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ConCourt upholds Peter Daka election

CAROLINE KALOMBE, Lusaka
THE Constitutional Court has upheld the election of Patriotic Front Msanzala Member of Parliament Peter Daka after the petition challenging his election was dismissed on grounds that it was taken to court under a repealed law.
This is in a case in which losing Msanzala independent candidate Margaret Zulu was challenging the election of Mr Daka on grounds of procedural technicality.
Ms Zulu petitioned the election of Mr Daka, the former Minister of Agriculture in the MMD administration. She also petitioned the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Delivering judgment in Lusaka yesterday, Constitutional Court judge Mungeni Mulenga, sitting with judges Enoch Mulembe and Margaret Munalula, dismissed the appeal.
The court found that the lower court was on firm ground to dismiss the petition as it was taken under a repealed law.
High Court judge Charles Chanda found that an election petition, being a creature of statute, must be in conformity with the new electoral Act and not to be perfected by an amendment thereafter.
Mr Justice Chanda noted that the amendment of the petition was made in the erroneous belief that the initial petition was merely irregular and not void.
In their judgment yesterday, the Constitutional Court also noted that the petition was initiated under the repealed Electoral Act and, therefore, could not be amended at appeal.
Ms Zulu wanted the court to nullify the election of Mr Daka alleging that he engaged in illegal and corrupt practices whereby the majority of voters in the constituency were prevented from electing their preferred candidate.

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