ConCourt orders judge Musona to confirm video evidence in Munali petition

By Staff Reporter
THE Constitutional Court has ordered High Court judge Edward Musona to view the video that was produced before him in an election petition against Munali PF member of parliament Professor Nkandu Luo and later confirm its authenticity to the superior court.
The video that also led to the nullification of the Higher Education minister’s seat depicts  violence that characterised the Munali parliamentary election in 2016.
This is in a matter where losing Munali UPND candidate Doreen Mwamba had asked the Constitutional Court to set aside its earlier order in July last year that the case in which Professor Luo appealed against the nullification of her seat proceeded without the video evidence.
Mwamba who is represented by lawyers Keith Mweemba, Dr Henry Mbushi, and Gilbert Phiri had also asked the court to dismiss Prof Luo’s appeal against the nullification of her seat, arguing that it was defective.
She further contended that Prof Luo’s appeal was incomplete since it did not contain all the exhibits tendered as evidence before judge Musona.
Mwamba wondered why the court on July 18 last year held that it would proceed to hear the appeal without video evidence when earlier on it had agreed to such evidence.
She submitted that the Constitutional Court had earlier on ruled  that in case parties failed to agree on all the contents of the video, the court would instruct judge Musona to view the video so that he could determine its authenticity.
However, Prof Luo’s lawyers objected to the viewing of the video, arguing that it could have been corrupted because it had overstayed.
But delivering a ruling on Monday, judge Enock Mulembe, sitting with judges Anne Sitali and Mungeni Mulenga, said in the interest of justice and proper determination of the appeal, judge Musona together with all parties involved in the matter should view the video.
The court further instructed judge Musona to confirm if indeed it was the content he viewed during hearing of the election petition.
Judge Mulembe further ordered judge Mason to give a report after viewing the video  to the Constitutional Court by March 29 this year.
He said although the jurisdiction of the Constitutional Court was defined by the Republican Constitution and the Act,  the rules were silent on whether it could review its own decisions.
Judge Mulembe added that in order for justice to be served, the court could still invoke inherent powers to review its own decisions.
After ruling on July 5 last year that the video evidence be viewed by judge Musona to confirm its authenticity, the Constitutional Court on July 18 the same year u-turned on its ruling.
One of the grounds on which judge Musona nullified Prof Luo’s seat was violence orchestrated by the ruling PF party cadres against the opposition, and the video evidence was cardinal to the matter.