KABUSHI Constituency losing UPND candidate Bernard Kanengo has petitioned the Ndola High Court over Bowman Lusambo’s victory, alleging that the election was marred by corrupt and bribery practices.
Kanengo is seeking a determination and declaration that Lusambo committed multiple and widespread electoral offences and that he was not duly elected or retained.
He is further seeking a determination and declaration that Lusambo’s election is null and void and that the seat should be vacated.
Kanengo also wants the costs of the petition to be borne by Lusambo, who he has cited as the respondent.
According to a petition filed in the Ndola High Court by Kanengo’s lawyers Chimuka Magubbwi and Ngoza Nyangu, the petitioner claimed that Lusambo was personally and by his agents guilty of corrupt practices of bribery before and during the said election.
He said this was because Lusambo and his agents were giving, offering and promising money, mealie meal and other materials or goods to voters in order to induce the said voters to vote for him and the PF.
“On the morning of August 10, 2021, in Lubuto area of Kabushi constituency, the said Bowman Lusambo, by and through his agent only known by the name of Nyirenda, rounded up and invited known UPND members and many other people to her house and treated them to a banquet of food and drinks of which she informed them were bought and arranged by Lusambo. The invitees were promised that Lusambo would give them a cash payment of K500, a bag of mealie meal and a container of cooking oil each at his residence,” read the petition.
“Later after the banquet at his residence, Lusambo introduced all the Patriotic Front candidates for Kabushi constituency and thereafter started collecting UPND party regalia and distributed PF party regalia to all those he had invited, whilst promising them that a cash payment of K500, a bag of mealie meal and a container of cooking oil would be given to them.”
Kanengo stated that Lusambo was also guilty of undue influence and false publication of facts in relation to himself.
He further claimed that Lusambo and his agents acted in a disorderly and violent manner for the purpose of preventing the transaction of the business of his campaign meetings.
“On June 16, 2021, while on a paid-for political programme on radio, Lusambo stormed the radio station and disturbed and or disrupted the programme by his uninvited and unwanted presence,” read the petition.
“Lusambo and his agents assaulted some of my supporters who got medical reports. They also damaged some motor vehicles and the public addressing system that were being used for campaign business.”
Kanengo also alleged that Lusambo on the polling day was guilty of illegal practices of canvassing for votes while communicating with voters who were in the precincts of a polling station.
“On August 12, Lusambo in the company of seven other men entered precincts of Lyuni Primary school polling station where voters were queued up for voting, gesticulating with his clenched fist a symbol associated with his PF party commonly known as Pamaka. At the same time, his friends and himself were saying ‘Pabwato’, meaning on the boat, being the electoral symbol of his party. In response, the voters started saying Pamaka,” read the petition further,
Kanengo stated that there was material and deliberate breach of the electoral code by Lusambo which consequently influenced the outcome of the election in his favour.