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Application filed against Lema ruling

15th February 2013
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Godbless Lema

Three members of the ruling party CCM, Musa Mkanga, Agness Mollel and Happy Kivuyo have filed an application to the Court of Appeal seeking for revision of its judgment which reinstated Godbless Lema as the Legislator for Arusha Urban Constituency.

The members filed the application on February 12, this year, giving several grounds to fault the judgment given by judges Nathalia Kimaro, Bernard Luanda and Salum Massati, on December 21, last year.

In their decision, the judges quashed the ruling by a High Court Judge Gabriel Rwakibarila who nullified Lema’s 2010 victory on the basis that Lema’s campaign rallies held between August 20 and October 2010 used abusive language against his opponent Batilda Burian which contravened election laws and regulation.

The appeal judges said that the CCM members had no locus stand to petition the High Court to challenge the election results on grounds that the winner had violated election rules by using abusive language during the campaign against his opponent.

In their application, the trio is asking the same judges to revise their decision, or the court constitute differently.

They alleged that the decision made by the judges in respect to no locus stand is in conflict with another decision given by the same court, particularly which law between the English Common Law and the National Election Act be applied in election cases.

The applicants further stated that the Court erred itself when it held that there was no evidence on record to indicate that they were registered voters and the court wrongly decided that the right of voters to challenge an election result is limited only to the violation of his or her right to vote.

In the appeal, Lema had challenged the decision given by the High Court on April 5, 2012, declaring his election in the 2010 General Elections null and void. Lema had polled 56,561 votes, while Dr Burian came second with 37,460 votes. 

Dr Burian, a former Cabinet minister, is now Tanzania's High Commissioner to Kenya. Lema’s victory was nullified after the court was satisfied that the then Chadema candidate uttered defamatory remarks and abusive language against his CCM rival.

But later Chadema appealed against the ruling claiming it was a ‘travesty of justice’, citing that the alleged defamatory and abusive language said to have been used by Lema against the CCM candidate, in the preceding campaigns had not been proven.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN