Election petitions dismissed for lack of evidence

 

Mulenga Sata failed lamentablyto prove his allegations in the petition to nullify Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubindas election.

Lusaka High Court Justice Betty Mungomba yesterday declared Mr Lubinda as duly elected, ruling that there was no convincing evidence of Mr Sata’s allegations of electoral malpractices and irregularities against the MP.

Mr Sata had petitioned the declaration of Mr Lubinda as Kabwata MP owing to alleged electoral malpractices and corruption as well as intimidation of voters as a result of violence.

Justice Mung’omba said the law was clear that allegations of corruption must be proved to have affected the voting pattern, must be proven to have been widespread, and the court must be satisfied about the scale of effect.

“It must be shown that majority of voters were or may have been prevented from voting as a result.

“One voter cannot affect the votes from the whole constituency,” the judge said, explaining that the burden of proof lies in the petitioner to ensure it was beyond reasonable doubt, that “it must have standards set in high degree of proof of evidence”.

She said the fact that Mr Sata did not see Mr Lubinda or any of his agents take part in any of the alleged acts of malpractice means that there was no proof of evidence.

Justice Mung’omba also cleared allegations of impropriety against the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) as the commission quickly attended to all queries raised including the provision of Form Gen 12 which was missing among documents used on recording of results at one of the polling stations.

“Having carefully analysed the evidence before me, I have come to the conclusion that the petitioner lamentably failed to prove his case. I, therefore, declare that Given Lubinda was the duly elected Member of Parliament for Kabwata,” Judge Mun’gomba ruled.

In related news, Mwembeshi Constituency Independent Member of Parliament Machila Njamba had his victory upheld by Lusaka High Court Justice Sharon Newa yesterday, while Kundoti Mulonga has been declared duly elected MP for Luena constituency by High Court Justice Getrude Chawatama.

In both cases, the justices ruled that allegations of bribery and corruption had not been satisfactorily proven in court.

Meanwhile, Justice Pixie Yangailo dismissed the Mongu Central Constituency petition charging that according to the findings, both parties were involved in alleged malpractices although they both enjoyed fair share in the campaigns.

Justice Yangailo ruled that there was no tangible evidence from the petitioner to prove irregularities that would earn a nullification.