Solwezi, Kasenengwa parliamentary seats case halted

Zambia Supreme Court

THE Supreme Court has temporarily stopped hearing the case of  former MPs for Solwezi, Kasenengwa and Mkushi South namely Lucky Mulusa, Victoria Kalima and Sidney Chisenga respectively, seeking to re-contest their seats until a decision has been made in a similar case.
Supreme Court judge Marvin Mwanamwambwa, sitting with judges Munyinda Wanki, Elizabeth Muyovwe, Hilda Chibomba, Gregory Phiri, Mutakela Lisimba and Rhoda Kaoma, said the court could temporarily stop the hearing in a case which raised issues similar to another which was already being heard.
In arriving at the ruling, the Supreme Court said it used its inherent and statutory powers and discretion to stop the hearing in this case.
The ruling was made in a case where Patriotic Front (PF) members Friday Malwa, Saul Zulu and Davies Chisopa have asked the court to bar Mr Mulusa, Ms Victoria Kalima and Mr Sydney Chisanga from re-contesting the seats.
Their election was nullified by the High Court on grounds of electoral malpractices.
“On December 17 last year, we heard motions brought under the same article and section and very similar in every aspect to these three motions. judgments in those two motions are yet to be delivered,” Justice Mwanamwambwa said.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing the case of the Attorney General, who has appealed against a High Court ruling to allow former Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi legislators, Dora Siliya, Maxwell Mwale and Hastings Sililo, respectively, to re-contest the seats.
The appeal to the Supreme Court came after the High Court allowed the three former MPs to re-contest the seats against the decision of the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to bar them.
In his ruling, Justice Mwanamwambwa said the proceedings in the case of Mr Mulusa, Ms Kalima and Mr Chisanga have been halted to determine the appeal in the case of Ms Siliya, Mr Mwale and Mr Sililo.
He said the Supreme Court is yet to deliver judgment in Ms Siliya and the two others and that its determination will set a precedent for other cases which are similar and are citing the same law.
“A stay is the appropriate remedy when several actions are not so similar that consolidation would be appropriate, yet so closely related that it would be unconscionable to expect the defendants to pay unnecessary legal costs,” Justice Mwanamwambwa said.
He said the cases of all the six former MPs have raised questions of law and fact under Article 72 (1) (A) of the constitution and Section 93 (1) of the Electoral Act.
He said the cases arose from election petitions and seeks to bar all the six former MPs from re-contesting by-elections in their constituencies.