Zambia: Mutelo Continues As Lukulu MP

THE Supreme Court has allowed MMD's Lukulu West Member of Parliament (MP) Misheck Mutelo to continue representing the people in the constituency as MP.

In her judgment yesterday, acting Deputy Chief Justice Florence Mumba, in granting her stay of execution of the High Court judgment that nullified his seat, said the people of Lukulu West should not be denied representation at the expense of an appeal outcome before the Supreme Court.

Justice Mumba said Lukulu West needed representation of an area MP regardless of any situation, including pending cases because it was important that the people in the constituency were represented.

She said Mr Mutelo should continue working as an MP until determination of the matter by the higher court.

This is in a case where Patriotic Front (PF) losing candidate for Lukulu West Eileen Imbwae petitioned the election of Mr Mutelo and judgment was passed in her favour.

Judge Emelia Sunkutu said after analysing the evidence before her, she found that the election was not free and fair and that the seat was nullified on grounds that there was corruption, bribery and illegal practices by Mr Mutelo during his campaign.

In her petition, Ms Imbwae contended that the election of Mr Mutelo was void by reason of corrupt and illegal practices and that the voters in the area were prevented from electing their preferred candidate due to electoral offences, intimidation and threats allegedly committed in connection with the election of Mr Mutelo.

She said during the campaign period, Mr Mutelo held numerous meetings where he produced a letter written by her requesting for funds in 2006 and alleged that the said funds were stolen when in fact not, which was contrary to the electoral code of conduct.

Ms Imbwae claimed that on September 18 and 19, 2011, after the campaign period had ended, Mr Mutelo and his agents went door to door campaigning and distributing money ranging from K5,000 to K100,000, an act which she said was illegal and amounted to bribery.

Ms Justice Sunkutu said she found the petitioner and her witnesses' evidence to the effect that Mr Mutelo called her a thief more credible.

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