UPND secretary general Batuke Imenda has applied for leave to commence judicial review proceedings against the Attorney General and the air commander over refusal to process 15 applications made by the party to fly Hakainde Hichilema and other candidates across the country for campaign purposes.
Imenda has further dragged ZNBC to court over its refusal to air the party’s adverts during prime time slots and denying them coverage in the run-up to the 2016 elections.
In the first matter, Imenda and Sky Trails Limited have cited the Attorney General and the Air Commander as first and second respondents.
According to the affidavit in support of summons for leave to apply for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court, Imenda stated that that the party hired a fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters from Sky Trails Limited which were intended to enable their presidential candidate and other candidates effectively campaign in various parts of the country.
He explained that to achieve this, Sky Trails completed and submitted 15 applications for flying clearance between July 22 and July 29, 2021 to the air commander but nothing has been done to that effect.
He added that the air commander’s failure, neglect or refusal to act upon the 15 applications for air clearance has greatly prejudiced the party’s candidate and other candidates who have been forced to travel by road to various parts of the country to campaign and are unlikely to cover the rest of the country in the remaining time of the campaign period which expires on August 11.
Meanwhile, Imenda has also dragged the national broadcaster, ZNBC to court over the decision by the director-general of ZNBC not to air the applicant’s campaign advertisements during prime-time slots.
According to the notice of application for leave to apply for judicial review filed in the Lusaka High Court, the UPND is seeking an order of certiorari to remove into the High Court for the purposes of quashing the said decision of the director-general of ZNBC not to air the UPND’s campaign advertisements during prime time slots.
They are also seeking an order of mandamus to oblige the director-general of ZNBC to air the UPND’s campaign advertisements as the said rejection is devoid of any legal basis and is as such null and void ab initio.
They are further seeking a declaration that the decision of the director-general of ZNBC to reject the UPND’s selected political campaign advertisements is ultra vires Article 20 of the Constitution of Zambia, Section 7(1)(h)(I) and (m) of the ZNBC act and the Electoral (code of conduct) regulations 2011 of the electoral act chapter 13 of the laws of Zambia and is therefore null and void.
Imenda is further praying that if leave is granted, a direction that such grant should operate as a stay of the said decision and further proceedings on the same pursuant to rule3(10) of order 53 of the supreme court rules.