Electoral Expert MacDonald Chipenzi has accused the Minister of Justice of deliberately failing to effect a consequential amendment in Parliament during the amendment of the constitution after the dropping the Article on Appointment of Ministers outside Parliament.
Mr Chipenzi observed that the debate on Ministers remaining in office after the dissolution of Parliament is unnecessary aimed at swaying people’s attention from economic and political malaise affecting the country.
Mr Chipenzi who was the Spokesperson for the Grand Coalition on a people driven constitution said the debate also shows how the constitution was manipulated in Parliament by the PF Government to illegally allow Ministers to occupy their positions even after the dissolution of Parliament.
He has stressed that Ministers will be dissolved together with Parliament on May 11, 2016 and there continued stay in office will be an illegality and unconstitutional and has since called on citizens to petition the Constitution Court to interpret the Constitution on this matter.
Below is a full statement issued to the media by Mr Chipenzi.
The debate on Ministers remaining in office after the dissolution of Parliament, though a health democratic discourse is unnecessary debate aimed at swaying peoples attention and opinion from economic and political malaise affecting the country.
The debate also shows how the constitution was manipulated in Parliament by the PF Government to illegally allow Ministers to occupy their position even after the dissolution of Parliament.
This further shows the poor workmanship on the part of the Minister of Justice who deliberately failed to effect a consequential amendment in Parliament during the amendment of the constitution after the dropping the Article on Appointment of Ministers outside Parliament.
The logic behind the retention of Ministers after the dissolution of Parliament was premised on the draft constitutional Article or clause that dictated that Ministers were supposed to have been appointed from outside Parliament not within as the practice has been all along.
In this case, Ministers were not to be affected by the dissolution of Parliament but remained and in office and retained their functions until a new President is elected after a General Election.
To this end, since the PF government manipulated and doctored the constitution and removed the Article/Clause on the appointment of Ministers from Outside Parliament and retained the old system of appointing ministers from within Parliament, there is no way these Ministers can and will continue to remain in office after the dissolution of parliament on May 11, 2016.
Under Article 81 of the amended constitution, it states that the term of Parliament shall be five years commencing from the date that the Members of Parliament are sworn into office after a General Elections and ending on the date Parliament is dissolved.
As Parliament stands dissolved 90 days before the holding of the next General Election on August 11, 2016, retaining Ministers in office will be in breach of Articles 72 which dictates that a Member of Parliament shall vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon dissolution of Parliament.
PF government should have supported the article on the appointment of Ministers from Outside Parliament if it wanted Ministers to retain their portfolios after the dissolution of Parliament.
Therefore, Ministers will be dissolved together with Parliament on May 11, 2016 and there continued stay in office will be an illegality and unconstitutional and therefore, an immediate need and call on citizens to petition the Constitution Court to interpret the Constitution on this matter.
Young African Leaders Initiative YALI also added it’s voice.
Ministers Remaining In Office After Dissolution of Parliament needs interpretation
The Young African Leaders Initiative calls (YALI) calls upon the Constitutional Court and authorities to help put to rest the debate that Ministers shall remain in office after dissolution of Parliament stands dissolved in accordance of Article 81 of the Constitution of Zambia, later this week.
We say so because while Article 116 clause 3 (e) states that the office of Minister becomes vacant if another person assumes the office of President, the Constitution is very clear and unambiguous that Ministers are appointed from among the Members of Parliament.
YALI wonders how Ministers would remain in office when the office, which is the basis of which they became Ministers, is dissolved.
We also call on the Attorney General and Minister of Justice to clarify how, under article 111 clause 4 (c), the office of vice-president becomes vacant if the vice-president ceases to hold office by virtue of dissolution of Parliament under Article 81.
If the Vice Presidents office becomes vacant by virtue of Article 81 which provides for dissolution of Parliament, how come the Ministers are not affected by Article 81? We ask?