By Nation Reporter
THE LUSAKA High Court has thrown out an election petition against the victory of Mandevu Member of Parliament Jean Kapata citing failure by the petitioners to adhere to court orders issued to direct the procedure of the case.
High Court Justice Petronella Ngulube said the petitioners failed to adhere to the Orders of directions issued by the court in which they were to make all submissions in relation to the matter before court.
She said the defence counsel could not have come to request for an adjournment when both parties were at liberty to apply, starting from 16th September, 2016 to 23rd September, 2016 as deadline to do so.
“The court issued orders for directions in this matter on the 15th September, 2016. It specifically ordered that the petitioner would file his reply if any by the 19th September, 2016.
“The parties were given liberty to apply only up to the 23rd September, 2016. The petitioner did not adhere to the orders for directions. He did not file any documents nor did he file any bundles in this matter,” she said.
Losing United Party for National Development (UPND) Mandevu aspiring candidate Jimmy Jons challenged Ms Kapata’s re-election under the Patriotic Front (PF) accusing the former Tourism Minister of abusing government resources during her campaigns and also alleged violence resulting from supposed intimidation from the PF camp.
But Ms Kapata’s lawyer, Bonaventure Mutale, SC, asked the courts to dismiss the matter before it, citing failure to prosecute within time. Mr Mutale said the request for an adjournment was a sheer waste of time as they merely failed to comply with the limited time provided for hearing elections petitions.
Ms Kapata through her lawyers Bonaventure Mutale SC explained that the petitioner had exhibited lack of procedure by failing to file within the prescribed time allowed by the court which came to a close on Friday, September 23, 2016 when they decided to make an application just yesterday.
“We submit that this motion is out of time and should be accordingly dismissed. The petitioner has not even argued this motion so it should be dismissed.
“Elections’ petitions are ran on a straight jacket, a time frame distinct from ordinary civil proceedings and its important courts adhere to time set out,” Mr Mutale said.
They requested the court to dismiss the petition filed to challenge her re-election due to lack of seriousness by the petitioner after they failed to comply with court orders which prescribed the time frame for the proceedings.