get to work.


President Lungu

Mr. Hichilema has an opportunity. For a start, he needs to go to both Luapula and Northern and thank this constituency. He quickly needs to capitalize on the election and cement the officials and structures in these areas, as he will need them for 2021. The more time he spends in Lusaka at his mansion and at court, the more time he loses on cementing the support he needs for 2021. For now, unfortunately, the PF has already seized on the opportunity to tribalize Mr. Hichilema’s 500,000 vote tsunami from Tonga areas. He needs to be in charge of the narrative, but the more time he spends in Lusaka the less likely he is to recast the tsunami. If the tsunami is recast and told by the PF, UPND will lose any hope of getting Luapula and Northern in 2021. The PF could take the tsunami numbers and try to convince Bemba voters that HH tried to capitalize on the Tonga tribal vote (this is of course not true, but Zambian politics is not about the truth, but perceptions). Mr. Hichilema stands a good chance, and I hope he will seize the opportunity. Projects that Edgar Lungu wins Zambia’s 2016 Presidential Elections

We made the following assumptions:

  • Some constituencies in Western Province are yet to report. So we are giving HH a 10,000 vote spread for each constituency.
  • Two constituencies are yet to report in Southern Province, we have given HH a 20,000 vote spread for each constituency.
  • Some constituencies in Lusaka have not reported so we have given EL a very conservative vote advantage of about 10,000 for Chawama, he is likely to beat this number.
  • I have separate figures for other candidates, and I have not included them in the above totals. Please provide for at least 50,000 votes for other candidates.


  • CAUTION – These numbers are provisional and are not authorized by the Electoral Commission of Zambia. You cannot rely on them.
Bwacha – 5,000
Chisamba – 7,359 14,638
Chitambo – 9,765 1,037
Kabwe Central – 22,784 11,787
Kapiri Mposhi – 22,509 23,080
Katuba – 4,031 23,705
Keembe – 20,000
Lufubu – 1,742 1,478
Mkushi North – 12,821 7,153
Mkushi South – 5,714 5,040
Muchinga – 10,000
Mumbwa- 10,000
Mwembeshi- 2,226 17,527
Nangoma – 10,000
Serenje- 10,000
113,951 145,445
Bwana Mkubwa – 20,571 7,586
Chifubu – 20,260 8,342
Chililabombwe – 17,003 10,126
Chimwemwe – 21,631 9,740
Chingola – 18,117 14,981
Kabushi – 22,646 6,906
Kafulafuta – 4,988 4,979
Kalulushi – 19,587 11,953
Kamfinsa – 15,480 7,350
Kankoyo – 8,755 4,316
Kantanshi – 14,138 5,175
Kwacha – 24,582 11,632
Luanshya – 16,924 9,263
Lufwanyama – 5,051 9,273
Masaiti – 6,421 7,794
Mpongwe – 6,677 11,297
Mufulira – 11,817 5,399
Nchanga – 16,899 8,568
Ndola Central – 10,000
Nkana – 18,461 8,692
Roan – 12,798 6,753
Wusakile – 18,647 7,776
331,453 177,901
Chadiza – 15,340 4,414
Chama South – 10,000
Chasefu – 17,708 3,641
Chipangali – 19,284 3,502
Chipata Central – 25,857 6,844
Kapoche – 10,000
Kasenengwa – 10,000
Kaumbwe – 9,169 1,084
Luangeni – 16,168 3,724
Lumezi – 16,155 2,952
Lundazi – 22,078 4,975
Malambo – 10,000
Milanzi – 12,171 2,174
Mkaika – 17,087 3,530
Msanzala – 14,321 1,244
Nyimba – 16,559 2,818
Petauke Central – 23,738 1,999
Sinda – 9,278 5,020
Vubwi – 6,023 2,238
280,936 50,159
Bahati – 29,456 1,234
Bangweulu – 24,261 2,396
Chembe – 4,538 996
Chiengi – 13,772 3,760
Chifunabuli – 18,329 2,189
Chipili – 11,354 760
Kawambwa – 12,790 1,416
Luapula – 7,128 1,626
Mambilima – 8,492 1,735
Mansa Central – 23,715 4,589
Milenge – 76,650 1,576
Mwansabombwe- 10,445 1,931
Mwense – 13,823 1,915
Nchelenge – 21,932 5,442
Pambashe – 9,251 1,822
285,936 33,387
Chawama – 10,000
Chilanga – 11,735 15,069
Chirundu – 15,000
Chongwe – 17,605 17,571
Feira – 5,733 2,362
Kabwata – 22,817 11,659
Kafue – 16,914 18,744
Kanyama – 37,720 32,024
Lusaka Central – 30,223 18,259
Mandevu – 59,239 19,033
Matero – 57,222 18,388
Munali – 52,810 27,726
Rufunsa – 10,000
322,018 205,835
Chama North – 13,187 3,803
Chinsali – 23,085 1,676
Isoka – 13,567 4,676
Kanchibiya – 16,355 1,443
Mafinga – 15,745 4,316
Mfuwe – 11,640 929
Mpika Central – 18,079 1,741
Nakonde – 19,963 4,597
Shiwa Ng’andu – 16,168 1,203
147,789 24,384
Chilubi – 20,710 2,416
Chimbamilonga – 10,927 4,260
Kaputa – 11,152 7,979
Kasama – 25,321 9,537
Lubansenshi – 12,963 3,300
Lukashya – 21,017 5,186
Lunte – 10,902 2,696
Lupososhi – 17,362 1,879
Malole – 30,054 4,181
Mbala – 18,356 3,952
Mporokoso – 20,327 4,142
Mpulungu- 10,000
Senga Hill – 14,191 6,418
223,282 55,946
Chavuma – 1,235.00 12,065
Ikeleng’I – 958 12,229
Kabompo – 1,070 12,734
Kasempa – 1,572 19,075
Manyinga – 1,528 13,583
Mufumbwe – 1,923 17,375
Mwinilunga – 1,911 33,801
Solwezi Central – 10,167 36,139
Solwezi East – 1,533 7,987
Solwezi West – 2,067 23,336
Zambezi East – 1,587 15,314
Zambezi West – 1,587 15,314
27,138 218,952
Bweengwa – 327 21,316
Chikankata – 1,023 20,711
Choma – 5,016 47,182
Dundumwenzi – 254 30,810
Gwembe – 20,000
Itezhi-Tezhi – 1,937 23, 422
Kalomo Central – 1,524 37,350
Katombola – 1,410 35,911
Livingstone – 13,162 27,786
Magoye – 875 21,918
Mapatizya- 20,000
Mazabuka – 6,235 31,173
Mbabala – 20,000
Monze – 2,232 39,859
Moomba – 182 13,429
Namwala – 1,251 34,647
Pemba – 428 25,418
Siavonga – 1,429 16,952
Sinazongwe – 2,666 39,633
39,951 504,095
Kalabo Central – 3,058 13,603
Kaoma – 1,065 6,259
Liuwa – 1,776 8,905
Luampa – 2,451 9,691
Luena – 10,000
Lukulu East – 2,768 16,009
Mangango – 2,250 9,720
Mitete – 10,000
Mongu Central – 4,271 28,260
Mulobezi – 2,058 7,353
Mwandi – 1,703 7,682
Nalikwanda – 1,415 9,792
Nalolo – 10,000
Nkeyema – 1,264 10,768
Senanga – 1,661 17,929
Sesheke – 10,000
Shang’ombo – 10,000
Sikongo – 10,000
Sioma – 10,000
25,740 215,971
TOTAL 1,798,194 1,632,075


Elias Munshya New

Elias Munshya