Vincent Mwale keeps seat

THE Supreme Court has confirmed the election of Vincent Mwale as duly elected MMD member of Parliament for Chipangali parliamentary constituency.

In his judgment, Supreme Court Judge Marvin Mwanamwambwa said Mr Mwale donated money to a church in his constituency because he was asked to do so for philanthropic reasons.

Mr Justice Mwanamwambwa said if Mr Mwale donated the money and asked for votes from the local people, he would have gone beyond philanthropic activities but he never did that.

“The appeal did not succeed as it lacked merit. Honourable Mwale is duly elected Member of Parliament for Chipangali. We cannot reverse the decision of the trial court but to uphold it,” he said.

This is in the matter in which Patriotic Front (PF) losing candidate Lucas Phiri was challenging the election of Mr Mwale in the High Court but lost. He appealed to the Supreme Court where he has lost again.

Mr Justice Mwanamwambwa also said there was nothing irregular about the donation Mr Mwale made to a sports tournament because such activities were a common feature in the area.

He said he did not find anything wrong with the donations because they were given outside the campaign period.

Judge Mwanamwambwa dismissed all the six grounds of appeal and rejected allegations of bias in the manner the tournament was organised.

He said the tournament did not disadvantage other people in the campaign because it started way before the 2011 election campaign.

Speaking after the judgment, Mr Mwale said he was happy that justice had prevailed by the Supreme Court reaffirming decision of the High Court.

Mr Mwale said he was confident that he would win because he did not commit any electoral corruption in his campaigns and that the petition lacked merit.

“We felt from the beginning that in our campaigns we did everything right, we did not go against the law. But our colleagues decided to bring us to court, and even appealed to the Supreme Court,” he said.

Mr Mwale said his focus now would be to continue working for the people because they expected so much from him as their representative.

He said there were a number of developmental projects he has embarked on in the constituency such as provision of clean drinking water by using the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) and electrification of the chiefdoms.

“This case has dragged on for too long and each time I think about it and I am having work to do, I get disturbed. This now is going to give me my freedom to work, visit the constituency and meet my people as it should be,” he said.

Mr Mwale said the lessons from the petition were that it was important for politicians to respect the wishes of the people when they have lost election.

He said losing candidates should always concede defeat instead of cooking up issues which were not necessary and aimed at derailing national development.


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