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LUSAMBO JOINS CONTENTIOUS UPND POLL PETITION

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

BOWMAN Lusambo, popularly known as the Bulldozer, and whose Kabushi parliamentary seat was recently nullified, has applied to join a matter in which the UPND is seeking to change the standard of proof for nullifying an election. 

Mr Lusamba, has applied for leave of the Constitutional Court to be joined as an interested party to the matter where a UPND member, Mr Joseph Busenga, seeks the removal of section 97 (2) (a) of the Electoral Process Act no.35 of 2016 from the constitution  as it makes it difficult to nullify an election characterised by malpractice.

Mr Busenga in his petition contends that the said section is inconsistent with article 45 which discourages acts of election malpractice and instead promotes corrupt and illegal practices.

Mr Lusambo, whose seat was nullified last Friday by the Ndola High Court stated that he had keen interest in the interpretation of the subject clauses for purposes of achieving certainty in the law, thus has asked to be joined to the proceedings.

In this matter, Mr Busenga, a member of the UPND media committee seeks an order that section 97 (2) (a) of the Electoral Process Act no.35 of 2016 be removed from the statute books as it aids corrupt practices while protecting undemocratically elected public officers.

Mr Busenga contends that the article makes it difficult for the courts of law to nullify elections marred with intimidation, violence and corruption.

Section 97 (2)(a) states: The election of a candidate as a Member of Parliament, Mayor, Council chairperson or councillor shall be void if, on the trial of an election petition, it is proved to the satisfaction of the High Court or a tribunal, as the case may be, that – (a) a corrupt practice, illegal practice or other misconduct has been committed in connection with the election – (i) by a candidate; or (ii) with the knowledge and consent or approval of a candidate or of that candidate’s election agent or polling agent; and the majority of voters in a constituency, district or ward were or may have been prevented from electing the candidate in that constituency, district or ward whom they preferred;

The petitioner has cited the Attorney General as the respondent in the matter.

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