Saturday, October 01, 2011

Masebo starts election petition process

Masebo starts election petition process
By Joe Kaunda
Thu 29 Sep. 2011, 16:40 CAT

SYLVIA Masebo has directed her lawyers to commence the petition against her loss in the recently held Chongwe parliamentary election which she says was fraught with massive irregularities.

Masebo, who contested the seat on the PF ticket, said she had since handed over evidence to her lawyers MNB Legal Practitioners to show that the elections were characterised with massive rigging and abuse of resources by those in government, including the former president, Rupiah Banda.

"The whole government machinery through the president, including the now former first lady was used to rig the elections," Masebo said.

"There was the intimidation of voters after the president threatened to dethrone our traditional leader, senior chieftainess Nkomenshya Mukambo II. This intimidation by the president even caused apathy among voters and violence by the MMD. Then there was also massive vote buying."

Masebo cited the distribution of relief maize, government hammer mills, sewing machines and sinking of boreholes in selected villages.

"The former first lady distributed tractors and money to women's clubs. Public resources were distributed from Ministry of Youth, Sport and Child Development, Ministry of Community Development and Social Welfare, the CEEC Citizens Economic Empowerment Commission to selected groups. Even suits were given to headmen," she said.

"Soldiers in the barracks were paid their long outstanding dues on the day of the elections, there was ferrying of voters on the election day and the introduction of pre-marked ballot papers,"

She said it was saddening that these abuses took place in all the 58 polling stations in Chongwe Constituency leading to her loss to MMD candidate Japhen Mwakalombe.

Masebo said she had gathered all the evidence on the ground and witnesses to prove that the election was not free and fair.

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