Mulobezi, Malambo and Petauke nominations frozen

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THE Supreme Court has pulled brakes on the filing of nominations for the Mulobezi, Malambo and Petauke Central seats in yet another twist in the poll saga.
This follows High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga’s decision on Wednesday to order the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to accept nomination papers from Maxwell Mwale, who is eying the Malambo seat, Hastings Sililo of Mulobezi and Dora Siliya of Petauke Central.
This means the nominations, which were set for Tuesday (September 11, 2013), will not take place until the matter is resolved conclusively by both parties.
Acting deputy Chief Justice Florence Mumba yesterday granted the State a stay of Justice Mulenga’s ruling.
Solicitor-General Musa Mwenye appealed to the Supreme Court to set aside her ruling was rejected.
ECZ set Tuesday for nominations in Petauke Central, Malambo and Mulobezi constituencies while the by-election was set for September 26, 2013.
On Thursday, Attorney-General Mumba Malila filed an appeal against the ruling of Justice Mulenga to order ECZ to accept nomination papers from Ms Siliya, former Malambo MP Maxwell Mwale and former Mulobezi MP Hastings Sililo.
Mr Mwenye argued in his affidavit in support of ex parte summons to stay the execution of Justice Mulenga’s ruling that the matter involving persons barred from contesting elections due to electoral malpractices needed to be clarified.
He said allowing the three to re-contest their seats without the law being clarified could lead to an erosion of confidence in the electoral system, impacting negatively on the drive to have free, fair and clean elections.
Ms Justice Mulenga had declined to grant Mr Mwenye a stay of her ruling.
“I have considered the ex parte application affidavit in support of the stay of the judgment granted herein dated September 3, 2013. I hereby decline to grant the sought stay,” Justice Mulenga said.
The three elections were nullified by the Supreme Court on evidence of “massive corruption” by the candidates.

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