3 MMD parley candidates lose nominations

THE Felix Mutati-led MMD has lost a petition against the nomination of three parliamentary candidates because the matter was wrongly filed before the Constitutional Court.

Constitution Court Justice Mugeli Mulenga said the matter was wrongly before the Constitution Court, despite the petitioner having been clearly and timely advised to take the case before the High Court.

This was in a matter in which Raphael Nakachinda in his capacity as MDD national secretary petitioned the adoption and nomination of Elizabeth Chitika as a parliamentary candidate for Kawambwa Constituency under the MMD in the forthcoming August 11, 2016 general elections.

Ms Justice Mulenga said Mr Nakachinda had the time and opportunity to file the matter before the High Court, which chance he had lost out on procedural technicalities.

“I note in this case that the petitioner was not ignorant of the appropriate forum as acknowledged in the affidavit of verification and exhibited letter from the Electoral Commission of Zambia clearly and timely advised him to petition the High Court within seven days after the close of nominations.

“The petitioner thus has himself to blame. In light of these facts, the provisions of Article 118 (2) of the Constitution on not having undue regard to procedural technicalities cannot assist the petitioner in his willful conduct,” Ms Justice Mulenga said.

Mr Nakachinda had earlier requested if the matter could be transferred to the High Court, but Ms Justice Mulenga argued that he was advised and so was fully aware of the consequences of his action.

He had also applied for the consolidation of two other matters of similar nature in which two other candidates also filed in nominations under the defunct Nevers Mumba-led MMD.

“He (Nakachinda) urged the court to consider article 118(2) (e) that justice shall be administered without undue regard to technicalities and that if the matter is dismissed, they cannot go to the High Court as they would be time bound,” she said.

The MMD national secretary complained to ECZ and later sought the intervention of the court claiming that Ms Chitika and two others had filed their nominations fraudulently and sought that the Constitutional Court should strike off the nominations as invalid.