Court victory elates Mwanakatwe
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.