MARGARET Mwanakatwe can still remain in office and hold her ministerial position as well as Lusaka Central parliamentarian for the purposes of continuing to represent her Constituency while her appeal to grant her stay of execution is being determined in the Constitutional Court, Senior Lusaka Lawyer Hobday Kabwe has said.
Mr Kabwe of Hobday Kabwe Legal Practitioners said Ms Mwanakatwe was by law allowed to be in office and represent her Constituency because the people could not be deprived of representation in Parliament at the hands of the petitions.
“You cannot deprive the people of Lusaka Central the right to representation in Parliament when the seat has been nullified,” Mr Kabwe has said.
He said the danger is that if the issue of the parliamentary seat remained unresolved that would result in the people not being represented and there vote would not yield any effective results.
Mr Kabwe further said that the issue over the stay of execution of Judgment which was still being argued should not affect her Constituency and her continued stay in office not until the matter was determined by the court.
Mr Kabwe was responding to Green Party president Peter Sinkamba who questioned Ms Mwanakatwe’s continued stay in office as well as being the Lusaka Central Parliamentarian when her seat was nullified by High Court Judge Mwinde Siavwapa.
Mr Sinkamba stated that as Green Party his understanding was that Lusaka Central Constituency parliamentary seat was vacant following the nullification of the election by Judge Mwiinde Siavwapa.
He further stated that his understanding was that the refusal by Judge Siavwapa to grant Ms Mwanakatwe a stay meant the High Court Judge’s decision to nullify the seat was in force, and therefore, Ms Mwanakatwe was not a Member of Parliament.
Article 116 of the Constitution of Zambia provides that only an MP must serve as a minister.
Meanwhile, Ms Mwanakatwe’s lawyer Kelvin Fube Bwalya said Mr Sinkamba was being naive and he was giving an uninformed opinion.