THE Supreme Court has ruled that former Petauke member of Parliament Dora Siliya and two others should be allowed to recontest their former seats if they so wish.
The two others are former Malambo member of Parliament, Maxwell Mwale and his Mulobezi counterpart Hastings Sililo.
The trio lost their seats in 2013 after the Lusaka High Court ruled that the elections in the three parliamentary constituencies were marred with corrupt and illegal practices.
Delivering judgment on behalf of six other Supreme Court judges yesterday, Acting Deputy Chief Justice Marvin Mwanamwambwa set aside the order of mandamus is sued by High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga ordering the commission to accept nominations from the trio.
“In its place (order), we grant the three respondents, mandamus, compelling the commission to consider their applications, to re-contest the by-elections in their respective constituencies, according to the law. We are not ordering the commission to determine the applications in a particular way, but to do so according to the law,” Judge Mwanamwambwa said.
Judge Mulenga had also issued an order of mandamus, compelling the commission to perform its statutory functions under article 666 of the Constitution and section 33 of the Electoral Act 2006 and to accept the nominations of the three respondents.
This is the matter in which former Attorney General Mumba Malila appealed to the Supreme Court against the judgment of the High Court on September 2013 stating that the learned judge erred in law and fact, among others, when she overstepped the boundaries of the case before her by issuing a global order requiring ECZ to accept the respondents nominations notwithstanding the fact there were other criteria and qualifications, other than participation in illegal and corrupt practices, required for the acceptance of such nominations.
Ms Siliya was represented by Eric Silwamba, Jalasi and Linyama Legal Practitioners while Mr Mwale and Mr Sililo were represented by Jack Mwiimbu of Messrs Muleza Mwiimbu and Company and Martha Mushipe of Messrs Mushipe and Associates and Milner Katolo and Company.
Justice Mwanamwambwa quashed the order by the Lusaka High Court stating that the judge was misled and induced into granting what was claimed as mandamus.
The judge also castigated Judiciary public relations officer Terry Musonda and the report of acting registrar of the High Court which caused the postponement of by-elections.
Justice Mwanamwambwa said following the report of the acting registrar on August 10, 2013, ECZ wrote to all political parties stating that it would not accept the filing of nominations papers from candidates affected by the nullification of elections by the Supreme Court.
He said the press statement purported to give an opinion on section 104 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act, 2006, that the requirement to render a report by the High Court, as envisaged by the section was overtaken once there was an appeal to the Supreme Court.