PF’s Simbula loses Mangango case

The Lusaka High Court yesterday dismissed an application by losing PF candidate Richard Simbula for an interim injunction to restrain the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) from holding the Mangango constituency by-election.

Mr Simbula had also sued MMD candidate Robert Chiseke whom he wanted disqualified from the race on allegations of corruption.

In her ruling Justice A.M Banda-Bobo said that Mr Chiseke could be not prevented from contesting the by-election, stating that the Supreme Court provided clear guidance in relation to appeals that they cannot halt the execution of a judgment unless there is an application to arrest it.

Justice Banda-Bobo said that on the basis of the evidence before the court she deemed that Mr Simbula has not raised a serious legal issue to be determined at trial and that he did not show that the same goes beyond the confines of mere inconvenience.

She said that Mr Chiseke on his own accord did not file his nominations despite being aware that he was not barred from doing so and being aware of the date of nominations

The Justice further said that it was not a proper case in which she could grant relief sought by Mr Simbula of PF. She dismissed the application with no costs.

Particulars of the matter are that on July 9, the petitioner made an application for the court to disqualify Mr Chiseke from the elections scheduled for August 19.

The petitioner argued that despite ECZ being aware and having been served with the courts process in the matter, proceeded to receive nominations from prospective candidates and intends to conduct elections on August 19.

Mr Simbula said that he was unable to file his nominations despite the fact that his chances of winning are very good despite the court declaring him ineligible to contest which in itself disadvantaged him to contest the elections.

Further Mr Simbula who is not taking part in the by election claimed there was a calculated attempt to cause him lose the elections.

He also claimed that he was entitled to contest the elections but the present circumstances are prejudicial and he believed that fairness could only be achieved if the court makes final determination of all issues raised.

Mr Simbula further stated that unless ECZ is restrained, the judgment of the court would be rendered academic in the event that the court finds in his favour as the elections would have been conducted without his participation.

And on July 9, Mr.Soko representing Mr Chiseke submitted that Mr Simbula and ECZ were both served with an application for the enforcement of the judgment of the Supreme Court dated May 19 relating to the matter that court decided on appeal.

Mr Soko submitted that it had always been the practice that whenever there was a matter of this nature, ECZ would postpone the elections on grounds of purely enhancing free and fair elections.

Before the nullification of his seat, Mr Chiseke served as Deputy Minister for Commerce, Trade and Industry.

The Mangango by- election comes after the nullification of the election of MMD’s  Chiseke by the Supreme Court on May 19, on grounds that his election was fraught with electoral malpractices.