We don’t have integrity in courts, charges Malanji
By Darious Kapembwa
JOSEPH Malanji has lashed out at the Constitutional Court saying people will lose confidence in the courts following nullification of his election yesterday on grounds that the former Kwacha PF member of parliament did not have a grade 12 school certificate.
He has vowed to recontest the seat and win adding that he would also take the nullification of his election to the Judicial Complaints Commission.
The Constitutional Court upheld the nullification of Malanji’s election as Kwacha member of parliament bringing the number of annulled polls on the Copperbelt to two after the court last week nullified the election of Bowman Lusambo as Kabushi PF member of parliament.
Reacting to the development, Malanji charged that the nullification of his election was an attack on democracy.
“This is how you can see that we no longer have courts. We don’t have integrity in the courts. This will force people to lose confidence in the courts,” Malanji charged. “The same court ruled in the case of Nkunika versus Nyirenda that matters of eligibility do not count after seven days. Yet the same court nullifies my seat under similar circumstances. By this ruling, the court has rendered article 52 which says matters of eligibility brought seven days after filling do not stand. I will recontest the seat and definitely win it. But I will take this matter to the JCC even if they don’t act on it, at least it will be on record and this is a challenge on you journalists to check the conduct of the courts.”
He wondered why the seat was nullified on account of a grade 12 certificate when the same was produced in court further alleging that the petitioner [losing UPND candidate Charles Mulenga] never produced any document to suggest otherwise.
The Constitutional Court has affirmed the decision of High Court judge Kazimbe Chenda to declare Joseph Malanji’s election as Kwacha Constituency PF member of parliament void for not possessing a grade 12 certificate during his re-election
Constitutional Court vice-president Margaret Munalula on behalf of the majority ruled that judge Chenda cannot be censured for determining Malanji’s eligibility to contest in the August 12, 2021 general elections as he did not possess the requisite academic qualification when filing in nomination papers in line with Article 70(1)(d) of the Constitution.
She said Malanji had a chance to prove that he had the school certificate (Form 5) at the time of his re-election but did not do so neither is there evidence on the record of appeal.
Judge Mungeni Mulenga has dissented the decision of the majority.