Court dismisses Mangango poll application

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High Court ; Lusaka

THE Lusaka High Court has dismissed an application by former MMD Mangango member of Parliament Robert Chiseke to restrain the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) from holding the parliamentary by-election slated for August 19.

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High Court judge Anessie Banda-Bobo said in a ruling delivered on July 30 this year that Mr Chiseke’s application did not raise issues to be determined during trial.
This is in a case in which Mr Chiseke applied for an order of interim injunction to restrain the ECZ from holding elections before the determination of the matter.
“On the basis of the evidence before me, I deem that the applicant has not raised a serious legal issue to be determined at trial. The applicant has also not shown that the same does not go beyond the confines of mere inconvenience.
“In addition, I am of the considered view that the balance of convenience tilts in favour of the petitioner [Richard Simbula], a Patriotic Front member, who lost the election in Mangango, and ECZ. The application is dismissed but I make no order as to costs,” Mrs Justice Banda-Bobo said.
She said Mr Chiseke’s application is not a proper case in which to grant him the relief sought but granted him leave to appeal.
Judge Banda-Bobo said court process did not stop Mr Chiseke from filing his nominations papers because he was aware of the elections.
“I am cognisant of the fact that refusal to sustain the injunction sought would entail that Mr Chiseke would not contest the Mangango by-election but if that be the case, Mr Chiseke has himself to thank,” she said.
Mrs Justice Banda-Bobo said Mr Chiseke’s application has failed to show that there is a serious dispute between the parties with respect to the elections which he seeks to stop from going ahead.
She said Mr Chiseke cannot claim that there is a clear right of relief because of his own volition or due to ill advice decided not to file his nominations.
Meanwhile, the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has acquitted United Party for National Development (UPND) cadres who were arrested and charged in 2012 for idling and disorderly conduct.
Magistrate Lameck Ng’ambi acquitted Aaron Sililo, Joseph Mazonda, Lemmy Mukoba, Patrick Ntalasha and Newton Chisuntu after finding them not guilty of idling and disorderly conduct.
The cadres jointly and while acting together with other known persons allegedly conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by blocking public roads at the junction of Lagos Road and Addis Ababa Drive.
“I find that the police wanted to frustrate youths who wanted to demonstrate and that being the case, I find that there is no offence committed and acquit the accused persons,” Mr Ng’ambi said.
He said in a judgement yesterday that an independent witness, Bruce Mwale, a reporter from Muvi TV, testified that no cadre was urinating or sleeping on the road contrary to evidence adduced by State witnesses.
Mr Ng’ambi said Mr Mwale’s evidence was supported by a video clip which also showed that police officers found at the scene started beating the cadres when Lusaka Province commissioner Charity Katanga arrived.
It was alleged that Pumulo, Mazonda, Mukoba, Ntalasha and Chisuntu jointly and while acting together with other known persons conducted themselves in a manner likely to cause breach of the peace by blocking public roads at the junction of Lagos Road and Addis Ababa Drive.

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