THE Lusaka High Court has dismissed an application to compel the Electoral Commission of Zambia to accept nomination papers for Daniel Sakala as a Parliamentary candidate for Msanzala constituency citing lack of seriousness in the matter.
This was in a matter in which Mr Sakala had applied for restoration of a matter that was initially struck off for his failure to turn up for court proceedings.
High Court Justice Mwiinde Siavwapa in delivering his ruling said the Mr Sakala was well aware of the scheduled proceedings but still failed to be in court, which attitude could have also led to his failure to file in his nominations.
Mr Justice Siavwapa explained in stricking off the matter before High Court Justice Nicola Sharpe-Phiri ruled that Mr Sakala missed court without excuse for his absence, but that he was allowed to apply for restoration seven (7) days of the dismissal, which he did.
“Given the urgent nature of the matter, I decided to hear the application for restoration. In his affidavit in support of the summons, he stated that he had come to Court and had confirmed with the Marshal the scheduled time for the hearing as endorsed on the notice of hearing as 14oohours,” Justice Siavwapa said.
This was in a matter in which Mr Sakala sued ECZ and the Attorney General for the Commission’s refusal to accept his nomination papers after he showed up late at the nomination centre.
Mr Justice Siavwapa explained that even after notifying the marshal that he was within court premises on the date of the hearing, Mr Sakala still failed to show up in court without an excuse.
He charged that if indeed there was an excuse for his sudden departure from the court premises, he wondered why he did not make it known to the court marshals.
He said the excuse that he was called to attend to an emergency matter at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) should have been communicated before his decision to leave court with a pending matter.
“What is surprising is that, if indeed the petitioner was called from the court premises at 13:00 hours, why did he not consider it prudent to inform the marshal of his predicament before going to attend to the emergency?
“That act, if true, goes to show lack of seriousness in his quest to contest as a parliamentary candidate in the forthcoming general elections,” he said.
He wondered how Mr Sakala could decide to leave in such circumstances without bringing his situation to the court’s attention.
“Accordingly, I refuse to grant the order to restore the matter to the active cause list,” he said.