Sesheke UPND member of parliament Romeo Kangombe has denied PF loosing candidate Dean Masule’s allegations that violence engulfed Sesheke district during the by-election, charging that PF officials themselves undertook acts of electoral malpractice to prevent electorates from voting for him.
Kangombe has therefore asked the Lusaka High Court to dismiss Masule’s petition in which he wants Court to declare Kangombe’s election null and void, with costs.
Last month, Sesheke PF loosing candidate Dean Masule petitioned the Lusaka High Court, seeking a declaration that the election of Kangombe as member of parliament for the constituency, was null and void.
Masule claimed that the campaigns in the said elections were characterized 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 were widespread and affected the majority voters of the nine wards that constituted Sesheke Parliamentary Constituency.
But in an affidavit in support of respondent’s answer filed in the Lusaka High Court on Thursday, Kangombe denied all the allegations contained in the petition.
He stated that Masule’s allegations that violence engulfed the whole district, were speculative, adding that if at all that occurred, which he denied, were isolated incidences.
Kangombe claimed that it was common knowledge that any incidences of violence that were recorded in the constituency were a consequence of PF activities.
“I categorically deny that violence engulfed the whole district or constituency as alleged by the petitioner. And I state that it is common knowledge that any incidences of violence that were recorded were a consequence of PF activities within the constituency which prompted a forceful reaction towards PF from the Zambia police,” read the affidavit.
“It is evident that the petitioner’s allegations are speculative; that they do not relate to me or my electoral or polling agents. And that the alleged incidences, if at all they occurred, which I denied, were isolated incidences and were, according to the petitioner, concentrated in mainly one ward, Mulimabango ward which hosts Sesheke’s Central Business District.”
Kangombe further denied that the by-election was characterized by undue influence, charging that PF officials themselves undertook acts of electoral malpractice to prevent voters from voting for him.
He claimed that the PF undertook in vote buying, use of government personnel and government resources in campaigns and use of violence against the members of the public perceived to be UPND.
“PF officials undertook the following acts of electoral malpractice in their attempt to unduly influence the electorate, which acts were in contravention of the Act and the Code of Conduct; vote buying, use of government personnel for purposes of campaigns, use of government resources for purposes of campaigns and use of violence against the members of the public perceived to be UPND members,” read the affidavit.
“That however, notwithstanding all these acts of electoral malpractice undertaken by the PF, the electorate of Sesheke remained steadfast and were not unduly influenced and that as a result the majority of them still elected me as their preferred candidate.”
Kangombe further denied that any UPND cadre assaulted any PF member of the general public as alleged by Masule.
He denied the allegations in the petition in their entirety and asked the Court to dismiss the petition with costs