THE judiciary has received 16 pre-election petitions, which include 13 presidential and three parliamentary ones.Chief registrar and director court operations Charles Kafunda said in an interview yesterday that among the presidential appeals is the case involving Radical Revolution Party president Vincent Chaile, who has sued the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) in pursuit of reduced presidential nomination fees.

Mr Kafunda said a petition was also received from National Restoration Party faction leader Charles Maboshe, challenging the nomination of Steven Nyirenda as the party’s presidential candidate and Lucy Changwe as running mate.

Mr Kafunda said Mr Maboshe claims the electoral body was not supposed to accept Mr Nyirenda’s nomination papers because his membership to the party is being challenged in court.“We also had various petitions relating to the eligibility of the President to contest this year’s elections,” Mr Kafunda said.

He said parliamentary petitions include Lumezi independent candidate Munir Zulu, who sued the Patriotic Front (PF) candidate for Lumezi, Pilila Mwanza, for allegedly not possessing a Grade 12 certificate.Chipata Central independent candidate Zindaba Soko was petitioned by Cynthia Zulu, a registered voter in Chipata, for allegedly being ineligible to contest the election.Ms Zulu wanted the court to declare null and void the former Road Transport and Safety Agency (RTSA) chief executive officer’s nomination papers on grounds that he was fired from the public service over alleged gross misconduct.

The Constitutional Court has since condemned Ms Zulu to costs after she applied on Wednesday last week to withdraw the case.Mr Kafunda said in 2016, the judiciary received 84 post-election petitions, 37 of which were appeals in the Constitutional Court for parliamentary seats.“Some of the cases took long to be disposed of in 2016 because the Constitutional Court is flexible and has no time limit,” Mr Kafunda said.

Meanwhile, a Lusaka lawyer has filed a petition in the Constitutional Court against 12 running mates contesting the August 12 general elections.Alfred Kanda says the respondents’ failure to meet constitutional requirements of paying their nomination fees and providing a minimum of 100 registered voters as supporters contravened the law.

Mr Kanda says the accused should depend on their own qualifications and not those of presidential candidates.He said the respondents, unlike their appointing presidential candidates, stayed away from laid down procedures, but strangely filed nomination papers on the same date.Mr Kanda is seeking a declaration that the defendants’ failure to adhere to the Constitution renders their nominations null and void.He has asked the court to quash the nominations of the 12 running mates.

Those petitioned are Nkandu Luo of the Patriotic Front (PF), Mutale Nalumango of United Party for National Development (UPND), Cosmas Musumali of the Socialist Party (SP) and Judith Kabemba of Democratic Party (DP).Others are Bright Chomba (Third Liberation Movement), Henry Muleya (Patriots for Economic Progress), Samuel Kasankha (New Heritage Party) and Changala Siame (Economic Freedom Fighters).

Also petitioned are Rosemary Chivumba (Zambia United for Sustainable Development), Kaela Kamwenensha (Leadership Movement Party), Kasote Singogo (Party of National Unity and Progress) and Gerald Mulao (Alliance for Chang

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