Chishimba Kambwili broke into tears after the High Court ruled that he was the duly elected Member of Parliament for Roan Constituency. Ndola High Court Judge Charles Chanda on Friday afternoon upheld the election of Mr. Kambwili as Roan Member of Parliament. Delivering the ruling in a petition in which UPND candidate Andrew Kayekese was asking the court to nullify and declare the seat vacate, the court dismissed the petition on grounds that the petitioner failed to adduce evidence.
Justice Chanda cited wide differences in evidence brought before court, stating that the petitioner failed to prove his case. Justice Chanda further ruled the petition a “fruitless labour” as it was the responsibility of the petitioner to present to court necessary documents to assist in proving the case against the respondent.
The Court ruled that there was not enough evidence for the petitioner to have relied on the ruling by the Constitutional Court over the illegal stay of cabinet ministers in office but it was expected that he produced evidence as challenged. Justice Chanda also indicated that the petitioner failed to prove that Mr. Kambwili used transport provided by Government to enable him to campaign, as the helicopters used by the respondent were hired from South Africa using party resources and not Government funds. The judge further ruled that it was not possible that the parliamentary election was fraudulent as evidence was only presented from two areas, Mangango and St. Anthony. “Where the pleading are at variance with the evidence adduced, it is difficult in the circumstance of the case for one to say the petitioner proved the case,” said Justice Chanda.
“On this ground, I dismiss the petition and determine that Chishimba Kambwili was duly elected as Member of Parliament for Roan constituency and further order that each bears their own costs.” Meanwhile, Mr. Kambwili cried aloud at the verdict. “It is extremely painful to be accused of corrupt practices in an election,” he cried.
The former minister further thanked the petitioner, stating that it was his legal right to exercise and courts were there to decide the rightful winner in an event of disputes. He said in his political career, he has endeavoured to be an honest person in all his dealings. “I am as white as Dr. Kaunda’s handkerchief,” he told the court as tears rolled down his face. “So people of Roan spoke and Mr. Kayekese thought it was not reasonable but I thank him because when one is not satisfied with the election outcome, the best thing to do is seek the court’s determination.”