Court tells off Sampa

THE Lusaka High Court has castigated Matero Member of Parliament Miles Sampa for abusing the court process in his attempt to impugn and thereby  seek the nullification   of the election of Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu as the duly elected and sole candidate of the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) in the January presidential election.
The court …has affirmed that Mr Sampa’s election was illegal, null and void.
Judge-in-Charge Isaac Chali said the application by Mr. Sampa was an abuse of the court process because  he was bringing a separate action on a matter which had already been adjudicated upon by the High Court.“The plaintiff has abused the process of court.” he said.
The Lusaka High Court, he said, had already made a decision recognizing the election of Edgar Lungu. The court had also  found  Mr Sampa’s election was illegal, null and void.
The judge noted that Mr. Sampa should have been fully aware of the various “political” cases in the courts of law between members of political parties over, among other issues, the mode of electing party leaders and their potential candidates for the forthcoming presidential election.
The cases, he said, had been widely reported in both the print, electronic and online publications, involving the election of candidates for the presidential election and therefore expected Mr. Sampa to be aware of the cases.
On Wednesday Lusaka High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga declared that Mr Lungu was duly elected as PF president and candidate for the presidential election and ruled that the election of Mr Sampa was null, void and illegal.
Mr Sampa then filed an application asking the court to declare the election of Mr Lungu null and void, but Judge Mulenga refused to hear the case because it was res judicata, as it had already been decided.
High Court Judge Isaac Chali yesterday said that for Mr Sampa to commence a separate action on a matter which had already been adjudicated upon by the High Court, was an abuse of the process of the court.
In the affidavit of inter parte summons for leave for an order of consolidation of actions, Mr Sampa said he wanted to commence an action against the defendants because there were matters that arose in the consent judgment delivered on Wednesday.
Mr Sampa said he applied to consolidate the matters into one so as to avoid a multiplicity of actions.
“The right to relief claimed in the two matters arise out of a series of the same transaction and that there are some common questions of law and facts that arise in both of them,” Judge Chali said.
Allowing the case to proceed any further would bring the administration of justice into disrepute among right thinking people.
This is in the matter in which Mr Sampa, through his lawyer Makebi Zulu, had applied to the court to impugn the process by which Mr Lungu was declared and elected PF president and candidate for presidential election.
Mr Sampa had sued dismissed PF secretary general Bridget Atanga as the first defendant and Mr Lungu as second defendant.
“I must record that there has been lately a flurry of political cases before the courts between members of some political parties over, among other issues, the mode of electing party leaders and their potential candidates for the forthcoming presidential election.”
Mr Sampa had asked the court to recognise him as PF president and be declared official party candidate for the January 2015 election. Mr Justice Chali said unfortunately for Mr Sampa there was another action commenced in which PF chairperson Inonge Wina challenged the conference at which the plaintiff was elected.
He said by the time Mr Sampa had filed his action, a judgment by consent had already been filed and approved and signed by Judge Mungeni Mulenga.

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