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Muckracking Extra:To run or not to run

Which brings me to the court battles MEC has lost.

I have no problems with some folks being disqualified if the good people at MEC find them wanting in one way or the other. Indeed not every Jim and Jack can offer themselves for election; they have to satisfy certain issues like age, sanity, education and all that.

But I have a hell lot of problems when today MEC says Candidate A is legible, tomorrow it says Candidate A is ineligible.

I have no problems with the disqualification of Jesse Kabwila, John Chisi and Mathews Ngwale. MEC made a firm stand that these were public officers, being dons at the university, and therefore ineligible.

But the certification of the three presidential aides and their last minute disqualification brings lots of suspicion.

Why was it necessary for MEC to seek a second opinion on MacDonald Sembereka, Malani Mtonga and Wakuda Kamanga? Why did the electoral body not trust the first opinion? If the first opinion was found wanting, what makes the second opinion trustworthy? Why not seek a third, fourth or indeed a fifth opinion?

Interestingly, when the three aides were cleared to stand we never heard of any resignations. But once MEC cracked its whip the trio produced resignation letters. When did these good people resign and why, for MEC initially had no problems with their working for Ama?

Indeed why should MEC quickly accept their purported resignations and not interrogate them? Things are not adding up here.

On the three aides MEC needlessly exposed its soft underbelly. When it cleared MacDonald, Wakuda and Malani to stand, the electoral body should have stuck to that decision unless someone challenged their legibility. Why should MEC certify the trio to stand and then go back to challenge its own decision?

I agree with Justice Dunstain Mwaungulu that MEC had no legal reason to disqualify Prof. John Chisi unless someone petitioned it. Likewise, MEC should not have sought a second opinion on the three presidential aides unless someone petitioned it.

As my senior colleague Zebedee would put it, I suspect some hanky-panky shenanigans here…

…Which ain’t good for a Commission smarting from a botched voters’ roll verification exercise.

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