Green Party President Peter Sinkamba has charged the reported suspension of Choma Town Clerk Timothy Mambalakata by Southern Province Dr. Edify Hamukale is unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, null and void.
Speaking in Kitwe this morning, the Green Partyleader said that Article 152(2) of the Constitution of Zambia provides that the national Government and the provincial administration shall not interfere with or compromise a local authority’s ability or right to perform its functions.
He added that the role of a Provincial Minister as provided under Article 117(3) is to ensure that national policies are implemented in all districts in the Province and that the concurrent functions of the Province and the exclusive functions of the local authorities are performed in accordance with the Constitution and other laws.
“ Nowhere is it provided that the Provincial Minister has power to suspend a local government official, not even in the Local Government Act Cap 281 of the Laws of Zambia. So, where did Honorable Hamukale draw the powers from to suspend a Town Clerk, or indeed any council official?” Sinkamba asked.
“If anything, Article 147 of the Constitution provides that management and administration of the political, social, legal and economic affairs of the State shall be devolved from the national government level to the local government level and that different levels of government shall observe and adhere to principles of good governance, through democratic, effective and coherent governance systems and institutions,” Sinkamba said.
He added that there must be respect for the constitutional jurisdiction of each level of government and autonomy of the sub-structures, among other principles.
“Put simply, the action by the Provincial Minister is unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, null and void,” he charged.
The Green Party leader advised President Edgar Lungu to mentor his Minister on the need to respect and uphold constitutional imperatives to avoid a situation where executive lawlessness becomes the order of the day in the country.
He said it does not auger well if executive officials, if the President will entertain a situation where his subordinates breach the Constitution and other laws of the country with impunity.
He challenged President Lungu to promptly state his position on this issue, which clearly is “unconstitutional, illegal, invalid, null and void”,