Supreme Court to determine if Zambezi West and Vubwi MPs are eligible to recontest

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Ballot Box
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THE Supreme Court will determine whether former members of Parliament (MPs) for Zambezi West and Vubwi Charles Kakoma and Eustarckio Kazonga, respectively, are eligible to recontest the forthcoming by-elections after their seats were nullified on grounds of electoral malpractices.

The court was scheduled to determine the fate of the duo following an appeal of motion by the losing candidates.
The losing candidates have asked the court to invoke section 104 of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006, which bars any candidate found guilty of electoral malpractices from standing again within a period of five years.
Dr Kazonga and Mr Kakoma had their elections nullified by the Supreme Court for breaching the Electoral Code of Conduct.
Dr Kazonga’s election was petitioned by losing Patriotic Front (PF) candidate for Vubwi Constituency, Vincent Mwale and the Zambezi West seat by Christabel Ngimu, also from the PF.
Meanwhile, the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has set January 7, 2014 as the date for holding parliamentary by-elections for both constituencies.
The Supreme Court was also asked to give directions as how Section 104 of the Electoral Act is to be applied, especially the fact that in its judgment, the court found the duo guilty of engaging in electoral malpractices.
Mr Mwale and Ms Ngimu also submitted that it was unclear whether Dr Kazonga and Mr Kakoma were eligible to contest any election held in the next five years, or whether the High Court, ECZ, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and/or the National Prosecutions Authorities should take any steps in view of the findings by the court.
The date of hearing would be communicated once the bench was constituted.

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