Opposition parties will explore all legal options including judicial review to ensure that their candidates who have been barred by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) from contesting their seats file their nomination papers tomorrow.
And MMD president Nevers Mumba says that the continued presence of Justice Lombe Chibesakunda as acting Chief Justice has confirmed fears that the PF government and President Michael Sata were using the Supreme Court as a slaughter house to kill opposition parties and legal governance institutions in the country.
Speaking in an interview with the Daily Nation, Dr Mumba said ECZ was coerced by the executive to bar Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo from contesting their seats without following laid down legal system.
“Our position on this matter is that what the PF has done to the judiciary is immoral, reckless and irresponsible and if we do not stop the PF, they will turn the country into a ngwangwazi state” he said.
The ECZ on Saturday stated that it will not accept nominations from candidates whose seats have been nullified but Dr Mumba said nullifying the seats was one process while barring the candidates was a separate issue which demanded the commencement of a legal system.
“The barring of candidates seeks to institute criminal proceedings with the courts giving information on the candidates but no such information from the courts as to why our candidates should not stand has been provided” he said.
Dr Mumba maintained that the due process of the law according to section 104 (6) and (7) of the electoral Act of 2006 was not followed and wondered where the ECZ was basing its stance on barring the candidates.
“The law has been violated as the barring of the candidates has not been done within the confines of the law adding that because the candidates have not appeared before the courts and no court reports has been delivered to either the ECZ or the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) as demanded by law”
Dr Mumba said the damage being caused to the judiciary by the PF who are manipulating the governance institutions like the ECZ would not be repaired adding that coercing the Commission was ill timed, ill intended and aimed at frustrating Zambians who are now angry with the PF government and the manner they were destroying the institutions.
“It is not just the three candidates who are being barred from contesting their seats, It is the liberties of all Zambians that are being trampled upon and that is why we are saying that Zambians should rise up and stop the PF from destroying the gains and freedoms of our independence” Dr Mumba said.
Following the interpretation of the judiciary on the eligibility of the candidates whose seats were nullified because of alleged corruption, ECZ acting public relations manager Sylvia Bwalya on Saturday said the ECZ would abide by the interpretation and bar the candidates from filing their nomination papers.