PATRIOTIC Front secretary general Davies Mwila has argued that he is not aware of any originating process that has been filed in the High Court relating to the Chilubi parliamentary by-election held on February 13, this year.
This is in a matter where the UPND and NDC sued Mwila and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in the Lusaka High Court over the Chilubi by-election.
However, according to an affidavit in opposition to an affidavit in support of originating summons and in support of summons for an order of injunction filed on May 20, 2020, Mwila explained that on August 11, 2016, after the general election, PF candidate Rosaria Fundanga was duly elected member of parliament for Chilubi constituency.
He, however, stated that Fundanga passed away on November 20, 2019, and that the ECZ set January 16, 2020, as the date for filing-in nomination papers for the Chilubi parliamentary by-election.
Mwila added that February 13, 2020, was set as the polling day for the said by-election.
He stated that on January 12, 2020, the PF central committee adopted Francis Mulenga Fube as candidate for the Chilubi parliamentary by-election, who eventually emerged winner after the elections were held on February 13, 2020.
Mwila stated that on February 13, 2020, Stephen Katuka, suing in his capacity as UPND secretary general, filed summons for leave to amend originating summons with an affidavit in support of the said summons and the documents were served on February 14, 2020.
He stated that ruling was delivered on May 6, this year, where Judge Gertrude Chawatama dismissed the application as an academic exercise.
“The plaintiffs have suppressed the fact that on January 31, 2020, PF and UPND signed resolutions of the conflict management committee meeting. On February 11, 2020, ECZ issued a press statement relating to the Chilubi parliamentary by-election,” Mwila stated.
“That I am not aware of any originating process that has been filed in the Principal Registry or any District Registry of the High Court for Zambia relating to the parliamentary by-election held on Thursday, February 13, 2020, for the Chilubi parliamentary constituency.”
In this matter, Katuka and Bridget Atanga, in her capacity as NDC secretary general, citing ECZ and Mwila as first and second respondents respectively, were previously seeking an order of interim injunction to restrain the Commission from permitting the holding of the Chilubi by-election, as well as an order of mandatory injunction directing the ECZ to postpone the Chilubi by-election to February 20, this year, among other reliefs.
They, however, applied for leave to amend the originating summons in the said matter.
Mulambo Haimbe, the lawyer representing Katuka, submitted to the Court that the proposed amendments had been necessitated by the change in the circumstances under which the original matter was brought, as the Chilubi by-election had already taken place.
But Justice Chawatama dismissed the application by UPND and NDC seeking to amend the originating process, saying this was not the right time to engage in academic exercises, given the workload that the courts were currently battling with.