Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu says the decision to drop him as party Secretary General is illegal.
In a statement released, Mr Lungu contends that the decision to relive him of his duties as party Secretary General is also highly provocative under the current circumstances of national mourning.
He said the action taken by Acting PF President Guy Scott is illegal and has no foundation or support of the PF party constitution.
Mr Lungu accused Dr Scott of insulting the Zambian culture and the people of Zambia by constantly engaging himself in matters that undermine the dignity, honour and respect of the funeral of President Michael Sata.
Mr Lungu who is also Chawama Member of Parliament said he is aware that they are serious manoeuvres to reinstate Mr. Wynter Kabimba as Secretary General of the Party.
He said these manoeuvres are also designed to undermine the decision made by President Michael Sata on 28th August 2014 and the wishes and interest of the party.
Mr Lungu said he is also aware that there is an attempt to usurp state and party powers to a group now commonly known as the ‘’cartel”.
He warned that the action by Dr. Guy Scott to illegally assume the office of party president and to pretend to perform such functions in the absence of the harmonization of this constitutional conflict is promoting disharmony.
“I also note that Dr. Guy Scot had on Friday 31st October 2014, announced the banning of meetings including the holding of meetings by the Central Committee. This action is also illegal as during this difficult and sensitive moment, Dr. Scot is expected to benefit from the wisdom and counsel of the Central Committee and not from strangers and members of the group famously referred to as the “Cartel” currently surrounding him,” the letter read.
“Dr. Guy Scott is expected to defend the interest of the Patriotic Front, its values and is expected to adhere to the provisions of the letter and spirit of the party constitution. I wish to warn all members and party leaders including, Dr. Guy Scott to act with restraint as the nation is in mourning and the body of His Excellency, President Michael Sata is lying in state at Mulungushi International Conference Center as President Sata deserves to be mourned with utmost dignity, peace and respect.”
It continued, “It should be made very clear that our restraint is out of utmost respect for the departed, His Excellency, President Michael Sata, is not a sign of weakness. The people of Zambia are resolved to safeguard peace during this time of mourning. Zambia attained its independence to upholding peace, unity and upholding human dignity and actions spoiling for political fights runs counter to these values.”
The two articles are quoted below:
ARTICLE 53: RESIGNATION OR REMOVAL OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE PARTY
(1) In the event of the President of the Party resigning, or being removed from Office of The ?President of the Party, he shall cease to be President of the Party and the Secretary General shall act as President of the Party until the new President is elected in accordance with provisions of Article 48 of this Constitution.
(2) In case of absence of both the President and the Secretary-General of the Party, the President of the Party shall choose one from amongst the members of the Central Committee to perform the functions of the President of the Party until such a time as the President or Secretary General of the Party shall resume his duties.
ARTICLE 54 : FUNCTIONS AND DUTIES VICE PRESIDENT
(1) The Vice President shall have the following powers, duties and functions:
a) to be the principal assistant to the President of the Party;
b) to exercise all such functions as may be delegated to him by the President;
c) to act for the President in his absence;
d) To exercise the functions of President in case of death or removal from office in terms of Article 53.
I have referred this matter to the Central Committee to consider and resolve.
Article 53 reposes power in the Office of the Secretary General as Acting President of the Party in the event of the absence, resignation or being removed until a new party president is elected.
I am cognizant of the fact that a single section under Article 54 (d) also purports to repose powers in the Vice President to act as Party President when the office party president falls vacant through death.
Owing to this serious lacuna and conflict in the party constitution designating powers and functions of the president to two offices, it is imperative that this matter be urgently resolved by the Central Committee.
I have therefore called for an emergency Central Committee Meeting to be held tomorrow Tuesday 4th November 2014 to consider the following agenda items;
• The purported letter of dismissal
• Taking action which in the opinion of the Central Committee is in the best interest, security and development of the party and the state in accordance with Article 58(l) and 58(m).
• And to resolve matters relating to Article 53 and Article 54
The Central committee has powers to resolve all matters as listed below:
POWERS AND FUNCTIONS OF THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE
The Central Committee shall have the following powers and functions:
(a) Supervising the implementation of the Party policies and programmes;
(b) Programming Party policies as formulated by the General Conference or the National Council;
(c) Enforcing discipline among members and officials of the Party;
(d) Regulating and controlling activities of all organs of the Party;
(e) Ensuring that records of all Party activities are kept and supervising proper maintenance of records and books of accounts at all levels of the Party organization;
(f) Exercising the function of orientation and leadership of the Party;
(g) Initiating, whenever possible, Party policies for consideration by the National Councilor the General Conference;
(h) Orientating and controlling activities of the central organs of the State and other public institutions in the country;
(i) Guiding and giving correct orientation to popular mass organizations;
(j) Hearing appeals from appropriate disciplinary bodies;
(k) Summoning regular or extraordinary meetings of the National Councilor the General Conference;
(I) initiating and approving changes in the Regulations and Rules of the Party;
(m) Taking action which in the opinion of the Central Committee is in the best interest, security and development of the Party and the State;
(n) Constituting such administrative structures at the Party National Headquarters as may facilitate smooth and efficient functioning of the Party.