Electorate shunned polls to protest Malanji’s exclusion – witness
A WITNESS in the case where Joe Malanji has sued Kwacha Member of Parliament Charles Mulenga and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has said most of the electorate in Kwacha constituency shunned the October 21 Kwacha by-election after the ECZ barred Mr Malanji from re-contesting the seat.
Mr Alex Chembo aged 54, a businessman of Kwacha Township told Lusaka High Court Judge Concepta Zulu sitting at the Kitwe High Court that after Mr Malanji was barred from re-contesting the seat, himself and others decided to shun the by-election which resulted into widespread apathy
This is a case in which Mr Malanji has filed a petition before the Lusaka High Court seeking among other reliefs, a declaration that the by-election for Kwacha constituency is and was void
Mr Malanji also wants a declaration that the UPND candidate, Mr Mulenga was not duly elected in the Kwacha constituency by-election
He also wants the ECZ to call for fresh elections within 90 days from the date of the judgement of the court.
Mr Chembo, who was one of Mr Malanji’s supporters when he went to file his nomination papers at Riverain Secondary School for the by-election, said the Returning Officer for Kwacha constituency, Mr Brian Mbula went through all the documents for Mr Malanji
After Mr Mbula went through the documents for Mr Malanji, he said he had met all the requirements, but could not get his documents because of Article 724
He said he was not only worried about the rejection of Mr Malanji’s documents, but also started to ask him questions whether the ECZ was now responsible of barring people from contesting the election
“I am a senior citizen, I’m 54 years old and I have never seen a situation where the ECZ stops or bars someone from contesting an election, but I was worried to see the ECZ stopping Mr Malanji from contesting the by-election. If this is the way things will be moving, then we will not have good elections
“So because some people like Mr Malanji were stopped from contesting the Kwacha by-election, people like myself and others shunned the by-election resulting into a serious apathy,’’ Mr Chembo said.