The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has called on President Edgar Lungu to provide leadership in abiding by the provisions of the amended National Constitution on the status of Ministers after parliament is dissolved.
NGOCC Sara Longwe said her organization as the focal point of the women’s movement, stands by the position advanced by the Law Association of Zambia that Article 116 (1) of the Constitution provides that “The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers” and Article 72(1) provides that “A Member of Parliament shall, except the Speaker and the First Deputy Speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon a dissolution of Parliament”.
Ms Longwen said in consideration of Article 116(1) and article 72(1), Ministers are appointed on the basis of them being Members of Parliament. Considering that parliament will be dissolved, there will be no basis under which the Ministers will continue to exist as such.
She further said NGOCC contends that our leaders swear to faithfully and diligently discharge their duties and perform their functions to uphold and maintain the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia.
She added that leaders in this country dedicate their abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Zambia without fear, favour and in defense of the Republican Constitution.
“Clearly Zambia is at crossroads with constitutional interpretation at present. Therefore our calls for a people driven constitution remain justified so that the people of Zambia fully participate in bringing forth a constitution that will stand the test of time.
We as the women’s movement are committed to advancing Zambia’s democratic dispensation. We remain resolute to contributing to an enabling environment where all Zambians, women and men participate equally and in an equitable manner in the governance processes,” she said.
LAZ President Linda Kasonde yesterday threatened to take the issue of Ministers remaining in office after Parliament is dissolved to the constitution Court.
Government has remained adamant that the constitution allows Ministers to remain in office after Parliament dissolves today.