NALOLO Constituency UPND aspiring member of parliament Sianga Imenda has dragged the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to court, seeking an order to allow him file his nomination after being unable to produce original documents during the nomination process.
According to a petition filed in the Lusaka High Court, Imenda stated that on May 17, he went to the Nalolo constituency nomination centre and produced the required 15 supporters after his adoption by the UPND.
Imenda stated that he presented all the required documents when he went to the centre but to his surprise, despite presenting a certified copy of his grade 12 confirmation letter from the examinations council, ECZ still demanded for the original copy.
“To the petitioner’s surprise, notwithstanding that the petitioner presented a certified copy of his grade 12 confirmation letter from Examination Council of Zambia, the respondent demanded the original copy. The respondent even said that since Mongu, the provincial headquarters of Western Province was near, the petitioner should go and get the original confirmation letter,” read the petition.
Imenda added that under the circumstances, he had no choice but to immediately leave for Mongu and left his supporters and documents at the nomination centre.
He explained that by the time he got back from Mongu, it was 15:51 hours and the ECZ were still finishing the process of nomination for those who started their process before 15:00 hours but police had sealed the place.
Imenda said despite his explanation that he was sent to get the original confirmation letter and had to complete his nomination process, the electoral officer was called and declined to do anything because the nomination had closed at 15:00 hours.
“The petitioner complained that he had come with the original grade 12 Examination Council of Zambia confirmation letter he was sent to get and reminded the electoral officer who was also the Returning Officer that he had started his nomination at 13:30 hours which was way within time for nomination. Notwithstanding the explanation, the petitioner was denied entry back into the nomination centre by the Electoral Officer thereby causing the petitioner to fail to file in his nomination successfully,” he said.
Imenda stated that there was material and deliberate breach of the Constitution, the Electoral Process Act which consequently influenced the outcome of the nomination to his detriment.