High court rules that Mutati was duly-elected
THE Ndola High Court has declared Lunte Constituency MMD Member of Parliament (MP), Felix Mutati, as duly-elected.
Patriotic Front (PF) losing candidate, Emmanuel Chilubanama, had petitioned the election of Mr Mutati on allegations of corruption, bribery and intimidation.
Mr Chilubanama had alleged that Mutati had on September 15, 2011 donated desks to Kabwesha Community School in Lunte Constituency.
Mr Chilubanama had also asked the court to nullify Mr Mutati’s election on grounds that his wife, Grace Chipalo, a medical doctor specialised in eye treatment distributed medicines at James Mutati Village, in Lunte Constituency shortly before the September 20, 2011 general elections.
Mr Chilubanama contended that the distribution of medicines was meant to woo people to vote for Mr Mutati.
He had also alleged that Mr Mutati on September 14, 2011, distributed food to the electorate at Mukupa Kaoma Village and asked them to vote for the MMD.
Mr Chilubanama said the PF cadres were being intimidated by the MMD cadres who were in the habit of disrupting meetings.
When passing judgement, High Court Judge Munalula Lisimba said there was credible evidence before the court that the donation of the desks to Kabwesha Community School was a Government programme under the Constituency Development Fund and that Mr Mutati had no control on how and when the desks were to be donated.
Judge Lisimba said the petitioner did not adduce any credible evidence to the court relating to the flouting of the Electoral Code of Conduct.
“Thus none of the electoral offences have proved to be widespread or to the satisfaction of the court. There is no evidence adduced to the effect that the voters in Lunte Constituency were unable to vote for the candidate of their choice.
“It is, therefore, clear before this court that the election of Felix Mutati was free from illegal practices, hence the petition is dismissed with costs,” Mr Justice Lisimba said.
[Times of Zambia]