ConCourt asks High Court judge to verify video evidence in Munali election appeal

The Constitutional Court on Monday ordered High Court judge Edward Musona to view and verify video evidence in Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo’s election petition appeal.

When the matter came up for ruling, Constitutional court judges Enock Mulembe, Anne Sitali and Mugene Mulenga said evidence from the petition was missing and therefore, they could not make a ruling.

The judges have since instructed legal counsel Keith Mweemba to file a supplementary video in the High Court and Judge Musona is expected to give feedback by March 29, 2018.

The ConCourt then instructed Judge Musona to review the video in order to ensure that the contents had not been tampered with.

In June 2017, Prof Luo’s lawyer Bonaventure Mutale swore affidavit saying the video evidence, which led to the nullification of the seat, had gone missing.

He swore that a search at the High Court Principal Registry for the video clips did not yield any results as the same was never placed on the court record as confirmed by the Chief Marshal.

But Mwamba’s lawyers refused to proceed without the video evidence.

In November 2016, the Lusaka High Court nullified the election of the Higher Education Minister following a petition filed by losing UPND candidate Doreen Mwamba.

Meanwhile, United Party for National Development President Hakainde Hichilema, who was in attendance, wondered why the case had taken too long.

Speaking to journalists after the hearing, Hichilema said Zambians are tired of waiting for justice through the courts.

“The cases take too long. These are emotional issues, these are expensive processes in terms of money and the courts must ensure that they understand that the reason people go to courts is to seek speedy justice and not delayed justice. And in this case, the citizens have waited for too long, voters in Munali have been waiting for too long and this means that citizens have been short changed because of these deployments in adjudicating these simple matters,” said Hichilema.

Hichilema also wondered why the courts threw away his petition in less than 14 days when they had taken more than 90 days to make a ruling on the Munali parliamentary seat.

         

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