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MUSOKOTWANE APPOINTMENT IN ORDER, SAYS SANGWA

MUSOKOTWANE APPOINTMENT IN ORDER, SAYS SANGWA

By PETER SICHALI

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema did not breach the Constitution by appointing Dr Situmbeko Musokotwane as minister before taking oath as MP, Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa has said.

He said there was no constitutional provision that requires an elected Member of Parliament to be sworn in before being appointed minister.

Mr Sangwa said taking oath was just a formality before assuming public office.

“There is nothing wrong with the President appointment Dr SitumbekoMusokotwane as minister before taking oath as MP because taking oath is just a formality,” Mr Sangwa said.

Meanwhile, Green Party leader Peter Sinkamba has argued that the Constitution requires that one has to be an MP before they can serve as ministers.

Mr Sinkamba said that an MP before carrying out the duty of his or her office, take or subscribe an Oath of Office as prescribed under a written law, and as set out in appendix IV in these Standing Orders.

Mr Sinkamba said the oath is taken before the Speaker, after the election of the Speaker, and after the Speaker presents himself or herself to the President for presidential approbation,.

“The Speaker and Deputies have not yet been elected, let alone sworn-in. So in accordance with Order 8(3) no MP shall carry out any duty at this point,” he said.

“If they cannot carry out MP duties before the process is executed, then they cannot carry out duties as ministers because being a minister is dependent on one being an MP. Being an MP is a condition precedent,” Mr Sinkamba said.

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