Minister of Justice accused of deliberately failing to effect amendments

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President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu shaking hands with Justice Minister Ngosa Sibyakula during the Assenting of the Constitutional Bill Ceremony at Heroes Stadium yesterday 05-01-2016. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS
President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu shaking hands with Justice Minister Ngosa Sibyakula during the Assenting of the Constitutional Bill Ceremony at Heroes Stadium yesterday 05-01-2016. Picture by ROYD SIBAJENE/ZANIS

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?

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19 COMMENTS

  1. SINKAMBA WISDOM – There is no need to interpret the clause. The clause is very clear, once parliament is dissolved all ministers have to vacate the offices. unless less they want to waste and steal taxpayers money. There is no integrity to hold on to their offices.

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    • It is a very good reason to decampaign the PF if we will be seeing them drive around as ministers. PF ALWAYS shoots itself in the foot as if / because they have no intellectuals to critically analyse every move they want to make. let them stay on and we have a campaign issue.

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    • Ngosa Symbyakula and Edgar Lungu are two failed lawyers. Under their watch, Public Order Act has been abused and the have failed to amend. The dual citizenship clause in constitution s not clear….why would anyone choose to work with such failure?

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  2. Iwe Chimpenzi and yo team yu aught to be SHAMED OF HOW YOU HAVE MESSED UP THE CONSTITUTION. sOON THERE WILL BE ANOTHER COMMISSION TO WORK ON THE CONSTITUTION. YOU ARE AN INCOMPETENT LOT

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  3. NIBU KABWALALA UBU.it wl not happen.we zambians ar watching them.pf dont provoke us.twanakanenu bakelenka.

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  4. Simbyakula is not an intelligent lawyer as he pretends to be this is something mwanawasa discovered through Gertrude kalulu imbwae and quickly fired him! If you think otherwise look at how messed up the PF constitution is on who takes over when the President is not there it refers to both the SG and the Party Chair a completely messed up situation…. so will Ministers remain in office after parley is resolved legally NO because they save at the pleasure of the President who once he dissolves parliament he disappoints his ministers so they should all park their VX and GX and go and campaign….

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  5. For now the constitution stands. UPND legislators were in parley when it was passed. Shame on you cry baby!

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  6. Chimpanzi is cochroch…last year he advocated for a new constitution…now he doesn’t want it anymore… ati “elections expert”my foot ninshi n erection expert?ni upnd cadre uyu kabwamba kakwe…you got what your fought for A New People Driven Constitution…so live with it ka chipenzi

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  7. Shallow minded. Debate the issues raised by both Chipenzi & YALI, not the people raising the issues.
    We wanted separation between exec & legislature but Chakolwa Samalama, the drunk & his pathetic foo!s manipulated the process.

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  8. so they will be using Government resources to campaign since they will still be in office?

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  9. do you remember that when Kabimba had his ministerial appointment revoked still remained a nominated member of parliament until he resigned on his own? the only nexus between parliamentary seat and ministerial position is the appointment of an MP from Parley. the revocation of Ministerial position does not affect Parliamentary seat. THERE IS NO LAW WHICH AFFECTS MINISTERIAL POSITION ONCE PARLEY IS DISSOLVED ALTHOUGH THE LATER IS THE BASIS FOR APPOITNEMT OF THE EALIER.

    YALI AND CHIPENZI get to know that the effects that affects ministerial position upon dissolution of parley EMANTE FROM PRACTICE WHICH HAS ATTAINED THE FORCE OF LAW. IT IS NOT EXPRESS.

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  10. what a shame where on earth did you find a school closses and you find prefects remain controlling de school?

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  11. Bane, even the President who still remains, is only there as undertaker! Ooh sorry, caretaker. As such he can not formulate new policies by himself. So what would be the job of the minister? To comfort the president as the elections’ results unfold? Lyashi lyamumatako ilyo!!!

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  12. Where Ar The Lawmakers, What Do They Do In Parliament When Enacting Laws, The President Does Not Sit In Parliament To Enact Laws He Only Accents To It.

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  13. Unfortunately the Dr erred when interpreting the law. Article 81 is clear and states “81. (1) The term of Parliament shall be five years commencing from the date that the Members of Parliament are sworn into office
    after a general election and ending on the date that Parliament is dissolved.” A minister is appointed from Parliament and when it is dissolved what other purpose will he/she be serving and with whose authority? In addition “116. (1) The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers.” This means when Parliament is dissolved all persons appointed as Cabinet minister will cease to be referred to as such because all ministers come from inside parliament. Unless ministers will have a special sitting of parliament which will only be attended by…

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  14. Let The Nyabwas Fall Out ! They Were Making Laws And Signing With Their Brains And Eyes Closed. This Was The Worst Crop Of Parliamentaribns We Hav Had So Far In Zambia

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  15. Chipenzi is a upnd sympathizer therefore there’s nothing that he can say that we can hear from him, next item please.

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