YALI Governance Expert Isaac Mwanza has issued the following statement on reports making rounds on UPND presidential running mate Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba commonly known as GBM:
Currently there is a rumour circulating on the qualifications by GBM and my brother Ngande Mwanajiti who is a PF member is quoted in connection with the story. I am keenly trying to follow these developments and see where it goes. I can’t say it’s true or not until the truth comes out, but people having been asking me the question, supposing it’s true, what happens to GBM nomination? What happens to HH nomination?
With the recording I have from ECZ, the ECZ position is as simple as the candidates qualification is still valid once it’s been declared valid by ECZ. The reporter asked ECZ under what circumstances a candidate can be disqualified during this period, ECZ maintained that once it’s declared valid nothing can change. Those who want the recording can inbox me the whatsapp number. Will ECZ be caught in double standards or will they shift the position for convenience sake?
The Law, as YALI has been saying, is however very clear. Article 52 clause 6 comes into play. After the close of nominations and before the date of elections, a candidate can become disqualified OR the court can disqualify the candidate. And once the candidate is disqualified, fresh nominations have to be held for those eligible candidates. In this case, President Lungu, HH, Edith, Tilyenji, etc will have to file fresh nominations and they are at liberty to change even the running mate since these will be fresh nominations.
However, ECZ insisted such nominations are valid. So let’s wait and see where this story takes us to.