Sesheke PF loosing candidate Dean Masule has petitioned the Lusaka High Court, seeking a declaration that the election of UPND’s Romeo Kangombe as member of parliament for the constituency, was null and void.
In a petition filed in the Lusaka High Court, February 27, Masule stated that Kangombe acknowledged, in a News Diggers! edition, that the Sesheke by-elections were not free and fair as they were marred with political violence.
Masule claimed that the campaigns in the said elections were characterised by undue influence that resulted from threats and violence to life and property, as well as, rampant physical attacks on PF members and the general public, resulting in severe injuries.
He further claimed that the said acts of violence resulted in several people being occasioned with serious injuries and being treated in hospitals and most of the perpetrators of the violence being arrested by the police.
Masule recalled that on Thursday, January 10, this year, a PF member identified as Evans Chakwanda had his motor vehicle registration No. AJC 6658 stoned by suspected UPND cadres and the back windscreen of his motor vehicle broken.
He stated that another incident was on January 23, when suspected UPND cadres allegedly removed PF posters from Sesheke’s Town Centre, and that when police arrived at the scene, UPND cadres started to throw stones at the police vehicle, smashing the front windscreen in the process.
Masule stated that another incident occurred on February 2 where some UPND cadres assaulted PF party members at Lusu Ward camp and damaged their speakers, amplifiers and broke the windows of the house.
He claimed that the said acts of violence were widespread and affected the majority voters of the nine wards that constituted Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency.
Masule stated that on the nomination day, January 10, Mazabuka UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo was heard threatening the assistant Returning Officer in full view of ECZ officials.
He stated that on February 5, the district electoral officer and Sesheke Town Council Secretary Emmanuel Sikanyika received several death threats via SMS which forced him and his family to flee their home and hide in the bush for three days.
And Masule stated that on the voting day itself, the atmosphere was tense and did not provide a conducive atmosphere for elections as there was rampant violence.
“On February 15, in the News Diggers! Newspaper, Kangombe acknowledged that the Sesheke by-election was characterized by rampant violence. The story was bylined Mukosha Funga and was headlined, ‘Sesheke election was not free and fair there was too much violence-UPND Kang’ombe’,” read the petition.
Masule is now seeking a declaration that the election was null and void, as well as, costs of and incidental to the petition.