The Lusaka High Court has nullified the election of Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Mbala constituency Member of Parliament Gaston Sichilima.

But Mr. Sichilima, who is also Deputy minister for Energy and Water Development, has since indicated that he would appeal against the whole judgment delivered by High Court Judge Naboth Mwanza today.

The nullification of the Mbala seat follows a petition by losing Patriotic Front candidate in the September 2006 parliamentary election, Evans Musenda, who alleged that Mr. Sichilima was elected because he bribed voters during campaign.

In the petition, Mr. Musenda alleged that prior to the election day, Mr. Sichilima bribed the electorate by giving and distributing among other things mealie meal, blankets and second hand clothes to influence them to vote for him, contrary to the electoral Act.

Mr. Musenda wanted the court to determine and declare that the Electoral Commission
of Zambia (ECZ) election officers’ conduct was unreasonable, without precedent, illegal, unfair and a gross violation of the electoral law.

Lusaka High Court judge Naboth Mwanza declared the election null and void due to
alleged exemplary mal-practices.

Judge Mwanza observed in his judgment that there was overwhelming evidence that
bribery did take place and that there were inflammatory statements made against the
petitioner during the campaigns.

He also noted that there was unreasonable conduct by Mr. Sichilima’s election officers, who violated the electoral law to the detriment of Mr. Musenda.

In the notice of appeal filed in the Supreme Court by the Attorney General’s chambers today, Mr. Sichilima said he was dissatisfied by the judgment.

“Take notice that the appellants herein being dissatisfied with the Judgement of Honourable Mr. justice N.M. Mwanza delivered on the 21st day of May 2007 at the
Lusaka High Court intends to appeal against the whole judgment,” read the notice of
appeal.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. a rather impressive showing by the bench !! Nullifying an election that was won by the ruling party is almost unheard of in other parts of the world.Yes, an appeal has been made,but hats off to the bench. The election was in September 2006, the judgement in May 2007. 8 months is rather a long time. Would i be unfair to suggest all election petitions must be resolved within 3 months? In this particular case the ministerial appointment would not have been “wasted”.An appointing authority obviously endeavours to disassociate with any member involved in corrupt practises.

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