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Alba Iulia
Friday, June 18, 2021

UPND suffers setback as Ndola High Court declares ECZ ban of Political Rallies as Legal

Feature Politics UPND suffers setback as Ndola High Court declares ECZ ban of Political...

The Ndola High Court has declared that the Electoral Commission of Zambia(ECZ)’s ban on campaign rallies is legal and that acted within its constitutional mandate.

This is in a case where United Party for National Development (UPND) Secretary-general Batuke Imenda had applied for leave to seek the relief of the court to declare the decision by the ECZ to ban political party rallies ahead of the August 12th General elections illegal as well as compelling the commission to prescribe the amount of airtime given to all participating political parties and independents on public Electronic and Print Media.

Making her ruling yesterday, High Court judge Mary Mulanda said that article 229 of the Republican Constitution amendment number 2 of 2016 provides, under sub-article 2(e), that ECZ shall regulate the conduct of voters and candidates, adding that on paragraph 3(1)(f) of the Electoral Code of conduct which confers a duty on the ECZ to ensure that a campaign meeting or rally which is duly organized by a registered a political party is not disrupted or arbitrary prohibited.

Judge Mulanda said the decision by the commission to ban the rallies in view of the surge in Covid 19 cases in the country was not arbitrary as the country has been on Alert State since March 2020 describing the decision as having been made to safeguard the lives of people and was in the best interest of the country and its people.

Judge Mulanda added that campaigns have been allowed to go ahead with parties advised to use appropriate campaign strategies such as mobile public address system, distribution of flyers, and other political party materials with minimal or no contact with the crowds.

However, the Court has granted Mr. Imenda leave to apply for judicial review challenging the failure by the Electoral Commission of Zambia to prescribe the amount of airtime allocated to participating political parties on public television and radio media platforms.

Judge Mulanda said that the prescription of airtime to all participating political parties is highly necessary to enable parties including independents to have equal campaign opportunities in the run upto to the August General elections.

30 COMMENTS

  1. The Judicial system in Zambia is a shame and a disgrace. It has turned into a PF Wing. All these Judges should be retired after August 12.

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  2. @William Banda, the Court has given you the Constitutional provisions which gives the ECZ powers to regulate political campaigns, yet you still want to blame the Judge for that?

    I also feel that Politicians and their Parties are simply too quick to head to Court even for straight forward legal matters they can simply seek legal advice from their own campaign/party Attoneys. Or is it that these political Parties are so broke that they can’t afford good, experienced, knowledgeable and credible campaign/election Lawyers to advise them?

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  3. Zambian judiciary are clearly as corrupt as the PF government and its incompetent leader. In something like four years the country has gone from a reputable state to a true banana republic. Thanks to the greedy PF and the worst president the country has ever had!

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  4. It is Sad and Shameful to see the extent to which the Zambian Judiciary System has been Corrupted and Adulterated by Lungu & PF.This ruling would have been justified if the campaign ban was being observed by all parties.
    We can see it clearly does not apply to Lungu & PF ,because the are still criss crossing the country on campaigns. There’s got to be a Level Playing Field..Where’s the Justice in that ????

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  5. It’s worrying when political parties and its supporters attack the country’s judiciary. It is a recipe for anarchy as certain individuals within the judiciary would be targets if upnd assumed power. Remember how the M’membe/Nchito cartel attacked and harassed judges during the Mwanawasa years?? Upnd would bring a very toxic environment of vengeance and violence. Vote wisely people.

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  6. UPND just intensify and continue with road shows. And don’t make the mistake that PF made in 2006 of concentrating on Lusaka and Copperbelt. Go out there to the Northern part of the country. Others have already campaigned. Now they are just ‘revising’ before the final ‘exams’ on August 12

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  7. UNPD, this is wasting tax payer’s money. We have more than a month to go, be responsible regarding CONVD-19. Insensitivity is not attracting votes. Convid-19 can kill. Follow health guidelines. ECZ is following health guidelines. UNPD we don’t want to leave you behind, we value your health.

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  8. @Garlic. when pf , Lungu ,Lusambo were breaking the COVID guidelines, did’nt the ECZ or health authorities aware that COVID 19 can kill? The markets are overcowded, churches, bars are all running as if there is no COVID 19 infections
    By the way Malawi , USA and other countries held elections in the midst of COVID infections?
    You and know what it means means to follow regulations in Botswana.

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  9. These guys think covid is a joke the health care system is streached to the limit and numbers are increasing rapidly. I was at the hospital yesterday and the information l got is that the situation is desperate. Please lets not play politics with the lives of the people.

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  10. It sends a poor message that UPND is determined to hold large rallies (aka super-spreader events). If they want to present themselves as capable leaders able to respond to the unexpected challenges Zambia is sure to face, better is to make a plan to cope with the reality of COVID that keeps their own supporters and nation at large safe. Have some imagination.

    Demanding for rallies is like demanding for illness – leading the nation over a cliff. Look at what happened in India after their political campaigns for God’s sake!

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  11. Yes, it could be a setback but the truth Zambians have already made their decision and if Umwine wachisushi continues to do rallies, then we also do the same and we will call them as road shows in fact it is even good to have them done that way because it shows how people are excited to have HH as president. HH is the eye and hope for good leadership and governance.

  12. Every time the opposition fall out of line, they accuse PF. They go to court preconceived. Why do they even sue if they are prejudiced? The way UPND insults judges, it’s like they will never go to court for redress again.
    Meanwhile time is ticking and running fast and they are panicking.

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  13. This is a clear indication that politicians need to grow up. The only consensus that’s unanimously reached between the ruling Party and the opposition is when they’re increasing their perks in Parliament. We have a very important nation event on our calendar, that is elections, but we also have a threat to human life through COVID-19. It won’t serve anybody to pull in different directions. While those in Govt want to restrain others from campaigning, their own members are flouting the same rules with impunity. So where is the leadership? What happened to the adage of “Lead by example”? Those in Govt must lead the way then we’ll all follow, otherwise this is a mockery of leadership and where there’s no leadership people perish

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  14. Upnd are f00Is. They must have the dumbest lawyers in southern Africa because even my daughter in primary school would have told you that fighting such a case is waste of time.

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  15. I totally disagree with HH when he says PF supporters should not be afraid of the opposition taking over.
    Edgar Lungu has planted PF cadres in the judiciary and other key institutions.
    A huge clean up of the judiciary is needed after PF are kicked out of power.

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  16. We know UPND is a vengeful party, going by their comments. But one just wonders if having vengeful intentions and expressing these does help endear you to voters. UPND have a lot to learn. They need a more emphatic electoral loss to stop taking Zambians for granted. They think they can force themselves into power going by the way their leaders and supporters are talking down to us.

  17. Batuke Imenda, had in fact, asked for relief to go on mass murder mission. If he can’t realise the gravity of the problem, then he is not fit to be a politician and UPND is not fit to be a party to lead the country.

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  18. If you are really popular among voters, and they are kind of dying to see you in State House, they would go to any extent and vote you. No matter you campaign or not. Then why this desperation?

  19. The same judiciary has given many judgments against PF and President Edgar Lungu. Then it becomes the most efficient and impartial in the world. But when the judgment goes against UPND, you start crying. Do you think people don’t see that you are a UPND surrogate?

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  20. I am waiting for HH and UPND to start chest thumping in the name of suppression of freedom of movement and usual drama. But it is too late now. They have been exposed completely.

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  21. The petition is glaring evidence that UPND has seen the defeat and want to create excuses to blame it on. Good decision Hon Judge! Obliged!

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  22. Hope, UPND follows the order now, if they really honour the courts. President Lungu has taken the decision to ban political rallies just to protect people from third wave of Covid19.

  23. Now, despite this order, if HH and UPND continue their campaign rallies, then we know who cares for us and whom should we vote.

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  24. Why does he want to seek directions for ECZ to prescribe airtime and space for political parties in media? Let the media houses decided it. As if UPND controlled media gives fair time to PF!

  25. Am sure UpNd can now hire kadansa the lawyer with an accent to petition the concot once again so they can help him settle legal costs for those lecture notes he took to court as a petition in the time gone by….

  26. We have set up institutions of governance like the courts & we should learn to respect their decisions. When u go to court, expect either to win or lose. It is of-course painful if its the latter but we should maintain our maturity & not call judges corrupt, party carders, compromised, not learned enough etc. We conveniently forget that these are the same judges that preside over cases that we sometimes win! Just like in football, its not logical to always blame either the referee, the uneven pitch, too noisy fans etc. every time you lose. Sometime we should be magnanimous and admit that maybe we were not good enough on the day & were beaten by a better opponents

  27. Ba UPND, you are not ready to rule. Surely the safety of Zambians should come before your ambition to get to Plot 1. Now you want the rallies, the so called super spreaders to resume. I have lost any respect I had for you. You are too selfish and lack any leadership qualities.

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