High Court halts nominations

The Lusaka High Court has stopped the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) from going ahead with the filing in of nominations for Petauke, Mulobezi and Malambo constituencies respectively scheduled for today.
This was after lawyers representing MMD’s Petauke Central parliamentary candidate in the forthcoming by-elections Dora Siliya and UPND’s Maxwell Mwale for Malambo and Hastings Sililo for Mulobezi Constituencies were successfully granted an Order for Leave to apply for Judicial Review.
The matter  came before High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga who after going through the affidavits of Ms. Siliya, Mr. Mwale   and Mr. Sililo granted leave to the trio to apply for judicial review for the matter to be fully resolved in the court of law.
“Upon hearing counsel for the applicants and reading the affidavits of Dora Siliya, Maxwell Moses Boma Mwale  and Hastings Sililo respectively, it is hereby ordered that the applicants  be and are hereby granted  leave to apply for Judicial Review,
“ And further that the filing in of nomination papers for the Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi Parliamentary Constituencies to be held on Tuesday, the 13th Day of August, 2013 be and is hereby stayed,” she said
Last week the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) stopped the nominations of Ms. Siliya, Mr. Mwale and Mr. Sililo before postponing the nominations to today on orders from the Judiciary.
After being pressurized ECZ announced that Ms. Siliya, Mr. Mwale and Mr. Sililo were not eligible to participate in the by-election following the nullification by the Supreme Court. The lawyers representing the three opposition candidates Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners, Muleza Mwimbu and Company, Mushipe and Associates, Milner Katolo and Associates and PNP Advocates asked the court to quash the decision of the judiciary issued by the Public Relations OfficerTerry Musonda on 8th August, 2013 and High Court Acting Registrar Chilombo Maka Phiri on account of illegality, procedural impropriety and unreasonableness.
The lawyers applied to the High Court to quash the decision of the acting registrar of the High Court contained in a letter addressed to the director of ECZ ordering them not to accept the nominations of Ms. Siliya, Mr. Sililo and Mr. Mwale, saying that the action was illegal and void ab initio as such Report could only be competently issued by the High Court Judge at the conclusion of the elections petition proceedings.
The lawyers argued that the decision by ECZ to act on the purported Report contained in letters dated the 8th and 9th August 2013 and announced by the Public Relations Officer of the Judiciary Terry Musonda and the Acting High Court Registrar Chilombo Maka Phiri was unprocedural and improper and therefore null and void as the purported Report did not comply with the provisions of Section 104 of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006.
The lawyers also want the High Court to declare that the provision of Section 22 as read together with the provision of Section 104 of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006, requires that a Report should be rendered by the High Court that presided over the proceedings on the petition at the conclusion of the matter.
They further want a declaration that the provision of section 22 as read together with the provisions of Section 104 of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006 which require a person mentioned in the Report by the High Court to be given an opportunity to appear before the court and show cause why that name should not be so stated, videlicet, audi alteram partem Rule.
Among other things the applicants lawyers are seeking a declaration that the purported Report  by the High Court issued under the hand of the Acting Registrar did not conform with the provisions of Section 22 of t he Act of 2006.
They also want the High Court to state that the Supreme Court was wanting in jurisdiction as the jurisdiction of the Court was regulated by the provisions of Article 92 and 41 of the laws of Zambia and that the Supreme Court was effectively functus Officio.

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