Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini welcomes United Nations secretary general Ban Ki-Moon to parliament building in Lusaka
Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini

DEPUTY clerk administration of the National Assembly Cecilia Mbewe says Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini did not act irrationally, unreasonably, illegally, procedurally improper or in excess of his jurisdiction when he declared the Kasama Central Parliamentary seat vacant.

This is in a case in which former Kasama member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba is challenging Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant.

Mr Mwamba has also sued the Attorney-General Likando Kalaluka and the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ).

According to an affidavit in opposition to summons for an order of stay, Ms Mbewe said Dr Matibini was merely enforcing the provisions of the constitution which fall within his jurisdiction and that the court has nothing to stay because Mr Mwamba’s seat was already declared vacant.

“The Speaker was merely enforcing the provisions of the constitution which he has always exercised in the course of his duties as Speaker of the National Assembly without necessarily interfering with the powers of the other arms of Government,” Ms Mbewe said.

She said Mr Mwamba ceased to be a member of the Patriotic Front (PF) which sponsored his election as Kasama member of Parliament in 2011, when he accepted the position of United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for ad-ministration.

She said Mr Mwamba commenced a petition challenging his expulsion from the PF which did not preclude Dr Matibini from delivering his reserved ruling on a point of order raised by Minister of Home Affairs Davis Mwila in Parliament when he wanted to know whether it was in order for Mr Mwamba to continue being an MP when he had joined the opposition party.

“Having already delivered his ruling and declared the seat vacant, there is absolutely nothing for this honourable court to stay,” Ms Mbewe said.

In his application, Mr Mwamba said he already had a pending matter in the courts of law regarding his membership in the Patriotic Front (PF).

He said Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant should have come after the outcome of this petition.

Mr Mwamba contended that Dr Matibini should have properly ruled over the issue of whether his Parliamentary seat was to become vacant after the determination by the High Court over his membership.

Mr Mwamba’s seat was declared vacant on July 28 by Dr Matibini following his decision to join the UPND and his subsequent appointment as vice-president for administration.

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28 COMMENTS

  1. Let us see them split the hairs. When the party expels their member of parliament whom it sponsored into parliament, the Speaker refuses declare the seat vacant waiting for the courts to make a ruling; but when the member of parliament leaves the party that sponsord him into parliament, the Speaker promptly declares the seat vacant.

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    • There is nothing to split hairs about Misango Yaba Chaimani! The issue is as clear as day and night. When you join a different party rather than the party that sponsored you into parliament, you cease to represent the later. When an MP is appointed to serve in GRZ and the party feels agrieved and expels the MP, the Mp has recourse to go to court and defend that despite serving in GRZ, the MP is still a member of the party that sponsored him and the court can actually restrain the party from expelling such an MP.
      It is important to distinguish service to country through GRZ and joining a political party and having a senior party position like Vice President – Administration.
      GBM will lose and this will be used against him during campaigns which will commence soon.

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    • Mutendele is talking as if he can accept his wife taking a job found by her ex-boyfriend with no strings attached. In whose interest do you think Siamunene will be serving come 2016?

      Don’t play around with English, we are equally smart.

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    • BA GBM DEEPLY LACKS THE ACADEMIC AMMUNITION TO UNDERSTAND EVEN THE MOST STRAIGHT FORWARD ISSUE SUCH AS THIS. REALLY, ONE DOES NOT EVEN NEED TO GO TO SCHOOL TO KNOW THE IMPLICATION OF JOINING AND ACCEPTING A POSITION IN ANOTHER POLITICAL CAMP. THIS IS NOT MERELY SUPPORTING UPND BUT EVEN HOLDING A KEY POSITION. IN EVERY ASPECT ONE THINKS ABOUT IT YOU CAN NEVER BE AN AMERICAN (USA) AS WELL AS BE THE PRESIDENT OR VICE PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA. I HOPE THIS EXAMPLE DRIVES A POINT INTO GBM’s SEEMINGLY EMPTY HEAD. MY ADVICE TO GBM IS, DON’T LET HH START CHEATING YOU THING HE HAS THE EDUCATION TO UNDERSTAND THE CONSTITUTION. MAYBE EVEN AS A PARTY PRESIDENT HE DOESN’T EVEN READ IT.

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  2. I think upnd and mwamba are a sick lot surely can you start defending a thing which even a Grade one can tell that mwamba is no longer a member of PF.

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    • The issue is not that the seat is not vacant, but whose duty is it to pronounce it as vacant: the court or speaker, more so where the case is in court. The speaker shud have just have stopped short of declaring it vacant coz court was to do so.

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  3. misango ya ba Chaimani,

    That’s the procedure. when one declares him/her self a non member of a [political party he represents in Parliament, then he/she seizes to continue being a member of Parliament]. BUT when you are expelled from the party you represent in Parliament, and you seek judicial opinion through the courts of law, then you continue to represent the party that expels you until the courts of law declares you “expelled”, that’s the time you will vacate the seat in Parliament. As Simple as just that…you cry baby.
    Just wondering what your problem is…crying baby the under 3

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    • Very interesting points you have raised. But when someone crosses over to another party, who should nullify the seat? If it’s the courts, who should take the matter to court. Yes, the fact is GBM has crossed over no doubt about that and his seat must be nullified, but I’m not sure the speaker has authority to nullify the seat. In the past, those who crossed over to other parties stepped down on their own and triggered by-election, and majority of those were from Opposition to Ruling parties. I can only think of Maynard Misapa who went the opposite, i.e crossed over from Ruling party (MMD) to opposition (PF). The outcome of this case will be very interesting.

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  4. UPND knows that once they lose Kasama seat now,psychologically,it will be a big blow against their will of ever deceiving people that Northern province is their strong hold.They now want to buy time through legal battles knowing very well how issues take long in courts. Fear of the unknown.

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  5. GBM knows that PF lead courts can not give him a just judgment, the speaker is not the court he is a law maker therefore he does not interpret law, he should have waited the courts to make judgment since the matter is in the court of law. Anyway Zambia has gone to dogs. GBM is just buying time so that he fully organize himself to win his Kasama seat. He has already proved that he is a force to reckon with by giving UPND a award in Kasama central.PF is finished and buried.

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  6. Sometimes I wonder how UPND cadres who claim to be very educated can fail to understand the difference between serving a party and serving Government. The GBM case has clearly exposed UPND ignorance of the law.

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  7. @Ray Jay Sean

    Indeed UPND are a confused lot, I agree.

    The matter that has been pending in court was about expulsion from the party, Chama’s jurisdiction.

    The case before the SPEAKER,was about expulsion from Parliament, the Speaker’s jurisdiction!

    In any case the speaker HAS ALWAYS Excised these powers from time immemorial. Nothing has changed.

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  8. whether the court rules out that GBM is or not expelled from pf, the kasama seat will still be declared vacant because he has already crossed the floor and quickly accepted the position of party veep there by defusing his court injunction. The party of under fives sucks big time, no one understands little things apart from praising hh.

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  9. @Economic Manager
    UPND is scared of losing Kasama….GBM is no longer a factor in the area politically because Kasama is the Capital city of PF.They can not lose in their own bedroom.NEVER !

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  10. 1. Bye elections are costly with or without an MP, Kasama constituency will still function.
    2. No need for any by-elections from now own we need that money for other developmental issues.
    3. GOVT uses state money in these elections in which the poor do not benefit.
    4. GBM has the money to spend without govt support but not the other way round.
    5. Who is supreme over this case the speaker or the courts? The statements above are found wanting as no one is above the law.
    6. Advice: Wait for 2016 if you have to use govt resources. The by-elections should not be a priority.
    Concerned citizen who does not believe in parties but individual who can deliver without govt support!!

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  11. Fat Albert knows that he has made a terrible mistake by joining UPND because he has realized that they only exist on paper, AMAKA YABA PABWATO! Northern Circuit and entire Kasama is all PF. Fat Albert is not wanted in UPND for reasons not to be disclosed here and already there strong stories that the old guards in UPND are wondering why foreigners in UPND have taken up the two top slots.
    HH has never seen GBM from the time he defected and he doesn’t know who to turn to including Munkombwe!

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  12. The speaker has a duty to officially declare seats vacant in parliamenty. Without this, there can be no bye election. If GBM accepts he joined UPND , why waste time on this issue.

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    • @ John Chinena correctly observed in fact GBM may be charged for CONTEMPT OF THE HOUSE, if he is not careful and continues to be arrogant. Ignorance of the law has no defence. Each arm of government works independently and hence the Judiciary will never interfere with Parliamentary etiquette especially where the rules for one to be a Member of Parliament are very clear.

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  13. My colleagues have ably handled this debate. I have further comment, except to ask what sort of people are those who aspire to lead this nation and yet cannot understand simple things like that GBM is legally expelled from parliament? He actually expelled himself and the Speaker simply did his noble duty to confirm it. Even the court process that he commenced is an abuse of judicial process. Please GBM and UPND, LET THE COURTS ATTEND TO MORE IMPORTANT THINGS LIKE CLEARING THE BACKLOG OF CASES OF PEOPLE WHO ARE UNNECESSARILY BEHIND BARS.
    With this kind of reasoning one can see why HH and UPND are not and cannot be in power.
    Just look at HH’s reasoning on power issues, I am sure even his MPs like Gary and Jack must be filled with tears of shame for they know that their boss has said is…

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  14. …Gary served on the energy committee of parliament and is very well versed with the subject. Ba HH just lower yourself and consult Gary where you are ignorant, but then asking HH to humble himself and ask his more knowledgeable MPs is anathema. The man would rather embarrass himself silly. Ba Gary Na ba Jack, please offer that under five leader of yours some knowledge and guidance, why do you guys keep your knowledge to yourselves? Or has he refused to listen to you?

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