The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) says it will go ahead to facilitate a by-election in Roan parliamentary constituency despite Chishimba Kambwili’s case in which he is challenging Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant.
In an interview, Monday, ECZ Public Relations Manager Magaret Chimese said the commission would only postpone the by-election if the court directed it to do so.
And Chimese disclosed that nominations for the Roan, Bahati and local government by-elections slated for April 11, 2019, would take place on Thursday this week.
“At the moment, we are not part to the process that is going on with him (Kambwili) and the Court. We would need to get communication from the court, that’s when we would stop our proceeding regarding direction in terms of how the court would find fit. We have a statutory obligation to undertake these elections and we are bound by time,” Chimese said.
“So if the situation changes, we can only be triggered by the court to stop what we are doing or to continue. We are going ahead, unless otherwise. So if those papers can be saved, that would then give us direction as to how we would proceed.”
Chimese said nominations for the Roan, Bahati and local government by-elections slated for April 11, 2019, would take place on Thursday.
“We are ready, we have all our logistics in place. Nominations are taking place on Thursday (this week), so everything being equal, we will be able to undertake those by elections. And it’s not only those areas, Roan and Bahati, there are other areas where by-elections are taking place, there are ward and council chairperson by-elections in various parts of the country,” said Chimese.
And when contacted to comment on why he decided to petition Speaker Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant, Kambwili said he could not discuss the issue as it was active in court.
“We are in court, I cannot comment on that issue until the court makes a decision. This is why I have not issued any statement or communicated to anyone about this issue because it is in court. I will communicate to the nation at the appropriate time when the matter is out of court,” said Kambwili.