KWACHA CONSTITUENCY Member of Parliament Hon Joseph Malanji says the nullification of his seat is a temporal setback as he has instructed his legal team to appeal the High Court ruling.
Hon Malanji says he possesses the grade 12 Certificate as there is no way he would have successfully filed in nominations and contested the Parliamentary seat if he did not have it.
He said in an interview yesterday that the Court was categorical that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was in conformity with the electoral process.
“It’s unfortunate that we have to come to a level where we are right now. The Court has errored because it was very categorical that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was in conformity with the electoral process,” he said.
“And when we were in Court we had already passed the stage of eligibility. 14 days from filling in of nomination is the period allocated to address the issue of eligibility so how does it arise at this stage.”
Hon Malanji, alias Bonanza, said it was within the Court’s discretion to subpoena the Examination Council of Zambia and or the Electoral Commission of Zambia for validation.
“Am just coming from the Examination Council of Zambia to make sure that the documents availed to the Court are fresh as opposed to the ones I certified prior to the elections” he said.
“It is very unfortunate that we have to go through this part because the matter in Court was not about eligibility. It was about the alleged violence during the elections and not about eligibility.”
He charged that the question of the grade 12 Certificate only arose on the last day when winding up proceedings and he did not have a chance to get back to Lusaka to get his qualifications.
Yesterday Mr Malanji lost his Kwacha seat following the nullification of his election by Lusaka High Court Judge, Kazimbe Chenda observed that Mr. Malanji did not qualify to contest the Kwacha seat because he does not have a grade 12 Certificate as a minimum qualification.
Losing UPND candidate Charles Mulenga had petitioned against Mr. Malanji citing three grounds of electoral malpractice. Mr. Mulenga further contended that Mr. Malanji has no minimum academic qualifications to stand as a member of parliament as required by the law.
Delivering the ruling Judge Chenda dismissed Mr. Mulenga’s two grounds relating to malpractice on account of lack of merit.
Judge Chenda has however upheld Mr. Mulenga’s third ground that Mr. Malanji has no minimum qualification to contest parliamentary elections pursuant to article 70 sub-article one clause “D” of the constitution.
In another case, Judge Chenda has upheld the election of Tasila Lungu Mwansa as Chawama Member of Parliament. Judge Chenda ruled that Ms Mwansa was duly elected.
Ms. Mwansa was petitioned by UPND Chawama losing candidate Potipher Tembo. Other seats whose elections have been upheld are Matero and Mandevu.