By Nation Reporter
THE UPND mayoral chairperson in Mwandi, Gilnard Mufuti, has lost his seat after a Tribunal sitting in Nangweshi, in Western Province yesterday nullified his election in favour of the PF’s Josephine Sipalo who petitioned the case.
Josephine Sipalo was declared as the dully elected PF council chairperson for Mwandi district.
And Ms Sipalo told the Daily Nation in a telephone interview that justice had prevailed.
She said there was electoral malpractice during the August 2016 election, alleging that the opposition UPND candidate Mr Mufuti had produced a ‘forged Grade 12 certificate’ for him to contest for the election.
“We could not afford to be headed by someone who had no certificate and now that the Tribunal sitting has ruled in my favour, we will make sure tangible development remains the priority for the benefit of the people of Mwandi,” she said.
Ms Sipalo urged those who had forged qualifications and other electoral malpractices to step down, instead of delaying development.
And former Higher Education Minister Dr Michael Kaingu accused the civil servants who were hired by the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) during the August elections to have spearheaded the malpractices to please their preferred parties.
“It is now clear that people who undermined the PF in Western province were actually these people and not to the will of the common people,” he said.
Dr. Kaingu has since called on the Examination Council of Zambia to serious step in by publishing the list of those offenders if they were to be taken serious as an institution.
“Like in this case, the Examination Council of Zambia had been reluctant to investigate thoroughly, to arrest and prosecute offenders to deter people from engaging in such activities.
“We had to subpoena for an officer to come and give evidence, when ECZ should have taken interest as it borders on their duty,” he explained.
Dr. Kaingu said ECZ top officials were adamant when it came to the Grade 12 issues as a qualification for any political candidate to contest any position, saying it was now clear that it was not only the political players who had no Grade 12 certificates, but also some top officials in the public institutions did not qualifying for their positions.
Meanwhile, the PF supporters in Mwandi took to the street celebrating and shouting party slogans after the tribunal dismissed the case.