A private Citizen has Petitioned the speaker of the national Assembly Dr Patrick matibini to declare the 58 parliamentary seats held by the opposition United party for National Development (UPND) VACANT.
In a Petition received by Office of the Assistant to the Speaker, Mr Emmanuel Chilekwa asked the office of the speaker not to allow the 58 UPND MPs to attend any or whole of this Parliamentary session because they abandoned their Constitutional rights and duty to be in Parliament on the official opening of the First Session of the 12th National Assembly by President Edgar Lungu, which took place on Friday, September 30, 2016.
Below is the full Petition served on the Speaker
2nd October, 2016
The Speaker of the National Assembly
National Assembly of Zambia
P.O. Box 31299,
Email: [email protected]
+260 211 292425-36
Dear Mr. Speaker,
PETITION AGAINST THE 58 UPND MPS, CALLING FOR THEIR REMOVAL FOR CONTRAVENING THE REPUBLICAN CONSTITUTION AND CALL TO DECLARE THEIR OFFICES VACANT – ARTICLE 72(2)(C).
In exercise of my Constitutional duties, UPHOLDING its protection and defense, I, Emmanuel Chilekwa, 53, a Zambian citizen, hereby PETITION your Office to declare the 58 parliamentary seats, VACANT and petition your Office not to allow the 58 UPND MPs to attend any or whole of this Parliamentary session because they abandoned their Constitutional rights and duty to be in Parliament on the official opening of the First Session of the 12th National Assembly by President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, which took place on Friday, September 30, 2016.
Mr. Speaker, the ceremonial opening of the National Assembly is very special in that it provides an opportunity for the head of State to present his speech, highlighting a number of salient issues to the members of Parliament and the people of Zambia at large.
My duty, as a citizen, in guaranteed to defend and protect the Constitution as outlined in Article 2 of the Republican Constitution, which reads:
2. Every person has the right and duty to—
(a) Defend this Constitution; and
(b) Resist or prevent a person from overthrowing, suspending or illegally abrogating this Constitution.
Mr. Speaker, by virtue of the MPs abandoning Parliament, they have illegally abrogated the Constitution and therefore, rendered their offices vacant in accordance with Article 72 (2) (c) of Act No. 2 of 2016, being the Constitution of Zambia.
The said Act, Mr. Speaker, Article 72 (2) (c) states that “The office of Member of Parliament becomes VACANT if the member— (c) acts contrary to a prescribed code of conduct;”
Mr. Speaker, it is Mandatory that the purpose of having a Member of Parliament is to be in the House, which House the 58 UPND MPs abandoned on the said date.
Further, Mr. Speaker, Article 63 clearly spells out the role of the Members of Parliament. The UPND MPs walk out renders them incapable of contributing to making the laws which inevitably, Mr. Speaker, will have to be ASSENTED to by the same Republican President, whom they have brought into disrepute, or whom they do not regard, thereby OVERTHROWING the Constitution. Therefore, the 58 MPs cannot contribute to any law which will end up being assented to by the same person they do not regard.
Mr. Speaker, this cannot be allowed.
The President, Mr. Speaker, outlines the roadmap on activities that will boost economic and social growth in the country for the next five years. This momentous occasion is non-partisan.
Surprisingly, United Party for National Development members of Parliament (UPND) boycotted the opening of the first session of the 12th National Assembly.
Mr. Speaker, in line with your sworn oath to uphold, defend and protect the Constitution, I petition your Office to enforce Article 57. (1) and declare the 58 seats vacant, therefore, fresh elections must be held in the stipulated 90 day window, upon you declaring them vacant.
Article 57 (1) says, “Where a vacancy occurs in the office of Member of Parliament, mayor, council chairperson or councillor, a by-election shall be held within ninety days of the occurrence of the vacancy.”
Mr. Speaker, there is no argument that the 58 UPND MPs did not follow the Parliamentary Standing Orders as enumerated in Article 67. (6) “A Member of Parliament who intends to challenge a Statutory Instrument, on its constitutionality, shall follow the procedure laid down in the Standing Orders of the National Assembly.
Mr. Speaker, in exercise of my Constitutional right and duty enshrined in Article 88. (1) “A citizen may petition the National Assembly to initiate the enactment, amendment or repeal of legislation.” (2) “A citizen may comment on a deliberation, statement or decision of the National Assembly.”
Mr. Speaker, I am petitioning your Office to declare the 58 seats held by the UPND MPs, VACANT.
Mr. Speaker, the law is very clear on how the Office of MP becomes vacant Article 72 (2) (c) states that The office of Member of Parliament becomes vacant if the member “acts contrary to a prescribed code of conduct”;
I await to receive your profound response to this Petition, Mr. Speaker.