Prof. Nkandu Luo wins petition case
Munali Constituency Member of Parliament and Higher Education Minister Prof Nkandu Luo was duly elected MP for Munali during the 2016 August 11 General elections, The Constitutional Court has ruled.
This is in the case in which Prof Luo was challenging the nullification of her seat by High Court Judge Edward Musona after the court found that the ECZ failed officials to properly handle the electoral process and did not provide the Gen 12 forms to 14 polling stations and electoral irregularities and rampant acts of violence as reason for nullification of the Munali seat
Judge Musona also ruled that Prof Luo had an undue advantage in the election because she was a serving Minister at the time of election and used public resources especially that the Constitutional Court had ruled Ministers pay back to the treasury the monies they had accrued during that period.
But in delivering his judgment today on November 16 Justice Mulembe has cited Section 97 (2) which states that the election can only be nullified if the pertinent proves to the required standards that the corrupt practices were committed with the full knowledge and consent of the candidate.
The section further states that the petitioner must prove that the widespread violence affected the majority of the voters in electing the candidate of their choice.
In addressing ground one on the allegations of the Appellant abusing government resources by using government vehicles the court has stated that by law a person shall not use government resources during campaigns but the burden of proof lies on the petitioner to proof the allegations, the court has reserved the lower Court’s decision on that finding because there is no evidence to show that Prof Luo used government resources during her campaigns.
On allegations on the use of the government vehicles by Prof Luo the court has refused to support the evidence because Ms Mwamba failed to adduce evidence that Prof Luo abused government resources as she failed to recall the government vehicle and not having details of the Driver who was driving the Appellant
The court says it is not in dispute that she was a cabinet minister but it is not for a fact that the use of her salary during her campaigns affected the election as it has been established that there was no evidence to show that she used government vehicles during her campaigns as the petitioner failed to adduce evidence that the Mwambwa abused government resources as she failed to recall the government vehicle and not having details of the Driver who was driving the Appellant.
In addressing the issue of the violence in Mtendere, it is not in dispute that violence erupted in Mtendere were the UPND were affected but what must be ascertain in whether Prof Luo sponsored the violent cadres in Mtendere who attacked the UPND campaign Bus.
Justice Mulembe has found that he has seen no evidence to show or to suggest that the appellant was connected to the incident that erupted in Mtendere as found by the lower court and that there was no single evidence which was directed at Prof Luo to have been the one who sponsored the PF cadres to attack the UPND campaign bus.