On July 28, 2022, Prince Kaliza a Facebook blogger published a post stating that, Mr Bowman Lusambo, whose Kabushi Constituency seat was nullified is not eligible to recontest his seat. The claim followed a decision of the Constitutional Court on July 28 to uphold the nullification of the election of Bowman Lusambo as Kabushi Constituency Member of Parliament. The Lusaka High Court linked Lusambo to pre-election violence in Kabushi and distribution of money in breach of electoral rules and the Constitutional Court has found that the High Court was on firm ground when it found that there was violence on three occasions in Kabushi and Mr Lusambo was present at the time. The nullification triggered widespread public debate on whether Bowman Lusambo is qualified to recontest his seat in the coming By-Elections.
iVerify Zambia has established as misleading the claim by Mr Prince Kaliza that Mr Bowman Lusambo is not eligible to recontest the Kabushi Constituency seat. The Electoral Process Act Section 108(6) states that if it appears to the High Court during an election trial that any corrupt or illegal practice was committed by any person in connection with the election to which the election relates, in the event of an appeal, the ConCourt shall prepare the report, except that the Court shall not state the name of any person under this paragraph unless the person has been given an opportunity to appear.
Furthermore, Subsection 8 requires the Commission to recommend prosecution of the person named in the DPP’s report as soon as it gets it under Subsection 7. In the case of Bowman Lusambo, the ConCourt found fraud and violence to be illegal and prosecutable electoral practices meaning Mr Lusambo is liable to prosecution. The Electoral Commission of Zambia was contacted by iVerify Zambia to further fact-check the story. They explained that what the court has essentially done is declare the election that gave him his “victory” null and void because it was tainted by fraud and illegal activity, making it unfair, and therefore calling for a new election through a by-election in Kabushi.
Therefore, in the absence of prosecution for illegal practice, it is misleading to say Bowman Lusambo cannot recontest the Kabushi Seat.