Respected Historian and Political Analyst Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was wrong to have refused to accept nomination papers from Joseph Malanji and Bowman Lusambo as PF candidates for Kwacha and Kabushi Constituency respectively.
Dr Sishuwa noted that the ECZ made a mistake by issuing a mistake on the eve of nomination day that they will reject the nomination papers of the duo even before they filed in.
Dr. Sishuwa was speaking in an interview on the Red Hot Breakfast Show on Hot FM on Monday morning.
Asked to comment on the issue of the two by elections, Dr Sishuwa stated, “There are two separate issues here that we have to deal with, one is on the question of procedure and the other one is on the question of substantive.”
“On the procedure part, the ECZ made a mistake by issuing a statement to say that candidates or have done this or that will have their nominations rejected, if you read Article 52 of the Constitution, the power to reject the nomination of any candidate is vested in the Returning Officer after the candidate has presented his papers to the ECZ on the day of nomination because when the ECZ issued that statement, there was no way of knowing who would be the candidates, so it was wrong for them to actually do that because they ceased to be an impartial body,” he said.
Dr Sishuwa added, “They should have waited for the Returning Officer who had seen the nomination papers for Lusambo and Malanji and then reject them if they need to but that didn’t happen so on the procedure part, I think the ECZ was wrong.”
Dr Sishuwa further stated that the Constitutional Court had earlier in March ruled that the two candidates were eligible to recontest their seats.
“On the substantive part, I think the matter is before court so we are restrained on commenting on this matter but there was a judgement in the Constitutional Court which was issued in think in March this year to the effect that both Malanji and Lusambo or candidates in their positions are eligible to contest unless the Constitutional Court vacates that judgement, the ECZ is bound by that judgement as well. It would be interesting to see what the ECZ or the Constitutional Court does in relation to these cases that have been filed.”