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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Election violence, corruption cost Sumbawanga MP his seat

1st May 2012

The High Court yesterday nullified the 2010 results of Sumbawanga Urban constituency parliamentary election, effectively ending the tenure of CCM’s Khalfan Aeshy Hilaly as Member of Parliament.

High Court (Mbeya Zone) Bethwell Mmilla took about three hours delivering the 68-page ruling, agreeing with two of the arguments raised in the petition by Norbert Yamsebo, who was the candidate of the opposition Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) in the poll, and throwing out the other 19.

The arguments that stood the court’s test are those related to violence and corruption during the election campaigns, which effectively means Hilaly will be ineligible to stand again as a candidate in a parliamentary election for the next five years,.

In remarks shortly after the ruling, Hilaly said: “I have heard the verdict... I will consult my lawyer for expert advice on what to do next. I will let you (journalists) know sooner or later.”

A jubilant Yamsebo meanwhile said he accepted the ruling “gratefully and wholeheartedly”, and thanked the court “for ensuring that justice is done and seen to be done”.

He added that he would contact his party’s leaders for guidance on the next course of action, what with the by-election to follow.

Hilaly’s counsel, Juma Nassoro, expressed dissatisfaction with the verdict, arguing that the points raised by the petitioner were without foundation.

He said he would have an audience with his client “to explore the possibility of appealing the ruling, thus making it possible for him (Hilaly) to continue serving as MP pending the determination of the case.

Last week, the High Court (Dodoma Zone) threw out a petition seeking to nullify the results of the 2010 Singida East constituency election, which Tundu Lissu (Chadema) won.

Judge Moses Mzuna rejected petitioners’ arguments and upheld Lissu’s victory, as announced by the National Electoral Commission.

On April 21 the High Court (Tabora Zone) rejected an application by former CCM candidate for Muhabwe constituency, Jamali Abdala Tamili, to have the results of the 2010 parliamentary election of NCCR-Mageuzi legislator Felix Mkosamali.

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