The UPND losing candidate for Kanchibiya constituency James Mulenga has applied in the Lusaka High Court to discontinue his petition against the election of Patriotic Front candidate Sunday Chanda.
Mr. Mulenga petitioned the Kanchibiya Parliamentary seat after losing to Mr. Chanda who polled 19,686 against his 2,054 votes in the August 12 polls.
When the matter came up before justice Egispo Mwansa seating the Chinsali on Monday, Mr. Mulenga was not before court.
However, Mr. Chanda’s lawyers informed the judge that the petitioner, Mr. Mulenga through his lawyers had communicated that he would file a notice of discontinuation in the Lusaka High, which he has since done.
Justice Mwansa said the court did not want ‘busy bodies’ and that the petitioner and his lawyers should have been present during the hearing.
He said according to the elections petitions act, the petitioner’s lawyers were not expected to stay away from court but be present during the hearing which is a public hearing adding that he cannot decide to stay away from it.
“The petitioner is definitely not required to stay away from court to make such an application, he is supposed to be seated there.” Judge Mulenga said.
Justice Mwansa further said that the petitioner and his lawyers were required to file the notice, put the notice in a newspaper of his intention to withdraw and also serve the notice on the respondents.
And in a notice of intention to withdraw the petition, Mr. Mulenga said he decided to withdraw following President Hakainde Hichilema’s guidance on elections petitions.
“Take notice that the petitioner of house number 19, Vubu road Emasdale, Lusaka herein intends to withdraw the election petition against Mr. Chanda and the Electoral Commission of Zambia on the grounds that the President of Zambia gave guidance of the question of election petition, in a bid to promote democracy,” reads the notice in parts.
Justice Mwansa has since adjourned the matter to September 20, this year, in order to allow Mr. Mulenga to follow the correct procedure required for a petitioner to withdraw the case.