UPND takes Parliament to Court for endorsing Article 31

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UPND Secretary General Stephen Katunka(c) having an interview with the Journalists immediately after the briefing of Aspiring Presidential Candidates,Running mates and their Agents at Intercontinental Hotel in Lusaka
UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka(c) having an interview with
the Journalists

OPPOSITION United Party for National Development (UPND) has challenged Parliament for endorsing Government’s decision to invoke Article 31 of the republican Constitution, saying the decision was ill-conceived.

In an affidavit filed in the Constitutional Court yesterday, UPND secretary-general Stephen Katuta has alleged that the decision is a scheme calculated to disenfranchise the 46 suspended members of Parliament and their respective constituencies from participating in matters of national importance.

He submitted that on Tuesday, Speaker of the National Assembly called to the session a motion to approve by resolution and the proclamation in the absence of the 46 members of Parliament.

Mr Katuka says he is reliably advised and believes that it is unconstitutional for Parliament to convene for purposes of passing a resolution to approve the declaration in the absence of the suspended UPND MPs.

“By reason of the foregoing, I have filed an originating summons to call for the interpretation of Article 31(2) of the Constitution of Zambia and impugn the decision of the Speaker to proceed in the absence of the UPND members of Parliament to approve the declaration,” Mr Katuka said.

He also wants the court to interpret whether in the absence of the 46 suspended MPs, the remaining MPs, who mainly comprise Patriotic Front (PF), can ratify the invocation.

President Lungu last week invoked Article 31, proclaiming that there exists a situation which, if it allowed to continue, may lead to a state of emergency.

“If not, whether this is not a suitable matter for the Constitutional Court to quash any decision, action, measure whatsoever by the Speaker to approve by a resolution, the proclamation by the President of the republic of Zambia as promulgated in gazette notice number 448 of 2017 under statutory instrument number 53 of 2017 and declare that such is or was unconstitutional for being done in contravention of article 31(2) of the Constitution of Zambia,” he said.

This decision by the opposition party comes after Parliament voted unanimously to endorse Government’s decision to invoke Article 31 and subsequent affirmation by Parliament.
The MPs, who excluded the 46 suspended UPND members, debated the matter which was tabled by Vice-President Inonge Wina.

When Mrs Wina tabled the motion, six MPs from the left, including two from the UPND, walked out, prompting Mandevu MP Jean Kapata to rise on a point of order.

However, First Deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala said the members who remained had enough wisdom to debate the motion.

President Lungu invoked Article 31 after a spate of damage to public institutions that included Lusaka City Market.

64 COMMENTS

  1. I truly think nothing will come out of this endeavour. Some things are best left to posterity. I personally feel we didnt need this invocation but just more collaboration between and among the security wings.

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    • You don’t still have faith in me? Didn’t I tell you that anything Edgar tries will end up in court? So now no more State of Emergency, anyone who try is contempt of court.

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    • Invocation of article 31 is meant to protect good citizens and property from sabotage by ev.il people. Why are these retards blocking it. When we say they are the ones torching properties some zealots are denying. These guys knows they are guity and are scared to be picked. So the best is to stop the invoked powers.

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    • This is total nonsense from up and down party. First their f00lish mps walk out at any opportunity they wish like children with soiled pants. Second they challenge parliamentary resolutions on hear say. And they run to the same courts they call names. I wonder what is happening with this political circus of a party. The simple rule is has the law been followed or not. Parliament can convene as long as they meet the legally required two thirds in the house. Those suspended i.diots lost the case in court and now they are back their exposing their a.ss.holes

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    • You PF green sh.it flies know very well it is kapoyongo and lungu behind the arson attacks.. ..

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    • IF 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 or even 46 MPs are suspended from parliament for wrong doing should the whole system come to halt until they come back especially when they could have chosen to behave in manner that would not have resulted in them being suspended? People let’s be serious. Who told people to abscond the presidential speech in the first place, did they think they would go scot-free? Is this what was meant by saying that they would make the country ungovernable?

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    • Pathetic to see how Lungu and his PF MPs want to manipulate Zambians. They use every opportunity to abuse office. Why do we can a multi-Party system when we have people who do not respect the law. Zambian democracy is in serious threat, as we have very greedy people. Unfortunately, the court is also compromised therefore will rule in favor PF just to keep their Jobs.

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    • I have tried so hard to understand UPND leadership in the hope of meeting their reasoning and vision but honestly with this it’s really difficult people. What I’d suggest to UPND is:
      1. Rearrange your priorities
      2. Stop whining and get enough boots on the ground
      3. Set your eyes on the next elections and campaign more and more. Michael Sata formula
      4.You have too many cases before the courts, prioritize.

      It seems there’s absolutely no one in UPND who understands the word LOSS. You lost the elections so go back to the drawing board, see what lies to your credit and balance the books. Only on this grounding will you make the next government inchallah

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  2. UpDn donkeys claim that the judiciary under Lungu is corrupt, yet they keep on taking matters to the corrupt judiciary. What’s up with these donkeys!

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  3. Politicians never learn that Tyranny leadership is a recipe for disaster. Here are a few examples nothing ends well.
    1. Mobutu
    2. Saddam
    3. Gadhafi
    4. Kamuzu

    Dialogue is solution

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    • it’s not up to politicians, as you very well know, politicians just follow their leaders. The question you posed should rather be addressed to the people themselves, who are docile.

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    • 1. Mobutu – Look at Congo what it is now. Go to Congo and behave the way your followers are behaving
      2. Saddam – Look at the Euphrates and the region right now.
      3. Gadhafi – Ghaddafi please look at the nation of Libya and what it is now.
      4. Kamuzu – Malawi had everything under Kamuzu. Education in Malawi could not not be compared to any country in the region.
      Next will be South Africa.

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  4. With mealie meal prices dropping, exchange rate going down, hh back to Mukobeko the ineffective leadership of upnd are realising that the country is moving on without their input. Like the court petition to block the Speaker from suspending their f.o.o.l.ish mps, their lack of political tact is now apparent for Zambians to see; This new adventure is testimony of why upnd has repeatedly failed to win national elections. They lack the strategic political minds that can inspire voters. Total amateurs!!!

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  5. This is childish behavior from UPND and another indication that they are indeed sponsored anarchists. You will go down on record as the worst and most unpatriotic party in Zambian history if you continue on this destructive path. Rather than distancing yourselves from the current disturbances in the country, you choose to go on the defensive which could indicate that you have something to hide. Anyone who seeks the assistance of foreigners to destabilize our cherished peace is an enemy of Zambia. UPND is deliberately causing mayhem to create or force their perception of dictatorship. Some people have no shame.

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    • What we seeing UPND is clearly a leadership vacuum; I seem to agree with someone who has referred UPND to a bunch of amateurs in politics. Today you you WALK OUT OF PARLIAMENT, followed by NONE RECOGNITION OF THE HEAD OF STATE – The President, then you condemn ECL for failure to GOVERN, SUE INTO COURT for being suspended, the other day you INSULT & CALL COURT CORRUPT, then you fail to CONDEMN EVIL ACTS, then you again SUE FOR PARLIAMENTARY BUSINESS CONDUCTED in your absence, AND NOW you interpretation of the Constitution! This is what the lawyers call FORUM SHOPPING at the best! Surely you guys, can’t you get to the drawing board and be the torch-bearers of CHECKS & BALANCES. The current Score Board of Politics in this country will not be altered with your childs-play tactics. Learn the…

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  6. …….Mr Katuka says he is RELIABLY ADVISED…….
    AND YOU GO TO COURT BECAUSE YOU ARE “RELIABLY ADVISED”…. MR KATUKA, JUST CITE THE CONSTITUTION IF YOU THINK PARLIAMENT WAS WRONG. NOT ON THE BASIS OF BEING “RELIABLY ADVISED”.
    EVEN A SMALL CHILD CAN SEE THAT YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME AND YOU ARE WASTING THE COURTS TIME.

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    • I am also reliably informed that HH is innocent. ..no legal basis. Arrest everyone because I’m reliably informed everyone is a thief.

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  7. 5 years (one about to go ) will be spent in courts of law while their friends are strategizing for 2021.

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  8. There is nothing childish about Steven Katuka taking the matter to court. What is there is Donkey reasoning. In their donkey wisdom, how can anyone do anything to stop ********** from burning the livelihoods of poor people?

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  9. This UPND part is really trash. Why do they waste time going to courts where they have never won a case? The 6 MPs who where not suspended should have debated the motion effectively but they chose to walk away like dunderheads. Who said when somebody is suspended from performing duties in any organisation is relevant and can be consulted? Just like in a football match when a player is given a red card, he immediately ceases to participate and no one can protest that decision. I am now beginning to believe that this part is purely under 5, and always shooting in the dark with its ill decisions of going to court every time, instead of offering serious checks and balances.

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    • Good one on football. …imagine a red carded player taking part in the penalty shootout after full time.

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  10. I might be wrong but this appears to be an academic exercise. PF is a party which has no respect for legitimate institutions of governance. Checks and balances do not exist in their way of governance.

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  11. This is the level of opposition pa Z. And such is the level of a govt-in-waiting. And citizens wonder why Z is undeveloped. Such are the so called leaders!!! Eye mayo! This country is really backwards!!! And u expect a court to convene & hear this?

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  12. Ati this is to disenfranchise members of Parliament and their constituencies from participating from matters of national importance. Kuti wapapa sana iyi mitontonkanyishishe. It seems like all along UPND’ s interest has not been about national interest. What is he talking about now. We need an opposition that is mature and patriotic in the real sense. In the beginning U thought it was UPND but now I really doubt. Just dragging things back and forth.

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  13. It is a waste of time taking this matter to court because courts are compromised, the DPP is compromised,
    the police is compromised. The whole system is rotten. Do we expect anything good from our courts? I doubt.

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  14. PF needs to be fought tooth and nail; yes the DPP and the whole judiciary is compromised.

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  15. He says he’s reliably informed that. ….is that the evidence or fact to put before the court.

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  16. mumbwe aitile impashi noku mububa sha mububa efyo ba upnd did by bringing fosil Guy Scot to win you elections bakabwa you are just wasting our time idionts

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  17. I dont understand what is really wrong with UPND. When you want to take a case to court you have to be standing on firm ground. Challenging the invocation of article 31 on the basis of the suspended UPND MPs is not only frivolous but a serious sign of political immaturity. The UPND can have a case if parliament did not reach a quorum or if they have evidence on the abuse of the enforcement of the said article. Its too early for them to start crying before the article start biting. For now, they are fishing in a dry pond.

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  18. So UPND MPs wanted to oppose this imposition of article 31?That’s they are being suspected of being behind these acts of sabotage. Support everything that will bring peace. The concourt has not yet ruled whether ECL is eligible to stand in 2021.

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  19. Kekekekekekeke this upnd party is really a trash!!their legal team is very useless.instead of focusing on HH’s treason case,they are busy fighting cases they cannot ever win-amazing!!
    Look Stephen Katuka (Luvale man),even if your 47 bantustan mps were present in parliament,that bill could have gone through 100% because the opposition parties have no numbers in the house.it will remain like this until we vote again in 2021.SO BO KATUKA FIND WHAT TO DO THAN WASTING TIME ON MATTERS UPND WILL NEVER WIN!!its like upnd enjoy losing cases in court.little do they know that Zambians laugh at them whenever upnd lose a case in court!!
    ANYWAY,KEEP ON CHASING THE WIND KATUKA!!WE ARE VERY HAPPY WITH PF’S WORKS FOR FAR!!

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  20. Going to court is what UPND knows best even when they don’t have any evidence. They will top the record of the most opposition party with the highest number of court cases in the history of Zambia or may be in Africa which were totally nonsense.

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  21. Two things;
    firstly; UPND should have asked for an interdict for the matter not to be heard
    2. This is like a child taking the father to court for impregnanting the mother
    I dont even have a degree

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  22. Aba Abana bambwa bushe balomfwa. I am not educated but I can read between the lines. Why did they abscond the debate? Crying over spilled sperm is a waste of time. Are upndonkeys MPs bewitched. Fellow country men and women make me understand what these upndonkeys think.

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  23. Only a thieve is worried when the police arrives. Those who are fighting are the very ones behind the fires.

    We know u guys. The government can invoke all articles and I won’t be affected because I respect the law.

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  24. Referendum – NO
    Article 31 – NO
    Fires – YES
    Lawlessness – Yes
    What do you stand for ? Good or Bad?

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  25. So Mr Katuka doesn’t know how parliament operates but can only be reliably informed? No wonder HH is “sempre in excreta “…always in sh….it. That’s how upnd has always lost every opportunity.

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  26. The law is not fair if it allows this to pass Zambians you have nowhere to go keep safe.

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  27. @MBUZI, all the countries you listed were better off with the so called dictators than in their new form called democracy and based on the experience of those contries, i would prefer to be in a dictatorship than a democratic country. Gadhaffi was a far much better leader and Libya was heaven but now under so called democracy Libya is hell, same goes with Saddam’ Iraqi, Muboto’s Zaire(DRC), Kamuzu’s Malawi once respected educated citizens now just poor.

    SO IN YOUR HONEST WOULD YOU SAY MY STATEMENT IS FALSE OR PERFECTLY RIGHT?

    COUNTRY MEN AND WOMEN, BECAREFUL OF WHAT YOU WISH FOR, ZAMBIA WAS WAY BETTER UNDER KK, AND IF YOU TRY TO SAY LUNGU IS BAD, WAIT FOR HAKAINDE’s UPND WHICH IS FULLY SPONSORED BY THE GREEDY INDIVISUALS FROM WITHIN ZAMBIA AND THOSE FROM SOUTH AFRICA AND…

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  28. Surely UPND you need to get rid of your lawyers. To start with for this case to see light of day in the courts it will be 3 months already. And the state of whatever would have expired.This is an academic exercise

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  29. These guys (UPND lawyers) have seen the courts too many times and they now think they can run a country through the courts. These actions are beyond childishness they are just something else, but at the same time what would you expect from a party that has only one important person in their ranks? They have all risen to just disrupt whatever is normal. If it prevents violence and arson they will oppose it because they will become irrelevant and no one will talk about them (UPND).

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  30. I agree with you everybody on this donkey case. What is wrong with donkeys, hino kai nobatumbu? This one is so simple that the Concourt should hear and rule immediately that the Constitution states “resolution passed by majority of all MPs”. There are 166 MPs and resolution requires minimum 83 but was passed by 85 MPs and some MP ministers were even travelling with the President! The Concourt to tell Donkeys that even if they were present in parliament it would not make a difference as they could never make the 83 required to block the motion. Go ahead Concourt, hear and rule next monday. Even if underfive is permitted to come and lobby the Judges this is piece of cake, can only go one way: throw out with costs.

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  31. Their ally Zambian watchdogs have described UPNDonkey party as headless chickens. I tend to agree for my own reasons, what parry is this that does not have an acting president to liase with their leader, after their underfive leader has been locked up for 90 days now? Not even GBM, no? Because he is bemba, no? Because underfive only appoinred him as figure head, no? Because he is vice president only for hh underfive, no? You fear he may inherit the party naturally as annointed leader, no? Tells you something doesnt it?

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