Monday, 24 November 2014

Petauke Councillors Say Lack Of MP hampering Development

Dora Siliya
By Paul Shalala in Petauke

Some Councilors from Petauke District in Eastern Province are not happy that they have no representation in parliament due to a long court case surrounding the eligibility of former Petauke Central MP Dora Siliya to participate in a by-election following the nullification of her election in June 2013.

In an emotional petition to the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission in Petauke, the councilors have called for a new law that will ensure electoral disputes are disposed  off by courts within six months.

Mbala ward councilor Simon Longwe told the commission public sitting at the Petauke Civic Center on Friday that several constituency development fund projects in Petauke are not succeeding because the area has had no Member of Parliament for the past 17 months.

"Am an angry councillor. Why is the judiciary taking too long to pass judgement? In other constituencies they passed judgement, why not Petauke? We can not develop this area because we have no MP here," said Longwe.

And Nyika ward councilor Kelvin Phiri says development in his ward has been affected because there is  no MP to lobby for the construction of roads and other infrastructure.
Legal and Justice Sector Reforms public sitting in Petauke

"People have no water here, people have no roads here, farmers are not being paid. Yes am a councillor but i have limits. We need an MP," said Phiri.

In June 2013, the Supreme Court nullified the election of Ms Siliya as Petauke Central Member of Parliament following allegations of corruption during the 2011 campaigns.

However, the constituency cannot have a new Member of Parliament until the courts of law determine Ms Siliya's eligibility to contest a by-election.

Malambo constituency in Eastern Province and Mulobezi constituency in Western Province are also waiting for the Supreme Court to rule on the eligibility of their previous MPs to contest by-elections.

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