MMD and UPND vow to field Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo


THE opposition MMD and United Party for National Development (UPND) insist they will go ahead to field their already adopted candidates for next month’s by-elections despite a ban enforced by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) on the eligibility of candidates whose seats have been nullified because of corruption.
The two opposition parties have been enraged by the ECZ’s decision and have accused the Government of engaging in machinations to stop them from taking part in by-elections, with their intended candidates.
The ban automatically disqualifies MMD candidate Dora Siliya from recontesting her Petauke Central seat, Maxwell Mwale who had defected to the UPND, also from recontesting the Malambo seat and Hastings Sililo for the Mulobezi seat.
MMD president Nevers Mumba in an interview in Lusaka yesterday described the decision to bar its candidate as illegal and that it was not consistent with the law.
Similarly, UPND general secretary Winston Chibwe said his party did not agree with the interpretation of the law by the Judiciary.
Mr Chibwe in a separate interview said the action was not in good faith and accused the Government of exerting pressure on the Judiciary to act on the matter.
Mr Chibwe said the UPND was determining its next course of action but that it would not field-in new candidates.
ECZ public relations manager Sylvia Bwalya announced on Saturday that the electoral body would abide by the Judiciary’s interpretation of the law, that candidates were ineligible to re-contest their seats after losing them on corruption grounds.
The opposition candidates that had been adopted have had their seats nullified by the Supreme Court on charges of corruption and electoral wrongdoing.
On Thursday last week, the Judiciary in a statement issued by public relations officer, Terry Musonda, said candidates, whose seats had been nullified by the Supreme Court for corrupt or illegal practices, could not take part in the by-elections arising from such nullifications.
The Judiciary stated that every judgment passed by the Supreme Court was binding on all institutions, including the ECZ and general public.
The statement followed ECZ’s insistence that it could not disqualify such candidates without official notification from the High Court as per requirement of the law.
The Anti-Corruption Commission also voiced its stance, stating that under the law, it was against the Electoral Act to field a candidate whose seat had been nullified for corrupt practices.