The Local Government Elections Tribunal sitting in Kaoma has set September 28, 2016 as the judgement date in a matter in which PF’s Janet Chingumbe has petitioned the election of Bindundu Mutti as Kaoma Town Council chairperson.
Local Government Elections Tribunal chairperson Vincent Siloka set the judgment date after hearing from both the petitioner and the respondent’s witnesses in a petition that lasted two days.
Before setting the judgement date, Tribunal chairperson Siloka advised the petitioner’s counsel Yalenga Nganga and respondent’s counsel Mwangala Zaloumis to present their written submissions today (Saturday) and on Sunday respectively.
Both the petitioner’s and respondent’s counsel complained to the Tribunal over the limited time allocated for the preparation of written submissions and the Tribunal agreed with them but said that they would all have to work within the prescribed timeframe.
Tribunal chairperson Siloka then proposed that they rely on evidence on record but then after a brief consultation, it was resolved that the written submissions by the petitioner and respondent’s counsel be made on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Earlier when hearing stated, the petitioner Ms Chingumbe, 52, said that she lost the August 11, 2016 elections because the polls were not free and fair as they were marred by corruption and violence.
Ms Chingumbe outlined the incidences of corruption which were allegedly perpetrated by the UPND in Mangango, Namafulo ward, Kakonge area and Mushwala ward where gifts that included chitenge materials, money and salt were distributed during the campaign period to entice voters.
On violence, the petitioner, who presented five witnesses, alleged that on August 10, 2016 in Longe ward a PF cadre Kapelu Luyako was beaten by UPND cadres in the presence of then Kaoma central constituency parliamentary candidate Gen. Sitwala Sitwala and the respondent Mr Mutti.
Under cross examination by Mrs Zaloumis, Ms Chingumbe admitted that she also distributed chitenge materials and T-shirts which she used for campaign purposes and agreed that it was not an offence to give out chitenge materials during campaigns.
And Mr Mutti, who availed 10 witnesses in his defence, said that he was surprised that he was being petitioned because as UPND they had peaceful and issue-based campaigns in all the 66 polling stations in the district.
He denied ever bribing anyone as his only task on August 10, 2016 was to buy logistics for the party’s polling agents in Kaoma Central Constituency and on the material day when he is alleged to have been engaged in corrupt practices he was in Kashokoto and Kakonge.
Mr Mutti, 38, also denied being part of the group that attacked PF cadres, adding that he never witnessed any incidences of violence other than when he and his driver where allegedly attacked by PF cadres on the same date.
In cross examination by Mr Nganga, Mr Mutti was taken to task on whether he provided logistics for Mangango constituency since he was standing as council chairperson for the entire district but the respondent insisted that he was only in charge of Kaoma Central Constituency.