LOSING Patriotic Front (PF) Sinazongwe Member of Parliament (MP)
Richwell Siamunene has asked the High Court to declare the election of
United Party for National Development (UPND) Sinazongwe Gift Sialubalo
as null and void.
Siamunene, 44, has told the High Court that the election of Sialubalo
during the August 11, 2016 General Elections could not be deemed to be
free and fair because of alleged widespread violence, intimidation,
bribery, and other electoral malpractices instigated by UPND
Appearing before High Court Judge Matthews Zulu in Livingstone
yesterday, Siamunene said the election of Sialubalo was very hostile
Siamunene, who is the Petitioner and first witness, is being
represented by Bonaventure Mutale of Ellis and Company as well as
Friday Besa of Besa Legal Practitioners while Sialubalo (Respondent)
is being represented by Cheelo Mwiinga of MAK Partners.
The former Defence Minister got 6, 171 votes while Sialubalo got more
than 34, 000 votes during the General Elections.
Siamunene said UPND supporters were campaigning in nine polling
stations that he visited on the actual voting day out of the total 14
polling stations for Sinazongwe Constituency.
“The widespread violence, intimidation, bribery, and other electoral
malpractices prevented me from getting the notes that I needed.
“My supporters were threatened, insulted and even chased from some
polling stations. There was undue influence on the electorates,” he
Siamunene said PF supporters were also intimidated and attacked on the
nomination day where UPND supporters were heard saying “Amubaume” in Tonga or “beat them” in English in reference to his group.
He said one incident where his supporters were attacked on the voting
day was captured on camera by Zambia News and Information Services
(ZANIS) and it was aired on Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation
During cross examination by the Petitioner’s Lawyer Mwiinga, Siamunene
said some people who allegedly attacked his group were not reported to
police because of longer distance in rural areas.
Siamunene also said he did not personally witness some of the violent
practices as well as intimidation and electoral malpractices by UPND
supporters saying he relied on information he received from his party
“I was merely told of most incidences and I verified those reports.
Some of the people who actually witnessed are already witnesses in
this case,” Mr Siamunene said.
Siamunene also agreed that Sinazongwe Constituency has always been
under UPND MP from the time the opposition party was established.
He, however said he could not accept the results of the 2016 elections
in the constituency because of electoral malpractices and other wrong
vices even if he only got a single vote.
Trial continues in the as more witnesses are expected to testify.