THE Constitutional Court has upheld the election of Chinga Miyutu as UPND Kalabo Central member of parliament after dismissing 11 grounds of appeal lodged by losing PF candidate Richard Mwapela.
Mwapela had argued that the Mongu High Court erred in law and in fact when it held that Miyutu was the duly elected member of parliament for Kalabo Central Constituency when there was evidence adduced that he had influenced the electorate to vote against their will.
Mwapela urged the court to overturn the High Court’s decision and nullify Miyutu’s seat as he was not validly elected.
He had also stated that the trial judge erred in both law and fact in refusing to accept the evidence of one of his witnesses, Max Kasabi, on Miyutu’s illegal distribution of salt on grounds that he was in court for five minutes while other petitioner’s witnesses were testifying.
Mwapela urged the court to accept Kasabi’s evidence and find that Miyutu was indeed involved in the illegal distribution of salt, which ultimately affected the outcome.
Delivering judgment yesterday, ConCourt judge Anne Sitali said the allegations of electoral violence did affect the voters’ turn out, pursuant to section 97 (2) of the Electoral Act.
She said Mwapela failed to adduce evidence on allegations of bribery.
Judge Sitali added that evidence in election petitions was supposed to be adduced to the highest standard of proof.
The judge said there was no evidence that Miyutu nor his agents were directly linked to the allegations of bribery and electoral violence.
“All in all, the appellant has not proved all the allegations and all the grounds of appeal are dismissed, the appeal fails in its entirety,” said judge Sitali.