ECZ refutes instructing police to arrest PF Lusangazi candidate

 ECZ refutes instructing police to arrest PF Lusangazi candidate

By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Electoral Commission of Zambia has refuted allegations that they instructed the police to have the PF aspiring candidate for Lusangazi council chairperson Patrick Banda arrested over alleged fake grade 12 results.

ECZ Corporate Affairs manager Patricia Luhanga said in statement that the news must be treated with the highest contempt.

“The commission is seriously concerned with allegations circulating in the media that it has issued instructions to the Zambia Police to arrest Patriotic Front (PF) candidate for the Lusangazi Council Chairperson seat over an alleged fake Grade 12 Certificate,” she said.

Ms Luhanga however confirmed that the commission received a written complaint from the UPND who questioned the successful processing of the nomination of the PF candidate based on an alleged questionable Grade 12 Certificate.

“The Commission guided that in line with the provisions of article 52(4) of the Constitution Amendment No. 2 of 2016, “A person may challenge before a court or tribunal as prescribed, the nomination of a candidate within seven days of the close of nomination and the court shall hear the case within twenty-one days of the lodgment”. The Party was advised to explore the avenue to allow for the due process of the law to be exhausted accordingly,” she said.

Ms Luhanga also said the commission received correspondence from Zambia Police, Eastern Province Commanding Officer expressing interest to investigate the matter concerning the candidate’s Grade 12 Certificate.

“In response to this request, the Commission guided the Police on the provisions of the Constitution and the Electoral Process Act that make adequate grounds on challenging nominations and indeed elections on the basis of qualifications,” she said.

Ms Luhanga reiterated the commission’s impartial stance in the conduct of electoral activities and has reminded aggrieved parties to utilise grievance procedures provided in the Constitution and the Electoral Process Act.

Yesterday, police spokesperson Rae Hamoonga confirmed the arrest of Patrict Banda over the alleged fake grade 12 certificate

Mr Hamoonga said the accused is alleged to have used a Grade Twelve School Certificate which did not belong to him to file in nominations as Council Chairperson for Lusangazi district.

“Police have charged and arrested Mr Patrick Banda aged 35 of Show grounds Compound Petauke for the offence of Personation of a person named in Certificate Contrary to Section 380 of the Penal Code of the Laws of Zambia,” he said.

Mr Hamoonga said that he has since been remanded in Police Custody and will appear in court soon.

The Lusangazi by elections are slated for Thursday, October, 21, 2021.