THE Lusaka High Court has nullified the parliamentary election of Minister of Commerce, Trade and Industry, Margaret Mwanakatwe as PF’s Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central Constituency in Lusaka Province.
This is in a matter in which losing UPND Lusaka Central Parliamentary Candidate Charlotte Scott had petitioned the election of Mrs Mwanakatwe and the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Lusaka High Court Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa ruled this morning that Margaret Mwanakatwe was not validly elected as Member of Parliament for the Lusaka Central Constituency on PF ticket.
The Lusaka High Court nullified the election victory of PF’s Margaret Mwanakatwe due to widespread violence and racist remarks.
Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa said the racial remarks against UPND candidate Charlotte Scott were used for political reasons.
“In no way does it mean first respondent is a racist but I believe remarks were used for political reasons. On racial remarks it is clear that the target of remarks was the petitioner and has been proved,” Judge Siavwapa said in his judgement.
He said on allegations that Zambia Police breached the Electoral Process Act, Judge Siavwapa said allegation stands proved even though no evidence of reports made to police but that he will accept the Petitioner’s credibility on actions of police.
He however dismissed allegation of campaigning on polling day at Lusaka City Council Library as the culprits were not identified and has not been proved.
“There is no way those supporters could have been UPND and must have been PF which the first respondent admitted to when she said they must have been PF but not directed by me in her cross examination,” the judgement read.
Justice Siavwapa said the allegation of violence by Mrs Mwanakatwe’s supporters in town center.
“On boreholes, given the facts that the dates boreholes were sunk was within the campaign period and she took advantage of this to endear herself to voters. Even if the letter requesting for boreholes was done two months before campaign period, it did not change the fact that she had them sunk during campaign period. Allegation proved.”
“On cash donation to church. There is no dispute on this. And the video evidence shows she gave money. The only issues is when it was done. Donation was made as a way of inducing voters as was made two days before campaign period.”
Judge Siavwapa said on use of government resources, Mrs Mwanakatwe admitted that she used the government pool vehicle with a flag and she introduced herself as Minister on Race to Manda Hill Program which was a campaign activity meaning she had greater leverage and thus allegation proved.
“On buying of Chitenges the fact that she bought Chitenges in full view of the congregants it was meant to induce and not for purposes of philanthropy. The allegation was proved.
“In conclusion the 1st respondent was not validly elected. I declare election void,” the judgement read.