President Edgar Lungu has accepted the judgment of the Constitutional Court that ministers vacate office following the dissolution of Parliament.
According to a statement to the media by his pres aide Amos Chanda, President Lungu says the Government respects the Ruling of the Constitutional Court and has taken note of its interpretation of the provisions of the republican Constitution.
The Head of State says the Government will therefore comply with the directives of the court because no appeal is provided for against the Constitutional Court decisions.
The President has stated that interpretation of the law remains a preserve of the Judiciary and therefore the Government will make no further comment on the matter.
The Head of State has, however, noted that the Constitutional Court in its wisdom relied only on the Article, which deals with vacating the office by a Member of Parliament on dissolution.
The Provision of the Constitutional (Amendment) Act No.2 of 2016 which are in contention as to whether the ministers and deputy ministers stay in power after the dissolution of Parliament are as follows:
(a) Article 72(1), a Member of Parliament shall, except the Speaker and the Deputy Speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon a dissolution of Parliament;
(b) Article 116 (3) (e), The office of Minister becomes vacant if another person assumes the Office of President;
(c) Furthermore, the Constitution of Zambia Act No.1 of 2016 provides under Article 7(2) that holding the post of Vice-President, Minister or Deputy Minister shall continue to hold that position under the Constitution until that appointment is terminated by the President in accordance with the Constitution.
The President has also stated that the Government relied on the two latter provisions of the Constitution for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to stay in Office until terminated or the new President is sworn into Office.
“Nevertheless, the Government respects the Judgment of the Constitutional Court and has taken note of its interpretation of the provisions of the Constitution and will therefore comply with the directives contained in the Judgment as they also note that there is no appeal from the Constitutional Court. Interpretation of the law remains a preserve of the Judiciary and therefore the Government can make no further comment on the matter.”