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ECZ, MP petitioned over election

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
LENNY Shonga, a resident of Chipata, has petitioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) and Kasenengwa member of Parliament (MP) Victoria Kalima claiming that Ms Kalima was not eligible to contest the election as she was allegedly barred by law.
According to a parliamentary petition filed in the High Court, Mr Shonga contends that Ms Kalima was disqualified from contesting an election for a period of five years following the nullification of her election by the Supreme Court on grounds of illegal practices.
Mr Shonga contends that Ms Kalima allegedly disregarded the law when she proceeded to re-contest her seat and that ECZ received the nomination papers without critically considering whether she qualified to do so.
He said under the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006, Ms Kalima is allegedly not supposed to contest and be elected MP for a period of five years from the date of being found guilty of corrupt and illegal acts.
Mr Shonga further argues that Ms Kalima’s election was nullified by the Supreme Court after it found that the election was marred by illegal and corrupt practices.
“It is the petitioner’s considered view that as a result of the above grounds, the 1st respondent was not legally and duly elected in accordance with the constitution of Zambia and the Electoral Act no 12 of 2006 as a member of the National Assembly for Kasenengwa constituency,” he said.
Mr Shonga wants the court to declare that Ms Kalima’s election as MP is void and that the acceptance of the nomination papers by the ECZ and the subsequent declaration of Ms Kalima as winner of the by-election were illegal.
He said he could not lodge the petition 30 days after the declaration of the winner because of the continued debate pertaining to the barring of candidates reported guilty of corrupt and illegal practices currently going on in the courts.
Mr Shonga added that he could not access the Supreme Court judgements on time to enable him to research further on the matter and find appropriate laws to support his petition.
He said the petition borders on the governance of the country and the debate currently before the courts on whether candidates whose seats have been nullified on grounds of corrupt and illegal practices can re-contest elections within five years.

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