OVER 50 parliamentary petitions have been filed in the Lusaka High Court following the just ended August 12 general elections, the majority of which were filed by UPND losing candidates.
The seats petitioned include, among others, Mansa Central, Mporokoso, Chiengi, Chawama, Lumezi, Luapula, Mansa Central, and Munali.
According to the petition challenging the election of Dr Chitalu Chilufya as Mansa Central PF member of parliament, losing Democratic Party candidate Mwape Mwelwa alleged that the campaigns and elections in the constituency were characterized by vote-buying and electoral violence by members of the PF.
Mwelwa, who lost the election by a margin of 31,582 votes, alleged that the vote buying, before and during the elections disadvantaged other candidates, and he is therefore seeking a declaration that the election of Dr Chilufya was null and void ab initio.
He is further seeking for such declaration and orders as the court may deem fit as well as costs of and incidental to the petition.
In the petition challenging the election of Mporokoso PF member of parliament Brian Mundubile, losing UPND candidate Brian Sampa alleged that the campaigns and voting in the said elections were characterized by bribery, corruption and undue influence of voters and general violations of the electoral process act.
Sampa stated that on 6th August 2021, instead of delivering ballots to the council offices where the petitioner and other stakeholders were waiting for the ballot papers, the ECZ in collusion with Mundubile delivered the ballot papers to Kutemwa lodge where Mundibile and his agents were staying, an act he said granted undue advantage to Mundubile over other candidates in the election.
He added that on 11th and 12th August, Mundubile with the help of his agents set up pay-points for the social cash transfer on various routes to the various polling stations and proceeded to make payments to people who were going to vote, regardless of whether or not such persons were eligible to receive the social cash transfer as a bribe and an inducement for the electorate to vote for him.
Sampa submitted that as the said payments were being made, Mundubile and his agents told each person that the money had come from Mundubile and that therefore they should vote for him and that there were cameras in the voting booths to monitor who they voted for.
“That if they did not vote for the first respondent, they would be disqualified from receiving future social cash transfer and youth empowerment funds,” he said.
Sampa further alleged that his team was tear gassed on August 12 as Mundubiles agents threw teargas at Bulangililo totaling centre in order to stop the petitioner and his team from attending the totalling centre, thereby excluding him and his team from the totaling centre.
He is therefore seeking nullification of the election result.
In the petition filed against Chiengi independent member of parliament Given Katuta, losing candidate Favourite Musangu of the UPND alleged that the district was engulfed in violence which affected her results in the said election.
Musangu alleged that during the poll day, UPND poll agents were denied access to GEN 20 forms in various polling stations and no action was taken after it was reported to ECZ officials.
She further stated that during poll day, PF cadres were seen distributing money at Ponde primary polling station and added that there was widespread non-compliance both with the electoral process act and the electoral code of conduct as Katuta and the PF engaged in the defacing of UPND campaign materials
Musangu noted that as a result of the acts of violence unleashed by the police that characterized the elections, members of the UPND and the general public feared for their safety.
She is therefore seeking a nullification of Katuta’s election.