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Tasila denies Kalimanshi as campaign agent, asks court to dismiss election petition

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

TASILA Lungu has submitted that self-proclaimed PF “commander” Innocent Kalimanshi was never her campaign agent for the August 12 elections.

Ms Lungu has also denied distributing mealie meal and cooking oil in almost all of Chawama constituency with the aim of enticing voters.

She has thus asked the court to dismiss the petition by losing UPND candidate Portipher Tembo challenging her election as MP for Chawama constituency.

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Mr Tembo alleged that Ms Lungu’s campaign team which included Mr Kalimanshiand Mr Nathan Phiri engaged in violence by attacking UPND supporters and removing campaign materials.

But Ms Lungu denied that campaigns in the said constituency were characterisedby undue influence that resulted from threats and violence to life and property.

She has also dismissed allegations of physical attacks and sexual assault by her campaign team.

Ms Lungu stated that the campaign period was relatively calm and was unaware of the happenings Mr Tembo was seeking to assert.

“That the said Innocent Kalimanshi and Nathan Phiri were not and have never been the first respondent’s (Ms Lungu)  agents. That all purported incidents, if at all true, relating to Innocent Kalimanshi and his group cannot in anyway be attributed to the first respondent or her campaign team and neither can she take responsibility for the alleged deeds or misdeeds.

“The first respondent is unaware of the purported high levels of violence in Chawama Constituency as alleged and will take judicial notice that the said Kalimanshi and Nathan Phiri were arrested for drug related offences and not violence as the information is in public domain,” she contended.

Ms Lungu urged the court to dismiss the petition with costs because it was baseless and lacked merit as she was duly elected as Chawama MP.

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