United Party for National Development (UPND) Lusaka Central parliamentary candidate in the 2016 general elections Charlotte Scott says the process of hearing the appeal case brought by PF’s Margaret Mwanakatwe is taking too long.
On 24th November, the Lusaka High Court ruled that Mrs Mwanakatwe’s election victory was fraudulent after Dr Scott petitioned the results.
Mrs Mwanakatwe however rushed to the Constitutional Court and appealed the verdict and 22nd February was set as the date for the Con Court to hear Mrs Mwanakatwe’s appeal.
But shortly before that, it was announced that the ConCourt was not going to hear any cases at all for month of February without stating any reasons.
The new dates have not been announced yet and Dr Scott is now feeling the frustration.
“I know it’s complicated and slow. Meantime, I am confident that my case was very strong, and that in the end we will pull through. Without a fair election process, Zambia is not going to enjoy the fruits of democracy and free speech,” she said.
She added, “People have been asking about the status of the petition for the parliamentary election in Lusaka Central. This is my understanding, although of course everyone knows I am not a lawyer.”
“On 24th November, the High Court ruled in my favour, and upheld my petition. The grounds that were upheld included corrupt acts, violence, misuse of Government resources, discrimination, and the fact that the police prevented me from campaigning freely.”
She added, “My opponent immediately announced that she would appeal, and applied for a stay of execution – that is, a ruling to say that she could stay in the seat while the appeal was heard.”
“The High Court disagreed, saying she should not be in Parliament. She took that issue to the Constitutional Court, where a single judge reversed the decision on this issue. We have appealed to the full ConCourt bench, arguing that the seat should be vacated until the case is resolved.”