UPND saddened with Mulobezi parley seat nullification

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The opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) is saddened that the Supreme court yesterday nullified the Mulobezi parliamentary seat which was held by its member Hastings Sililo.

Party Secretary General Winston Chibwe said UPND will however recontest and defend the seat because Mulobezi constituency was its stronghold.

Mr. Chibwe told ZANIS in an interview in Lusaka today that it was unfortunate that the reasons for nullifying the seat were flimsy.

He said the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) and other political parties should know that UPND will retain the Mulobezi parliamentary seat when a by-election is conduced.

“No political party can defeat the UPND in Mulobezi. The area is a stronghold of the UPND. Let us wait and see and they will be shocked,” Mr. Chibwe said.

AND Mr. Chibwe has advised the people of Feira constituency in Luangwa to cast their votes wisely in tomorrow’s parliamentary by-election.

Mr. Chibwe said UPND candidate, Eularia Zulu, was the right person to represent the people of Feira because of her vast experience in working for the public.

He said UPND was confident of scooping the seat without any difficulties.

Yesterday, the Supreme Court nullified the Mulobezi Parliamentary seat which was held by United Party for National Development (UPND) Member of Parliament Hastings Sililo in Western Province.

The grounds for the nullification of the seat are that Mr. Sililo’s election was characterized with corrupt activities.

Supreme Court Judge Elizabeth Muyovwe said in her judgment that Mr. Sililo’s victory was marred with bribery and other forms of electoral malpractices.

Justice Muyovwe said the trial judge misdirected herself when she did not prove that there was a wide spread tendency of giving out gifts and donations in the constituency, before, during and after elections.

She said the lower court erred in law and facts when it found donations of blanket and mattresses took place in Mulobezi prior to the election date.

“The grounds of appeal on the donations of mattresses and blankets in some wards of the constituency succeeds in accordance with section 79 (1), (c) and (d) of the Electoral Act and the seat is accordingly nullified,” Judge Muyovwe said.

But Judge Muyovwe dismissed the allegations against Mr. Sililo in which the petitioner had contended that he was distributing monies as bribes to electorates and in turn asked them to vote for him because the said allegations were not proved.

Mr. Sililo’s election was petitioned by losing Patriotic Front (PF) candidate Albertina Pota Mwanamwalye in the High Court where Judge Anesi Bobo-Banda threw out the petition with costs.

Ms Mwanamwalye then decided to appeal against the High Court decision that threw out her petition with costs.