THE Supreme Court has upheld the decision of the Ndola High Court to nullify the election of MMD Masaiti Member of Parliament Michael Katambo because it was not free and fair.
In the judgment delivered by Judge Gregory Phiri on behalf of other judges namely Florence Mumba, Elizabeth Muyovwe, Marvin Mwanamwambwa and Munyinda Wanki, the Supreme Court dismissed the appeal of Mr Katambo challenging the decision of the trial court.
Patriotic Front (PF) losing candidate for Masaiti constituency Stardy Mwale petitioned the election of Mr Katambo in the Ndola High Court where it was nullified.
In his petition, Mr Mwale said Mr Katambo’s election was marred with widespread undue influence, bribery, intimidation and violence.
Mr Justice Phiri said the election of Mr Katambo was void because it was marred with corrupt activities.
Contacted for a comment, Mr Katambo said he accepted the decision of the Supreme Court but denied ever engaging in electoral malpractices.
He said issues raised that he distributed hammermills, maize and fertilisers were not true, and that those items were given to the community through the Ministry of Community Development to empower the vulnerable.
“I have learnt that God’s time it the best. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the land and I can’t argue with it. If it says I have to go, who am I to say no. I have accepted the decision and I have to move on with my life,” he said.
Mr Katambo thanked his supporters in the constituency for being with him throughout and that he would continue working with them.
The former legislator said he would hold a meeting with constituency officials and chart the way forward especially that he has the intention of re-contesting the seat.
“The issue of re-contesting the seat is obviously there, I will re-contest the seat,” Mr Katambo said.Efforts to get a comment from Mr Mwale failed as his mobile phone went unanswered.
Meanwhile, Lusaka High Court judge Isaac Chali will preside over the matter in which some MMD Members of Parliament have dragged party national secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima to court over their suspensions.
According to court records Judge Chali has so far been allocated with three matters from Levy Ngoma (Sinda), Kabinga Pande (Kasempa) and Kenneth Chipungu (Rufunsa).
By press time, the matters for Lunte Member of Parliament Felix Mutati and Liuwa legislator Situmbeko Musokotwane were not yet allocated to the judge. According to statements of claim filed separately in the court yesterday, the lawmakers are asking the court to declare their purported expulsions illegal, null and void. They said they were asking the court to make a declaration that they were still members of Parliament and bonafide members of the former ruling party. They contend that Mr Mbulakulima has not only breached the provisions of MMD constitution but also the rules of natural justice.