Nawakwi running mate questioned

FDD presidential candidate Edith Nawakwi may face disqualification from the presidential race in the August general elections should it be proved that her running mate Clement Mwanza could have filed in documents which were rejected in Msanzala Constituency where he attempted to stand as a parliamentary candidate.

Mystery has surrounded how Rev. Mwanza managed to successfully file in his nomination papers when the same documents were rejected in Petauke where he had attempted to file in as a parliamentary candidate on the same party’s ticket.

But Rev. Mwanza has denied assertions that his documents were rejected in Petauke but admitted that he had failed to present the original copy of his national registration card and that of the tax clearance.

Rev. Mwanza has also said that he had not launched his campaigns because he was waiting for instructions from Ms Nawakwi on how the campaign programme was going to be conducted.

Boyd Mbozi, the Petauke District Council Secretary has confirmed that Rev. Mwanza who is Edith Nawakwi’s presidential running mate had initially attempted to contest the Musanzala parliamentary seat but his academic certificates were rejected because the documents were incomplete.

Mr Mbozi who was the returning officer said Rev. Mwanza was turned away from filing in his nomination because he only presented photocopies of his academic certificates and that of his national registration card.

He said in an interview that Rev. Mwanza did not have the correct documents to facilitate the filing in of his nomination and he was, therefore, not allowed to proceed until he had produced original documents of the papers he had presented before the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

He revealed that Rev. Mwanza was requested to go back and organise his documents but never returned to the nomination center and was surprisedto lean that he (Rev Mwanza) had successfully filed in his nomination as a presidential running mate to Ms Nawakwi, the FDD president.

“Rev. Mwanza attempted to file his nomination papers to contest the Msanzala parliamentary seat but he was turned down because he did not have the correct documents. His papers were incomplete as he did not have the original copies of his academic certificates including the national registration card,” Mr Mbozi said.

But Rev. Mwanza said while it was true that his initial aspiration was to contest the Msanzala seat in Petauke, his failure to file in nomination was as a result of his inability to present the original copy of his NRC and tax clearance certificate.

He claimed that the rejection of his documents by Mr Mbozi could have been malicious as he had met all the requirements.

He, however, said while he was struggling to file in his nomination papers in Msanzala, he had discussions with Ms Nawakwi who had requested him to abandon the Msanzala ambition because he had been nominated as a presidential running mate.

“I wanted to come in the FDD as an MP in Msanzala but the issue was that I did not have the original copy of my NRC and tax clearance certificate. So it is not true that my documents were rejected. In fact, while that was going on, I had discussions with the party leadership and it was agreed that I should be the running mate and that is how I came to Lusaka to file in my nomination papers,” Rev. Mwanza said.

After his papers were rejected in Msanzala, Rev. Mwanza was the surprise running mate to Ms Nawakwi and his papers were also rejected by the ECZ at Mulungushi because he did not have the original documents.

This had forced Ms Nawakwi to demand audience with ECZ chairperson Justice Esau Chulu and the meeting lasted for more than half an hour after which Rev. Mwanza was allowed to file in his nomination as a presidential running mate to the FDD leader.

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