MUKANDILA SLAMS UPND FOR ABUSING ECZ
…over the rejection of nominations from PF members
Lusaka, Monday, December 25, 2023 (Smart Eagles)
Patriotic Front (PF) member Celestine Mambula Mukandila has called out the UPND government for abusing the Electoral Commission of Zambia.
Mr Mukandila, a renowned lawyer argued when he featured on Lusaka’s Live Radio that the country cannot be run if legal processes are not followed.
He was commenting on a matter where ECZ rejected nominations from PF members.
“This government has abused the Electoral Commission of Zambia to the tune of making them make decisions that are not in line with the provisions of the law. And that is a point of worry because we need to call for moral order. This Constitution under Article 8 has provided for moral values,” he said.
“We need to be very realistic. We are looking at issues to do with processes and procedures. We cannot run this country in an orderly manner if we do not follow processes and procedures. As long as matters are in court challenging the legitimacy of the office bearers, you cannot conduct yourself in a manner that shows as though you are the legitimate office bearer.”
He explained the procedures that need to be followed for one’s nomination to either be accepted or rejected.
“However, here is the process and procedure. As the returning officer of the Electoral Commission of Zambia, what we are asking for as the Patriotic Front and what we are asking for as the Zambian people is that can we maintain the credibility of elections in Zambia?” he asked.
“Can we maintain the integrity of the Electoral Commission of Zambia? The credibility and the procedure as provided for in the Constitution in as far as nominations are concerned, indicate that if a returning officer is going to accept a nomination, anyone who is aggrieved by that particular nomination should challenge the nomination using the courts.”
The lawyer added that ECZ’s action appears to be usurping the power of the courts in interpreting the provisions of the law.
He said the Constitution is clear to say the only body that is mandated to hear a challenge of an election shall be the court.
“Now, where the nomination is accepted by the returning officer, it can only be challenged by the court. And this is why we are requesting the Zambian people to wake up and rise and say…call it as it is, this constitution has provided that, under Article 52,2, it says a returning officer shall immediately, on the filing of the nominations papers, in accordance with clause one, reject the nomination if the candidate does not meet the qualification and procedural requirements,” he said.
“If those returning officers did not reject those nomination papers, it means that they were satisfied that those nomination papers are in line with the procedures and processes.”