THE Constitutional Court yesterday cut short a looming by-election after it declared Patriotic Front’s Kalalwe Mukosa as the duly elected Chinsali Central Member of Parliament.
The ConCourt reversed the decision of the High Court to nullify Mr Mukosa’s election after finding merit in all the six grounds of his appeal.
And the PF dedicated the victory to late Tutwa Ngulube, who was among the lawyers who represented Mr Mukosa in the matter.
PF acting president Mr Given Lubinda said Mr Ngulube would have been smiling listening to the judgement.
“This judgement in favour of Kalalwe Mukosa is primarily dedicated to Tutwa Ngulube. Tutwa would have been standing with me here today, the fact that we put him to rest yesterday, and the next day we get a judgement in our favour , shows that even God in heaven has received the soul of Tutwa,” he said.
In this matter, Mr Mukosa had appealed against the High Court’s judgement to nullify his election when there was no evidence adduced that he committed the allegations of electoral malpractice, vote buying, intimidation and violence which had an effect on the August 12 general election in Chinsali Central.
This followed a petition by UPND candidate Charles Musanya and independent Christopher Chiponde who alleged election malpractice by the PF candidate.
Lusaka High Court Judge, Timonthy Katanekwa, nullified the elections saying the allegations of electoral malpractice had been proven beyond reasonable doubt to have affected the August,12 general election in Chinsali.
But the ConCourt in its judgement said the lower court was not on firm ground to nullify the elections as the respondents (Mr Musanya and Mr Chiponde) had not provided contingent evidence to the required standard of section 97 of the Electoral Process Act (EPA).
“We set aside the lower court’s decision to nullify the appellant’s election and we declare that Kalalwe Mukosa was duly elected as member of Parliament for Chinsali,” declared the court.