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President Hichilema breached Constitution – PeP

By SILUMESI MALUMO

PRESIDENT Hakainde Hichilema erred when he made a unilateral decision to welcome the military presence of another country on the sovereign soil of our nation without seeking Parliamentary approval nor stakeholders’ input, Patriot for Economic Progress (PeP) president Sean Tembo has said.

“We have closely followed the debate on the planned establishment of a presence of the United States Military – African Command (AFRICOM) on Zambian soil, as announced by President Hakainde Hichilema when he met AFRICOM’s Brigadier General Peter Bailey on April 25, 2022.

We have also taken note of the clarifications issued on this matter by the US Embassy in Zambia on April 22, 2022 as well as the further clarifications issued by the Minister of Defence, Mr Ambrose Lufuma on  May 2, 2022,” he said.

Mr Tembo said the powers of a President were clearly defined in article 90 to 98 of the Republican Constitution, and do not include negotiating, compromising or undermining the sovereignty of the country.

He said, ’’By unilaterally authorsing the presence of a foreign military on Zambian soil without Parliamentary approval, President Hakainde Hichilema breached the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia.

“It is worth noting here that the nature, scope, location or magnitude of the planned AFRICOM presence in Zambia does not matter. What matters is that a foreign military was illegally authorized to operate on Zambian soil by the President.

With regard to the attempted explanation issued by the Minister of Defence, it is worth noting that the United States Government already has a military attaché at their embassy here in Zambia, just like Zambia has a military attaché at our various missions abroad. The purpose of these military attachés is to coordinate military to military cooperation among countries, through diplomatic channels.

And a Zimbabwean politician Linda Tsungirirai Masarira recently complained that the current government of Zambia led by President Hichilema is a security threat to SADC and Zimbabwe’s territorial integrity.

“Zimbabweans must be wary of the US manoeuvres in Zambia as they pose a great threat to national and regional security as well as sovereignty of all SADC states,” Ms Masarira warned.

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