Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) executive director Goodwell Lungu has testified that he did not write to the Judiciary over the nullification of parliamentary seats because his organization’s policy was not to tolerate or promote the interference with Judicial independence.
Lungu’s testimony yesterday was in direct conflict with Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba who had copied a PF letter enclosing a legal opinion from Solicitor General Musa Mwenye to Acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda.
Kabimba on Tuesday admitted that he had written a letter to Ellis and company on a PF letterhead in which he had enclosed government legal opinion when he should have not.
Testifying before Judge Hamaundu sitting with High Court Judges Gertrude Chawatama and Justice Chashi, Lungu said had written a letter to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) seeking the interpretation of the rules governing the nullification of election results.
Lungu said his organisation did not promote and tolerate the interference in the Judiciary and that was why he had decided to write to ECZ seeking clarification on why candidates whose elections had been nullified on allegations of electoral corruption were being allowed to recontest their seats.
Answering questions from Makebi Zulu who is the lead lawyer for former Solwezi Member of Parliament (MP) Lucky Mulusa and civil rights activists Brebner Changala who are the petitioners in the inquiry. Lungu said that TIZ wanted that all candidates whose elections had been nullified to be barred from recontesting their seats for five years before they could be allowed to participate in any election.“We did not engage the Attorney General or the Judiciary because we do not tolerate and promote the interference with the independence Judiciary. We wrote to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) seeking the interpretation of the rules government the nullification of results and why the same candidates whose elections had been nullified were being allowed to recontest their seats. But the ECZ wrote back to us that their mandate was not to interpret the law but to receive reports on the nullification of elections,” Lungu said.