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.