Losing UPND Kabwata Parliamentarian candidate Mulenga Sata has refused to appear before court on allegations that his life is being threatened by Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda’s agents.
This is in a case in which Mr Sata has petitioned the election of Mr Lubinda as Kabwata Member of Parliament and wants the court to nullify the election.
This came to light after Mr Sata’s lawyers Keith Mweemba and Mulambo Haimbe asked the court for the adjournment of the matter because their witnesses were not before court as they were allegedly being threatened by agents suspected to belong to Mr Lubinda.
Mr Mweemba stated that his witnesses were ready to give their evidence but refused to come to court because they were being intimidated and issued with death threats.He said, on that note, he was asking the court on how the matter could proceed.
But Mr Lubinda’s lawyer Philip Chibundi rejected the petitioner’s application to adjourn the matter because there was no evidence that the witnesses were being issued with death threats.
Mr Chibundi stated that if the witnesses refused to come to court, then the petitioner himself could have appeared before court to take the stand and give his evidence.Another lawyer from the Attorney General’s chambers told the court that the court should not allow for the adjournment of the matter.And a lawyer representing the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) also rejected to the application and stated that the matter had to proceed.
In response to the Petitioner’s lawyer Mr Haimbe told the court that his client Mr Sata could also not appear before court because of intimidation and death threats, and that was the reason why they were asking the court for an adjournment to allow the petitioner and the witnesses to reflect on what had transpired.
In addition, Mr Mweemba said he was shocked that the respondents would reject their application when there were serious matters which were raised before the court and that the court gave guidance that the matter would go up to Friday.
In passing ruling, Judge Betty Mungomba stated that she had noted the submissions with regards to the petitioner’s application for the adjournment of the matter due to the reasons stated above and that she would allow the application for an adjournment but that it was not for the court to decide on how the matter could proceed based on the matters raised before court.
Justice Mungomba had earlier indicated that the petition should come to a close on Friday and that the petitioners should find alternatives on how they would bring their witnesses before court.