editorial

‘SPEAKER ACTED ILLEGALLY’

IT does not come as a surprise that the Attorney General Mr Mulilo Kabesha believes Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti broke the law.

There are more surprises to come as the drama unfolds in the courts.

We have always maintained that Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti acted illegally when she made changes to the leadership of the Patriotic Front in parliament.

That she accepted the appointment of the new Leader of the Opposition, Mr Robert Chabinga in place of Mr Brian Mundubile was against the constitution.

The matter involving the PF leadership was already in court and yet to be judged.  But she jumped the gun.

We are glad that the Attorney General, Mr Mulilo Kabesha has stated openly that the Speaker has no legal mandate to question the internal election processes of the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament by a political party.

Mr Kabesha stated his position when he opposed a petition in which a purported PF member, Mr Moses Sakala is seeking an order that Mr Mundubile, the Leader of Opposition in Parliament should pay back all monies and monetary benefits obtained during his tenure as Leader of the Opposition.

Mr Sakala is seeking a declaration that Mr Mundubile’s appointment to the position in question was null and void ab initio, as it was done in contravention of Article 74(2) of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016.

But Mr Kabesha has objected and is praying that the Constitutional Court dismiss the petition that Mr Mundubile should refund the money he earned as Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.

This is according to the Attorney General’s answer and skeleton arguments filed on January 25, 2024, objecting to the petition by Mr Sakala before the Constitutional Court.

Speaker Mutti made changes in Parliament by replacing Mr Mundubile as Leader of the Opposition in the House with Mr Chabinga, the suspended Mafinga Member of Parliament while the matter of his appointment by expelled Matero Member of Parliament was still in the courts of law.

Attorney General Kabesha, who has been cited as the first respondent dismissed claims by Mr Sakala, arguing that the petition was nothing but a perpetuation of unconstitutional acts.

It is these unconstitutional acts that we demand that the perpetrators involved must be made to account for their crimes.

The genesis of the ongoing petition stems from the sinister manner in which Mr Sampa’s PF retreat was in actual fact an elective convention with tacit approval from the government last October 24.

Since then, the nation has witnessed how fraud and forgery has been committed by making alterations to the list of PF office holders, replaced them with those “elected” at the October 24 sham of a conference.

In the process, innocent victims have suffered as seen by the removal of Ms Thandiwe Mhende-Phiri, the former Registrar of Societies for refusing to be a party to the illegalities.

Without even giving her a chance to exculpate herself in line with civil service condtions of service, she was shunted to Cabinet Office awaiting deployment.

This perpetuation of unconstitutional acts ought to be investigated thoroughly to ensure that whoever played a part in their commission is made to answer for their crime.

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