Constitutional Court overturns High Court decision to nullify the election of Margaret Mwanakatwe

The Constitutional Court has ruled that Margaret Mwanakatwe was duly elected Lusaka Central constituency Member of parliament. Justice Annie Sitali has overturned the High Court’s decision to nullify the election of Mrs. Mwanakatwe

Delivering Judgement today, Judge Annie Sitali said most of the allegations leveled against Mrs. Mwanakatwe by UPND losing candidate Charlotte Scott lacked merit to warrant the nullification of the seat.

Speaking when she delivered the judgement Justice Sitali said it was wrong for the trial judge to nullify the election on account that Mrs. Mwanakatwe sunk boreholes for the people of Lusaka Central without any evidence.

This is in a matter were Mrs Mwanakatwe challenged the High Court’s decision to nullify her seat in favour of UPND Lusaka central constituency losing candidate Charlotte Scott.

Justice Sitali said that the boreholes in question were sunk by the Muslim society at the request of health officials following the outbreak of cholera in the country.

Justice Sitali further observed that Judge Mwiinde Siavyapa was wrong to nullify the election on account of the donation that was made to local churches because it was made outside the campaign period.

The court also ruled that the violence complained of was only confined to a small area and was quickly stopped and did not affect the entire conduct of the election.

The case was presided over by a panel of five judges.

And speaking after the court case Mrs Mwanakatwe said justice has prevailed.

And PF secretary General Davies Mwila said it is good that Mrs Mwanakatwe has won so that she can concentrate on building the economy.

Losing UPND candidate Charlotte Scott had petitioned the Lusaka High Court seeking the nullification of declarations of the Lusaka Central PF Member of Parliament candidate Margaret Mwanakatwe as the winner of the parliamentary elections.

In November 2016, the Lusaka High Court nullified the election of Mrs Mwanakatwe as Member of Parliament for Lusaka Central. In an interview at the time, Dr Scott said the overturning of Mrs Mwanakatwe’s victory meant that justice has been served. She however stated that the plea of the UPND was to have the presidential petition heard. Dr Scott said the evidence coming out of the nullified seats went to confirm that the UPND was robbed of victory.

Source: Lusaka Times

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