Lusaka, Zambia – The Zambian Supreme Court here has nullified the election of two members of parliament from the former ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) following a petition by losing Patriotic Front (PF) candidates in the 2011 September presidential and parliamentary elections won by then opposition PF.
The Supreme Court nullified the election of MMD Kapiri Mposhi member of parliament Lawrence Zimba, whose victory was challenged by PF candidate Eddie Musonda.
The High Court had earlier dismissed Musonda’s petition, saying it lacked merit but Musonda appealed to the Supreme Court.
In the other matter, the victory of MMD Lukulu West member of parliament Misheck Mutelo was challenged by PF’s Eileen Imbwae and his election was nullified by the High Court last year but Mutelo appealed to the Supreme Court.
Supreme Court judge Gregory Phiri said the High Court misdirected itself when it held that Zimba was duly elected and there were no electoral malpractices, the state-run Zambia Daily Mail reported Thursday.
Justice Phiri said Zimba was present at the material place where the former First Lady Thandiwe Banda (wife to former president Rupiah Banda ) was distributing money to groups of women.
“I find that K10 million was distributed to the groups of women and the respondent, Mr. Zimba, did not distance himself from these activities where women were urged to vote for MMD candidates. I find merit in the appeal and direct that fresh elections be held in Kapiri Mposhi,” Justice Phiri said, pointing out that Zimba was actively involved in the distribution of money.
He said the High Court judge misdirected himself in mixing the requirements of the law. Justice Phiri said it was not necessary to establish that the majority of voters were not prevented from voting for a candidate of their choice.
In the Lukulu West petition, Supreme Court judge Elizabeth Muyovwe upheld the High Court’s decision to nullify Mutelo’s election on grounds of electoral malpractices.