FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS
FODEP’S REACTION TO MR. SUNDAY CHANDA OF PF’S DEFENCE OF MR. MULENGA SATA’S NOMINATION AS MP DESPITE BEING A PARTICIPANT IN 2011 GENERAL ELECTIONS
July 6, 2015- Following Mr. Chanda’s defence of the appointment of Mr. Mulenga Sata as Deputy Minister at State House despite him being a candidate in the 2011 election in alleged contravention of the provision of Article 68 (3) of the current constitution, FODEP would seek the legal opinions of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Attorney General of the Republic of Zambia.
FODEP however wishes to request Mr. Chanda to provide to the nation the provision in the constitution that states that only parliamentary losing candidates are ineligible for presidential nomination to the National Assembly of Zambia and not winning candidates at Local government level.
Article 68 (3), clearly states “A person may not be nominated as a nominated member if he was candidate for election in the last preceding general election or in any subsequent by-election.”
The constitution just states “candidate for election in the last preceding general election or any subsequent by-election” and it does not discriminate whether one was candidate for election at local government, parliamentary or indeed presidential elections to be ineligible for nomination.
Further the constitution does not state that one must be a parliamentary losing candidate to be ineligible for nomination or indeed a winning candidate at ward level to be eligible.
It is a known fact that Mr. Mulenga Sata was candidate in the 2011 elections at ward level and won the Kabulonga Ward seat in an election which preceded his appointment to the position of Deputy Minister at State House and Nomination as member of the National Assembly of Zambia.
He is still a serving councilor at the Lusaka City Council a position he has not relinquished even after being appointed Deputy Minister at State House and nominated Member of Parliament.
Even if he was to relinquish his position, the cited article does not qualify him to be a nominated parliamentarian due to his participation in the preceding general election. This is the first time in the recent history of this country where a serving councillor is nominated to serve as MP representing a ward in Parliament.
The Article 68 (3) does not mention losing parliamentary candidate only which Mr. Chanda wants to introduce in the Constitution. He should not politicize even a straightforward issue which requires serious rectification from the authorities, in case it was an oversight on their part. It is FODEP’s considered challenge to Mr. Chanda to inform the nation which Article in the constitution states that only losing parliamentary candidates are ineligible to be nominated as MPs in the National Assembly of Zambia.
This level of competence in ignorance by Mr. Chanda is extremely amazing and PF should be worry of such elements in their ranks and file. Mr. Chanda is not a Government Spokesperson or indeed legal advisor to the Government or State House spokesperson to start responding to government related issues.