Court vic­tory elates Mwanakatwe

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION RE­PORTER

In this mat­ter, Ms Mwanakatwe was chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion of High Court Judge Mwi­inde Si­avwapa which de­clared her elec­tion as MP null and void af­ter Dr Scott pe­ti­tioned her vic­tory.

A JU­BI­LANT Mar­garet Mwanakatwe was all smiles yes­ter­day as she walked out of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court as le­git­i­mate Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment for Lusaka Cen­tral Con­stituency. “Awe­some Re­ally it’s been a long jour­ney. I’m so happy to­day that we’ve got fi­nal­ity. :e are PF, the right­ful own­ers of Lusaka Cen­tral and to­day has proven that. :e will go back and work for the peo­ple of Lusaka Cen­tral, “To­day is a land mark de­ci­sion, <es it’s taken long but it was im­por­tant to go through the process and be able to prove to the peo­ple of Zam­bia that when some­body wins an elec­tion right­fully, they should be al­lowed to do their work freely,” Ms Mwanakatwe said. On the other hand, UPND los­ing can­di­date Char­lotte Scott did not show up for the ver­dict. In this mat­ter, Ms Mwanakatwe was chal­leng­ing the de­ci­sion of High Court Judge Mwi­inde Si­avwapa which de­clared her elec­tion as MP null and void af­ter Dr Scott pe­ti­tioned her vic­tory. Judge Si­avwapa in­val­i­dated Ms Mwanakatwe’s elec­tion on grounds of elec­toral mal­prac­tice. But the Con­sti­tu­tional Court in its judge­ment read by Judge An­nie Si­tali, over­turned Judge Si­avwapa’s find­ings stat­ing that he mis­di­rected him­self and erred in both law and fact. The court found that Ms Mwanakatwe’s grounds of ap­peal suc­ceeded and thus it could not be per­suaded to up­hold the nul­li­fi­ca­tion as the al­le­ga­tions of elec­toral mal­prac­tice were not proved be­yond rea­son­able doubt. “As the ap­pel­lant has suc­ceeded in 10 of 11 grounds of ap­peal, we set aside the find­ing of the lower court and over­turn the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of Lusaka Cen­tral Con­stituency par­lia­men­tary elec­tion,” Judge Si­tali read. The Con­sti­tu­tional Court found that Judge Si­avwapa erred on law and fact when he held that Dr Scott was barred from hold­ing cam­paigns in North mead and Road­sPark as there was no suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to prove that al­le­ga­tion. It held that the lower courts find­ings that Ms Mwanakatwe en­gaged in acts of cor­rup­tion in Bauleni and State Lodge area were not sup­ported by any ev­i­dence on record. Fur­ther that the al­le­ga­tion that Ms Mwanakatwe passed racial dis­crim­i­na­tory re­marks against Dr Scott on a ZNBC pro­gramme dubbed Race to Manda +ill was also not sup­ported by any ev­i­dence to prove that they were tar­geted at her. The al­leged racial re­marks were that Ms Mwanakatwe urged peo­ple to vote for her be­cause she was a Zam­bian who was born at the Univer­sity Teach­ing +ospi­tal and her um­bil­i­cal cord was buried there.

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