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ConCourt to hear application to disqualify Tonga from presidential race

LUSAKA resident Wellingtone Kulula has asked the Electoral Commission of Zambia to disqualify Third Liberation Movement presidential candidate Enock Roosevelt Tonga from participating in tomorrow’s general elections over his intentions to banish foreigners.

Kulula has petitioned Tonga in the Constitutional Court for announcing his foreigners expulsion policy immediately after filing in his nomination papers and explained it further on his Facebook page.

He has also cited the ECZ as the second respondent in the matter.

Kulula said Rule 4(2) of the Electoral Code of Conduct provides that a candidate shall not use language which incites hatred nor violence in any form against any person and issue pamphlets, newsletter, posters or other propaganda which contains materials that invite people to violence or rebellion.

He said Tonga’s language in the Foreigners Expulsion Policy incites hatred and violence against persons of foreign origin and the said policy amounts to propaganda which contains materials that invite xenophobic violence.

“Article 54 of the Constitution provides that a candidate and a political party shall comply with a prescribed electoral code of conduct. In this case, Tonga has failed to comply with the electoral code of conduct, and beyond the Republican Constitution,” Kulula said.

“Article 60(2)(g) mandates every political party to subscribe to and observe the code of conduct for political parties, as prescribed.”

Kulula said ECZ was mandated by the electoral process Act, no.35, of 2016 in section 110 to enforce the code of conduct and specifically it may disqualify a political party or candidate in breach of the code.

“Where ECZ has not disqualified a candidate in breach of the code, article 52(6) of the Constitution provides for a candidate to be disqualified by the Constitutional Court for malpractice, after the code of nominations and before the election date, ECZ shall cancel the election and require the filing of fresh nominations by eligible candidates and elections shall be held within 30 days of the filing of fresh nominations,” Kulula said.

“The Foreigners Expulsion Policy is an electoral malpractice and an affront to the Bill of Rights. Article 11 in the Bill of Rights provides that every person in Zambia, whatever his place or origin, has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual.”

Tonga was acting by virtue of the law on elections and political parties as written in the Constitution and Electoral Process Act, of which he is in breach of.

“The petitioner prays that Tonga be disqualified as the xenophobic violence which can be invited from the Foreigners Expulsion Policy is an immediate and present danger to the electoral process, peace, national security, human and humanitarian rights and the national values of our nation,” said Kulula.

“It is in the best interests of the Republic that provision has been made for the Constitutional Court to be able to disqualify culprit presidential candidates after nomination but before elections, in order that sanity and good order, peace and security may be re-affirmed as matters of paramount importance in the presidential election process.”

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