Installation of a public pay phone costs UPND a parliamentary seat
The Supreme Court has nullified two more parliamentary seats belonging to the opposition.The Vubwi and Zambezi West Parliamentary seats were nullified on grounds that Members of Parliament for the two seats breached the Electoral Code of Conduct during by-elections.
The Vubwi seat belonged to MMD’s Eustakio Kazonga while the Zambezi West was for United Party for National Development’s (UPND) Charles Kakoma.
Judge Wanki said in his judgement although their illegal practices were not widely spread that both respondents participated in illegal activities that prevented the majority voters from electing their preferred MPs
Judge Muyinda Wanki said in his judgement that both respondents participated in illegal activities that prevented the majority voters from electing their preferred MPs although their illegal practices were not widely spread.
Mr Justice Wanki said Mr.Charles Kakoma’s decision to donate a public pay-phone, given to his constituency by the Ministry of Community Development in June 2011 which he in August 2011 gave to Likungu Basic School in his capacity as MP raised so many questions.
Justice Wanki said this amounted to illegal activities because he purported to be an MP and yet Parliament had already been dissolved. Justice Wank said he should have left the task to any civil servant to deliver the public phone.Instead he donated it in his personal capacity and even signed in the visitor’s book indicating that he had made a donation.
Mr Justice Wanki said the High Court misdirected itself when it held that it could not nullify the election because the diversion of the hammer mills from Mwanse to Chinyingi did not influence the majority voters in the area.
“As already stated, once the appellant proved the illegal accusations under Section 93 (2) of the Act, there is no further burden to prove it. I therefore nullify the Zambezi West elections and order for fresh elections,” he said.
MMD’s Eustakio Kazonga was accused of giving of K20, 000 to each of the headmen that attended his meetings prior to elections.In his Judgement,Judge Muyinda Wanki said “In the circumstances I hereby find merit in the appeal and hold that Dr Kazonga was not validly elected as MP and declare his election nullified. I order that each party will bear their own costs both here and for the court below,” Mr Justice Wanki said.
He said the lower court erred when it found that the respondent had engaged himself in electoral malpractices by giving the said monies to headmen who attended his meetings but failed to nullify the election on that ground which was clear in the Electoral Act.