UPND Vice President and Kasama Member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba popularly known as GBM, has lost his parliamentary seat.
This means that Mr. Mwamba immediately ceases to be Kasama Central MP even though he did not voluntarily resign from the Patriotic Front (PF), the party which sponsored his candidature in the 2011 general elections.
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini announced in parliament when he made a ruling on a point of order which was raised last week on whether Mr. Mwamba, who was elected on a Patriotic Front (PF) ticket in 2011, was in order to remain in parliament when he has joined another political party and subsequently appointed its Vice President.
Dr. Matibini, who delivered a 55-minute ruling, explained that the Kasama lawmaker, Mr. Mwamba, crossed the floor.
The House was characterised with jubilation from mainly PF parliamentarians as the Speaker was delivering the ruling.
Dr. Matibini quoted Article 71 (2)(c) of the constitution and said a member of the National Parliament shall vacate his seat in the Assembly if she/he becomes a member of a political party other than the party of which he was an authorised candidate when he was elected to the National Assembly.
“I now declare the Kasama Central parliamentary seat vacant and Honourable Mwamba loses his seat forthwith because he crossover to another political party,” the Speaker said.
Last week, Home Affairs Minister and PF Chipili MP Davies Mwila rose on a point of order seeking the Speaker’s ruling on whether it was in order for Mr. Mwamba to continue sitting in Parliament when he had joined the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND).
Dr. Matibini further ruled that Independent Lubansenshi MP Patrick Mucheleka has not lost his seat although he is a strong sympathizer of the opposition UPND.
The appointment of GBM as Vice President in the UPND has attracted reactions from various stakeholders.
Recently, President Edgar Lungu advised the former Kasama Central parliamentarian to choose between serving the ruling party or stay in the opposition.
On opposition UPND MPs who are serving in the government after being appointed by President Lungu and have been campaigning for the Patriotic Front, during by-elections, the Speaker ruled that the named lawmakers were still MPs because they were appointed by the Republican President.
President Edgar Lungu appointed MMD Mwandi MP Michael Kaingu as Minister of Education among other MPs from the opposition.
The Speaker also guided the House on how former opposition National Party MP Ben Tetamanshimba, who crossed over to the UPND then and lost his parliamentary seat.
“Hon. Tetamanshimba (deceased) lost his parliamentary seat in a similar manner if you recall honourable members,” the Speaker said.