ECZ RETURNING OFFICER WAS WRONG TO REFUSE PATRIOTIC FRONT CANDIDATURE
…the invalidating of the Patriotic Front candidate in Kampamba Ward was outside the law…
The Tribunal set up to enquire into the nominations in Kampamba Ward election in Mpika District has found that the Electoral Commission of Zambia’s Returning Officer was wrong to invalidate the nominations of the Patriotic Front, Aaron Kabanda.
The Tribunal also stated that the Returning Officer must accept or reject nominations there and then and not later in the day or next day.
Below are the Orders from the Tribunal;
“Therefore, we order as follows”;
- We dismiss the relief that the Nominations papers of the Petitioner be
declared valid, as this Tribunal was not called to inquire into the validity of the Nomination.
The Tribunal was called to inquire into the alleged
breaches by the Returning Officer on receipt of the nomination papers and
not the validation or lack, therefore.
- It follows, therefore, that we can not grant the relief for the 1st Respondent to place the name of the Petitioner on the ballot paper to allow the
Petitioner to participate in the election.
- We also find that the relief that the returning officer’s failure to
communicate Petitioner’s rejection a day after filing is in breach of
Regulation 18 of the Electoral Process Rules as illegal and null and void is
This is so, as the 2021 amendment to regulation 18 (5) took away the requirement for the notification in writing to be made
immediately to the candidate.
Therefore, this claim fails.
- In the circumstances, the Petition partly succeeds. We have found that
the procedure that was followed by the returning officer to invalidate the
Nomination for the Petitioner was outside the set Provisions of the Law and Regulations, and is therefore null and void. It is hereby set aside.
- We also find that the failure by the returning officer to particularize the
reasons in the letter of notification to the Candidate was in breach of the
‘Therefore, this claim succceds.