Sunday, September 01, 2013

Nevers sees nothing wrong in fielding corrupt candidates
By Kombe Chimpinde
Thu 08 Aug. 2013, 14:01 CAT

NEVERS Mumba says he does not see immorality in fielding candidates whose seats were nullified on grounds of corruption. And the MMD has settled for Dora Siliya, whose seat was nullified on account of electoral malpractices as its candidate for the forthcoming Petauke Central by-election.

Meanwhile, the MMD has vowed that it will not allow UPND to make inroads in the Eastern Province through the forthcoming by-elections.

Speaking at a media briefing where he warned the PF of its alleged manouvres to disrupt the filing in of nominations of its candidates in the by-elections slated for September 5, Mumba, who was responding to a question on what his position was on the moral aspect of allowing candidates whose seats where nullified to re-contest the seats, said there was nothing immoral about allowing candidates whose seats had been nullified because of corruption to recontest their seats.

"When you talk about the morality, I think the morality exists in place where people are fair, but in this situation I do not think they (PF) are fair. So their call for morality is under question, if you ask me," Mumba said.

"We have been studying, for instance, the judgment of honorable Siliya. Hon Siliya's seat was nullified because she said when Mr Sata becomes President, there could be war or that some youths will be sent to Afghanistan, things of that nature."

Mumba said that PF was doing the same things on which basis the seats of MMD were being nullified.

"If you were to follow PF in their campaigns, you will see that the High Court could not nullify her seat because they understood that when you hear Mr Sata speak, it's like he testifies terrible things that would happen if you voted for the opposition. These are statements that are said in these campaigns all the time and so they know candidates can talk about that, but that is question of maybe stretching a truth," he said.

"She Dora also made a statement about agriculture, that the agriculture will be complicated, the fertiliser (distribution) will be compromised and it is true, it has happened in this administration and that line was used. So these are statement that are made to the opponent in a campaign."

Mumba said what the courts were perhaps communicating was for politicians to moderate such statements.

"Like the President said in North-Western Province that the members of parliament there do not campaign... decampaigning them. That becomes a moral issue. All these are issues we as politics need to work on. For instance Mutolo's (Phiri) seat was nullified because he gave a K1 million to his church in a fundraising drive and they said it was corruption. Mr Kabimba on behalf of President Sata gave a K25m to a church in Fiera. They won that seat and they have gone away with it. In Livingstone, (Vice-President) Guy Scott gave 30 million, it was perfectly done on television and to them it is not corruption, but to the opposition it is."

And Mumba says he has information that PF intends to disrupt Friday's filing of nominations of its candidates.

Mumba claimed Siliya was been blackmailed by PF to either cross to the PF or risk losing her seat, which she has since lost.

He also said the PF was coercing MMD members to defect to the PF, telling journalists that he had since decided to hold the names of its candidates contesting the by-elections until nomination day.

"We wish to warn the Patriotic Front of some plans that they are place in order to disrupt the elections slated for September the 5th," he said.

"Three months ago, one of our members of parliament madam Dora Siliya was threatened by the petitioners' lawyer Mr Vukani Soko and one senior PF official that they wanted her to join Patriotic Front because they wanted women of that stature to join them and that if she did not, they were going to speak to the judges and it was going to end up in a nullification of her seat. Now that has already happened."

He said such threats had continued even ahead of nominations on Friday.
Efforts to get a comment from PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba and government spokesperson Fackson Shamenda failed.

And in an interview on Tuesday regarding the the party's adoption of a candidate for the September 5 by-election, MMD deputy secretary general Chembe Nyangu said the former ruling party had identified candidates to field in three by-elections and was remaining with Mulobezi.

Nyangu said that the party had reserved Petauke Central for Siliya as she was the right person for the seat.

"In Petauke Central, we had one applicant, that is Dora Siliya, and we think that she is the right person," Nyangu said. "We used the method that was used in Chipata (Central) where we only allowed one person to apply because we feel the nullification was unfairly done on the part of our legislator, Dora Siliya, so we had to give her another opportunity to continue legislating for us in Petauke Central."

Nyangu emphasised that the Supreme Court judgment in which Siliya's seat was nullified did not specify that she did not qualified to stand, meaning that she was eligible to do so.

Nyangu described as an academic exercise criticism by Transparency International Zambia and the Patriotic Front that the Electoral Commission of Zambia was breaching the Constitution by allowing candidates whose seats had been nullified for corruption.

"The judgment (pertaining to nullification) specifies that this person will not stand in his or her Parliament life. It happened to Chanda Sosala in Kafue; it happened to Michael Mabenga in Mulobezi, it happened to Nicholas Banda in Kapoche and Darious Mumba in Chama North. I am the one who took that letter of protest to ECZ and I attached the judgment which specified that Mumba did not qualify to stand," Nyangu said.

"If you look at (Misheck) Mutelo and (Lawrence) Zimba, there was nothing like that (express disqualification), so we expect that even Dora Siliya, the judgment didn't specify; so she qualifies under the electoral Act. Our colleagues are not interpreting the law correctly. I would advise that the lawyers of PF to consult ECZ, who are masters in terms of laws and regulations regarding to elections."

Nyangu also said that the party would adopt Peter Phiri for the Mkaika by-election.

"That seat is a foregone conclusion. MMD will win that one," he said.
"He (Peter Phiri) has been working with our organs there. He has been accepted by the majority. Even if PF adopts David Phiri, he cannot win. I can tell that the only people who can vote for David Phiri is his mother and father. He is my brother-in-law but I can tell you that he can't get it."

In Malambo, where MMD has settled for Anna Yeta, Nyangu said the UPND would be embarrassed after their attempts to make inroads through Mwale and former labour minister Austin Liato.

"They will be extremely embarrassed in Malambo; they will wish they didn't set foot there," he said. "We have found a candidate but we are yet to confirm because we're just waiting for one email but it will be a lady. You know gender issues are a matter most of these days. The majority voters are women, so they may give her a sympathy vote. They are tired of Maxwell Mwale, who they think has outlived his usefulness."

Nyangu said MMD had not yet identified a candidate for Mulobezi.

He said the party would go into the by-elections alone.

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