The Lusaka High Court has granted judicial review to MMD’s Dora Siliya and two others prompting the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) to indefinitely postpone the filing of nominations which were to take place on Tuesday in three constituencies.
ECZ acting public relations manager Sylvia Bwalya confirmed the development in a statement in Lusaka yesterday following the granting of leave to apply for judicial review to the affected applicants (aspiring candidates) namely Dora Siliya, Maxwell Moses Boma Mwale, and Hastings Sililo for the respective constituencies.
High Court Judge Mungeni Mulenga granted the trio the judicial review yesterday after receiving submissions in chambers.
“The ECZ wishes to inform all stakeholders that it has today 12th August, 2013 received an order from the High Court that the filing of nomination papers for Mulobezi, Malambo and Petauke Central constituencies should not proceed tomorrow (today) 13th August 2013” Ms Bwalya said.
Earlier, the three aspiring candidates filed for judicial review asking the court to quash the decision of the ECZ to disqualify them from filing their respective nominations.
The trio, former Petauke Central MP Ms Siliya, Mr Mwale for Malambo and Mr Sililo for Mulobezi were also asking for an order of prohibition restraining ECZ from barring them from filing their nomination papers today.
Ms Siliya, Mr Mwale and Mr Sililo contended that the press statement released by a non-judicial officer was not made ex-cathedra and, therefore, had no legal effect and judicial activism could only be involved by an appropriately constituted court.
They contended that the provisions of Article 65 of the Constitution of Zambia Act chapter One, volume One of the Laws of Zambia and the provisions of Sections 22 and 104 of the Electoral Act, number 12 of 2006 were inapplicable to the trio.
“We are asking for a declaration that the provisions of Section 22 as read together with or in tandem with the provisions of Section 104 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act require that a report should be rendered by the High Court that presided over the proceedings of the petition at the conclusion of the proceedings,” the trio said.
The applicants also asked the court for an order to prohibit ECZ from conducting the filing of nomination papers today claiming that a report issued by the judiciary did not conform with the provisions of Section 22 as read together with the provisions of 104 (6) and (7) of the Electoral Act number 12 of 2006.
This is the second time that the filing of nominations in the three constituencies were being deferred, the first time having been last Friday when the ECZ announced that the Judiciary had finally issued an official position on the status of aspiring candidates whose election was previously nullified by the courts as a result of evidence of corruption.