Green Party president Peter Sinkamba has insisted that Mrs Margret Mwanakatwe is serving as Member of Parliament (MP) and holding office of Minister unconstitutionally and has demanded that she should vacate her office.

Mr Sinkamba said her continued holding on to the two offices is prolonging an illegality, as she did when parliament was dissolved from May to August this year.

“We demand that she stops abusing State resources under the guise of minister when, according to the constitution, she is not qualified to do so. This is inimical to the economy. Further, she should continue using the prestige of office of minister to advance private interests or interests of members her family, when she is not qualified to be minister,” Mr Sinkamba noted.

He said her acts are a gross misconduct.

The Green Party president pointed out that the argument by senior Lusaka lawyer Hobday Kabwe that the law allows Ms. Mwanakatwe to be in office and represent her constituency because the people could not be deprived of representation in parliament at the hands of petitions is misplaced.

He said there is no law which provide for an MP to continue holding an office when an election petition is determined by High Court, and no stay is granted.

“Perhaps that is the more reason why Counsel Kabwe has not cited any constitutional provision to support his argument,” he said.

Mr Sinkamba said the Constitution of Zambia binds all persons in Zambia, including the Executive and other State organs and State institutions.

“And Counsel Kabwe, as lawyer, knows or ought to know this. The issue of people being deprived of representation in parliament is irrelevant if the vacancy is created by invoking provisions of the Constitution itself,” Mr Sinkamba noted.

He cited Petauke Central Constituency and Mulobezi Constituencies as good examples of constituencies that remained vacant for over one year in the last sitting of parliament because of constitutional requirements.

 

“What we are saying is that since Judge Siavwapa invoked Article 70 to nullify Lusaka Central Parliamentary seat, therefore, constitutionally, there is no MP for the Constituency. In other words, Ms. Mwanakatwe is not MP.  Since the Judge also refused to grant a stay, constitutionally is not qualified to hold office of Minister under the 2016 Constitutional Amendment. According to Article 116 (1), only MPs are qualified to hold the office of Minister,” He said.

 

He said the fact that she has appealed the decision of the High Court to the Constitutional Court neither reinstates her status as MP nor Minister.

 

Mr Sinkamba said an appeal to the Constitutional Court cannot operate as a stay.

 

“Rule No.7 of the Constitutional Court Rules, 2016, as provided under the Constitutional Court Rules Act, 2016 (Act, NO.8 of 2016), Statutory Instrument No. 37 of 2016 provides that an appeal shall not operate as a stay of execution or of proceedings under the judgment appealed against unless the High Court or the Court so orders and no intermediate act or proceeding shall be invalidated, except so far as the Court may direct,” Mr Sinkamba disclosed.

 

He said in this instance the High Court has already decided that she is not an MP and has refused to stay its decision and the Constitutional Court has not pronounced itself on the matter.

 

“Therefore, according to Rule 7 stated above, it is not contemptuous for the Speaker or the Election Commission of Zambia to declare the seat vacant and run the bye-election for Lusaka Central Constituency,”  he said.

 

Mr Sinkamba pointed out that the omission by the Speaker not to declare the seat vacant by now does not in any way reinstate her as MP for Lusaka Central and up to this point, she is not the MP for Lusaka Central.

 

He said she was disqualified for the election under Article 70 of the Constitution and she is not qualified to hold office of minister whether or not the Speaker has formally declared her seat vacant.

“Her election remains nullified, and therefore the seat is vacant constitutionally,” he noted.

 

 

 

 

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Sinkamba always provides well-researched arguments. Job well done Peter. Continue providing good check and balances. But the reasoning of some of these lawyers is appalling.

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    • This is just debating – why can’t he just go to Court and obtain an injunction to restrain Ms. Mwanakatwe from performing the duties of Minister if his argument holds water?

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    • Good observation. Sinkamba can make a good president, seems he has good-will for country. However, point 1.1 (One Zambia) is best that Sinkamba should do. Help us by putting a Court Injunction on this greedy politician.

      Our Civil Society is nowhere near, perhaps busy snoring.

      2021 Election, my best alternative is Sinkamba.

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  2. Iwe green party you’re yet to see more of these things in the next 5 years of panga family party.Its 5 years of corruption,more of presidential travel allowances,theft,thuggery,hypocrites…

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    • See now what happens when LAZ intervenes the accusation is that LAZ is sympathetic with the opposition yet this is a clear case of disrespect for the constitution! The opposition parties need to be seen working together to uphold the supreme law of the land! Zambia with its legislators is a very frustrating experience!

      Kudos to Mr Sinkamba here for its not a question of the Green Party but Zambian integrity!

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  3. I think it is about process, Peter. Article 73 (4) of the Constitution states that ‘A Member of Parliament whose election is petitioned shall hold the seat in the National Assembly pending the determination of the election petition.’ Yes, the High Court has nullified Margaret’s election but she has since appealed to the Concourt. My understanding is that the petition will only be determined, meaning concluded, when the Concourt disposes of the case. Surely, that is how it worked in the pre-amended Constitution? An MP whose seat was nullified in the High Court and appealed to the Supreme Court retained their seat in Parliament until the Supreme Court concluded the case. I may be wrong, but this is my opinion.

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  4. You are asking these Spivs to vacate office, when they still haven’t re-paid the cash they illegally took when their mandates expired, prior to the August elections???
    Dream on, & welcome to the Politics of poverty & the Dark Continent!!

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  5. Concourt’s Ruling on the illegal Ministers during the last Parliament is on record. The AG should tell Lungu and these Ministers to stop breaking the Law. Lungu and his illegal and illegitimate govt have no respect for our Constitution and the Rule of Law. Lungu and the Speaker of Parliament should tell Ministers Mwanakatwe and Luo to stay way from their former Ministerial jobs and from Parliament. The AG as Legal Adviser to govt is not doing his professional job. He is always there to cover rather than advise govt on such matters.

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  6. pf lawyers have there own ways of interpreting the same zambian laws from others dununa reverse this happened with parliament up to now they are not still accepting the truth.

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  7. This is very simple matter Phd candidate Mrs continue to be innocent since she has appealed. No final judgement has been passed. GBM continued to be an MP for Kasama on PF while he was UPND vice president just because he appealed

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  8. If the law allows her to stay in office till the matter is disposed off by the highest court of the land, why did Hon. Mwanakatwe’s laywers apply for a Stay? That means they also acknowledge that without the stay, she is no longer an MP and hence must forthwith vacate the ministerial position. Green Party interpretation makes a lot of sense.

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  9. Acting illegally is the Hallmark of Edward’s illegitimate govt. They break laws with impunity and have NO respect for the Constitution of Zambia and Rule of Law. Good Governance is alien to Edward and his illegal Ministers. The Attorney General Is Adviser to govt but unfortunately since Concourt Petition saga the AG has been behaving as if he is a PF law officer or cadre. The AG forgets that he is heading a govt dept funded by Taxpayers’ money and not by PF. The AG should be advising Edward and his Ministers how to comply with the laws of Zambia but unfortunately the AG and his office have been politicised and are not acting in the best interests of the Zambian people.

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  10. We definitely deserve much better…this calls on all Zambians of good will to make well informed decisions on election day…. If the people in power have no respect for the law the VOW to protect can we really trust our lives into their hands…..let’s not forget that supporting a particular political party is not like supporting a football team where one can be a die hard supporter regardless of the teams conduct…the choice you make in the booth is one you make for your son’s and grandsons and great grandsons and daughters…by being so short sighted and following public sentimentality most of us have ended up voting the wrong people into office. Clearly even as you all know these people are here to hold on to power no matter the cost…even if it costs the poor among us a decent…

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  11. But why cant the petitioners’ lawyers commence contempt proceedings against this fool? There are only two things when you are challenged in this country, to vacate office so that in the event that you win the case, you are reinstated and where possible compensated. The other is simply an illegality created by Chakolwa, where you adamantly refuse to vacate office and claim to be in office legally only for the court to declare you illegal and demand that you pay back all you were paid illegally and you start asking the same court to legalise your illegality. This country stinks of dogs masquerading as lawyers.

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