Declare UPND seats  vacant, ConCourt asked

Thu, 23 Mar 2017 12:56:15 +0000

 

 By CHARLES MUSONDA

 

THE Constitutional Court has been petitioned to declare 52 UPND seats vacant by virtue of the holders acting contrary to the prescribed code of conduct for members of Parliament as public officers.

In a petition filed yesterday by lawyer Robson Malipenga on behalf of his client Richard Mumba, the court has also been asked to declare and order that the 52 MPs were not eligible to re-contest their seats once declared vacant.

Mr. Mumba said the MPs contravened the Constitution of Zambia by breaching the prescribed Code of Conduct and Ethics of the office of a member of Parliament, the Oath of Office, and Oath of Allegiance to the President as per Standing Order 8 (3) of 2016.

He said the 52 lawmakers contravened the Constitution of Zambia by acts or omissions of illegally staying away from the National Assembly; failed to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution; and breached Standing Order 10 (5) of 2016, which mandatorily required them to stand in their places when the President entered and left the chamber.

“The 52 MPs breached parliamentary etiquette which required them to be present in the House a few minutes before the scheduled time of commencement of sitting as per Clause 2 Chapter 5 of the National Assembly Members’ Handbook, 2006.

“The 52 MPs breached parliamentary etiquette by disrespecting the President of the Republic of Zambia by not attending his address to the National Assembly on 17th March, 2017.

“UPND party Whip Garry Nkombo is quoted to have said the MPs have the 11th commandment that they shall not be where President Edgar Chagwa Lungu is until all court cases are determined,” Mr. Mumba said.

He said the conduct of the 52 MPs required the Constitutional Court to interpret the law, Standing Orders and National Assembly Handbook, 2006.

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