THE Constitutional Court has thrown out a petition which was challenging the nominations of running mates for lack of merit.
The court said the running mates are not supposed to pay nomination fees and also provide 100 supporters because they are merely invited by the party presidents.
Researcher and lecturer at UNZA Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa and Lusaka lawyer Alfred
Kanda petitioned 16 running mates to the Presidential candidates for political parties, seeking the nullification of their nominations because they do not meet the conditions set by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) when filing in nomination
Those challenged are President Edgar Lungu’s running mate Professor Nkandu Luo, UPND’s Mutale Nalumango and running mates for all political parties taking part in this year’s elections.
President Edgar Lungu is eligible to stand as President in the August Elections, ConCourt declares
THE Constitutional Court has declared that President Edgar Lungu is eligible to contest the August 12 General Elections.
This is the third time the Constitutional Court is ruling that President Lungu is eligible to stand as President.
Delivering the abridged majority judgment, judge Anne Sitali declared that President Lungu was entitled to contest the elections as he has not twice held office.
She said Article 106 does not bar President Lungu from participating in the election this year.
“The first respondent’s nomination is valid and he is entitled to stand for election on August 12, 2021.
The petitions have no merit and each party to bear own costs,” judge Sitali said.
However, one of the Constitutional Court judges, Professor Margaret Munalula, indicated that she had a dissenting judgment which she will deliver on June 30.
Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), Chapter One Foundation and University of Zambia (UNZA) researcher and lecturer Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, through their lawyers John Sangwa and Linda Kasonde, argued that President Lungu already held office as President twice and that he was therefore, not eligible to stand in the forthcoming elections.
President Lungu was represented by Bonaventure Mutale, Eric Silwamba, Joseph Jalasi, Sakwiba Sikota and Lubinda Linyama while Attorney General Likando Kalaluka appeared for the State.
ECZ threatens to suspend PF and UPND from participating in the campaigns
THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has threatened to suspend the Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) from participating in the campaigns should they continue perpetrating violence ahead of the August general elections.
The Commission has since started following the activities of both the PF and UPND with keen interest.
ECZ Corporate Affairs Manager Patricia Luhanga said in a statement that the Commission will also not hesitate to invoke the Electoral Process Act and suspend indefinitely all manner of physical campaigns for the two political parties violent acts continue.
She said the commission has noted with serious concern the escalating campaign violence ahead of the election especially in Lusaka and some selected parts of the country.
Ms Luhanga said if left to escalate, the electoral violence will undermine the credibility of the elections and also stability and peace of the country.
“The Commission has also noted that the perpetrators of violence are mainly the PF and UPND.
The Commission would like to remind the two political parties that the Code of Conduct which their leaders swore oath to applies to this period of campaigns and must be adhered to without exception,” she said.
Ms Luhanga called on political party leaders to control their supporters as violence undermines the credibility of an election.
“The Commission further calls on the Police to swiftly arrest and present for prosecution all those that will be found in breach of the Code of Conduct. We call upon the police to perform their duties in an impartial and professional manner,” Ms Luhanga said.
She further said the Commission will not allow the country to degenerate into lawlessness during campaigns in the name of electoral activities.
“The Commission further calls on the electorate and political party supporters to desist from engaging in violence because it is not worth to die for any political leader. You are further risking your respective political party against applicable sanctions in the law, including disqualification,” she said.
Ms Luhanga has encouraged all political players to be tolerant and promote coexistence as they are some of the key ingredients of a maturing democracy and the conduct of peaceful elections.
Kakoma Kanganja condemns PF and UPND clash in Mandevu
INSPECTOR General of Police Kakoma Kanganja has condemned the behaviour of some suspected Patriotic Front (PF) cadres who wanted to disrupt the United Party for National Development (UPND’s) road show in Mandevu.
Mr Kanganja said the act by PF is criminal and will not be condoned.
He said the police are disturbed to note that political parties have continued with their irresponsible conduct of straying into each other’s camps.
“We have time and again advised political parties to ensure that they conduct themselves peacefully and within the confines of the law during their public activities as well as when other political parties undertake their activities. It is disturbing to note that political party cadres have continued with their irresponsible conduct of straying into activities of other political parties, which has been a source of violence. What transpired today (,yesterday) in Mandevu Compound in Lusaka where suspected Patriotic Front cadres are alleged to have blocked some portions of the road with a view to disrupt the authourised procession of the UPND is criminal and will not be condoned,” he said
And the IG has also condemned the conduct of some UPND cadres who also damaged motor vehicles during the confusion.
He has since directed the Lusaka Province Police Command to ensure that those involved in the confusion and criminal acts during the UPND roadshow in Mandevu are arrested and prosecuted.
“Similarly, the conduct of some UPND cadres who are alleged to have damaged motor vehicles during their roadshow is criminal and prosecutable. I have therefore directed Lusaka Province Police Command to ensure that all those who were involved in the confusion and criminal acts during the UPND roadshow in Mandevu are arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Kanganja has asked political parties to guide the conduct of their cadres.
“I further call on all political parties to ensure that they guide the conduct of their cadres by denouncing violence and avoid any acts that could be provocative in nature considering that we still have enough time remaining before the end of the campaign period,” Mr Kanganja said.