ECZ postponds filing of nominations for Petauke Central, Mulobezi and Malambo

Electoral Commission of Zambia
Electoral Commission of Zambia
Electoral Commission of Zambia

THE Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has postponed the filing of nomination papers for the Petauke Central, Mulobezi and Malambo constituency by-elections until further notice.
But nominations in Mkaika constituency in Katete proceeded yesterday as scheduled.
The postponement comes on the back of the Judiciary finally issuing an official position on the status of aspiring candidates whose election was previously nullified by the High Court as a result of evidence of corruption.
This is according to a press statement issued by ECZ acting public relations manager Sylvia Bwalya in Lusaka yesterday.
On Thursday night, the Judiciary issued a statement saying the decision of the Supreme Court on any reported nullification must take precedence over any procedure and immediately bar those whose polls were nullified due to evidence of corruption.
In Malambo, Maxwell Mwale was recontesting the election after the courts nullified his seat due to graft while Petauke was being eyed by former law-maker Dora Siliya, who lost the seat on similar grounds, and the same applies to the Mulobezi seat.
The Judiciary stated that the ECZ and other relevant bodies do “not necessarily have to wait for any report from the Registrar of the High Court” to act on corruption after a Supreme Court pronouncement which, thereafter, takes precedence over any other procedure.
“The postponement is in accordance with Section 26(2) (a) of the Electoral Act no.12 of 2006,” Ms Bwalya said.
The Act provides: “The commission may amend the election timetable by notice in the Gazette if it considers it necessary for a free and fair election.”
Ms Bwalya says up to now, the commission required official notification from the Judiciary on the eligibility of some individuals to contest the three seats.
She assured members of the public that the polls in all the four constituencies will be conducted on September 5, 2013, in accordance with the election timetable prescribed by the commission.
From Mulobezi, STEVEN MVULA reports that tempers flared yesterday at the nomination centre when district election officer Mwansanika Kabaso announced the postponement of the filing of nominations.
Officials and supporters from political parties angrily demanded that the filing of nominations goes ahead.
Candidates from five political parties were expected to file nomination papers.
The parties are Alliance for Democracy and Development, Green Party, UPND, UNIP and the PF.
Supporters banged tables and doors as they demanded progress in filing nomination papers.
“You cannot bring us so far and tell us that nominations have been postponed. We will file whether you like it or not,” one woman draped in UNPD regalia screamed.
It took UPND legislators Request Muntanga and Cornelius Mweetwa to calm the angry and uncompromising supporters down.
Mr Mweetwa demanded official documentation from the ECZ.
ADD candidate Vivian Mubukwanu, Green Party’s  Evans Mwanza, PF’s Patricia Mulasikwanda-Nambeye and the UPND’s Hastings Sililo were expected to file their nomination papers.
PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba apologised to scores of PF supporters who turned up to witness the filing of nominations.
Mr Kabimba said everyone had been inconvenienced by the postponement.
He urged the people of Mulobezi to continue rallying behind Government because Mr Sata is a forgiving leader.
Mr Kabimba said the PF is a united party which is like one big family.