Sunday, July 14, 2024

Matibini defends decision on Chilanga Seat Vacancy

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Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini

Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has defended his decision to declare the Chilanga Parliamentary seat vacant following the conviction of former area Member of Parliament Keith Mukata for murder.

Dr. Matibini told Parliament that he is obliged by the Republican Constitution to write to the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) informing them of the vacancy in Chilanga Constituency.

He explained that the amended constitution no longer allows a Member of Parliament who is serving a prison sentence pending appeal to continue holding the seat.

Dr. Matibini cited among others Article 70 (2) (f) of the constitution which states that a person is disqualified from being elected as a Member of Parliament if the person is serving a sentence of imprisonment for an offence under a written law.

He further said that in the case of Mr. Mukata, a certificate of death sentence is sufficient evidence that he is serving a prison sentence therefore, his disqualification.

Dr. Matibini stated that he informed the ECZ of the vacancy in Chilanga in accordance with Article 72(8) which states that where a vacancy occurs in the National Assembly, the Speaker shall, within seven days of the occurrence of the vacancy, inform the Electoral Commission of Zambia of the vacancy, in writing, and a by-election shall be held in accordance with Article 57.

The Speaker was reacting to accusations of bias with regards to the declaration of seats vacant for Members of Parliament facing court cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Matibini has reprimanded Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili for failing to provide evidence to back his allegations that Home Affairs Minister Steven Kampyongo received three vehicles from Mr. Bokani Soko of GrandView as gratification for awarding the tender for the supply of the fire tenders to the company when he served as Local Government Minister.

Mr. Kambwili who stood by his allegations when he appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on privileges, absences and support services however, declined to avail the evidence he claims to have to the committee.

Mr. Kambwili who was not present during proceedings will be required to tender an apology to the house.

41 COMMENTS

    • But the convict has already appealed … just as the pre-jail conditions apply for incarceration, they should equally apply for his seat.

      The judiciary should be the one to speed up the process so the smart people of Chilanga are not paying taxes without representation.

      The legislature has to wait until the judiciary is finished and hand him over to the executive (prison system) or set him free.

      That’s the Rule of Law … Heaven help us all

    • I don’t want to indulge in boring Zambian politics, my question is why doesn’t Fashion Sakala pass the ball to his mates. Why does he think football is just dribbling, a skill he is yet to develop

    • Here we are dealing with a very tricky situation. The speaker insists that Mukata is “SERVING A SENTENCE”. I don’t believe him, and this is why: If I am sentenced to 2 years imprisonment, SERVING MY SENTENCE means STAYING IN PRISON for 2 years. Now since Mukata was given a DEATH SENTENCE, when will he be deemed to be SERVING A DEATH SENTENCE? Is it STAYING IN PRISON or BEING HANGED? Mukata was not sentenced to be staying in prison but to be hanged

  1. Donald Trump’s boss who helped him win the seat is Vladimir Putin and Mabitini owes his speaker position to PF…of course they both do what their boss wants.

  2. Upndeez you would be useful to our society if you were capable of reasoning sufficiently to know that there are different, broader , more reasonable and more intellegent view points than your clan based narrow and basically very dull opinions under the spell of one h.h.

    • @upnd cadre … as much I don’t like this bunch of hypocrites in the under 5 Intensive Care Unit (ICU) in this case the Speaker has erred at law.

      Even if the eventual result after appeal is still a conviction, Muteka has appealed and is still not surrendered to the executive yet to pay for his sins.

      It’s the job of the judiciary to arrive at that before the legislature declares his seat vacant … this is a classic example of the independence of the three branches of government at play.

      Furthermore, following the Rule of Law affirms that we are a Constitutional Democracy and not a banana republic.

      We can almost tell the outcome given the preponderance of evidence but we must allow the process to run its course.

    • B R Mumba, Sr – So, what is the position of Mukata right now? Is he home pending hearing of his appeal? If two years from now he is found guilty of manslaughter and sentenced to 3 years in Prison, wont the two years spent in Prison count? I doubt there is bail for capital offenses – and so when found guilty, you are a prisoner on appeal.

    • Br mumba you’re wrong.

      “He explained that the amended constitution no longer allows a Member of Parliament who is serving a prison sentence pending appeal to continue holding the seat.

      Dr. Matibini cited among others Article 70 (2) (f) of the constitution which states that a person is disqualified from being elected as a Member of Parliament if the person is serving a sentence of imprisonment for an offence under a written law.

      He further said that in the case of Mr. Mukata, a certificate of death sentence is sufficient evidence that he is serving a prison sentence therefore, his disqualification.”
      Mukanta has been served with the certificate already meaning he is serving his sentence. Even if he has appealed it still doesn’t warrant him anything. The current consituation…

  3. My friend was taken to court for defamation of his neighbor. Asked to substantiate his claims that the neighbour was stealing from his work place, my friend could only say that he “just heard from some people that the neighbour was supporting his lifestyle by stealing from work “. He was given a chance to bring those people as witnesses, those ” people ” refused to go to court because they also had heard from some people.

  4. This Matibini is making himself look bad, I concur with BR let the case be fully disposed off before jumping there and declaring the man’s seat vacant now they are going to waste taxpayer’s money defending the speaker’s actions. The MPs in our country barely do anything to even think the people need representation, the explanation seems like lies, a death certificate is not enough evidence of a crime

    • Matibini is now being used as an instrument to dhield corruption. How can he rule that Kambwili apologises to thief Kampyongo with allowing the investigative wings to prove allegations? Zambians need answers therefore speaker should watch his boundaries as he is proved beyond doubt that he is PF cadre protecting thieves and working against corruption fight using our parliament.

  5. The convicted MP pending appeal is free to petition the Con Court on the Speakers position. The speaker is not the Judiciary albeit he has legal training. The final say should not be the understanding of the legislature on this matter. But as I have always said the constitution as amended is a poor document full of lacunas and those MPs who went to drink whiskey at the parliament motel on the day that document was being tabled will someday answer for their foolish and ill advised boycott.

  6. So even for an MP arrested for a non bailable offense you shall be declaring the seat vacant…. or let me rephrase, if Mukata’s appeal ruling is overturned, because it can be overturned, What shall happen, you shall write again to ECZ again, and say wat, that you misinterpreted the constitution and the seat is now occupied….guys, let’s b serious

  7. All talk with NO brains ba CK! If you want to think you are following the late Sata’s style of politics at least have a backbone and evidence before pointing fingers. No-wonder you cant be taken seriously because all your talk it seems, is out of pure jealous and not a ‘fight for the poor’. Simply put CK is upset because its not him ‘stealing’ but others!

  8. Matibibini is defending thieves like Kampyongo in our parliament. He needs to be shown front door like he did to Lusambo the bootlicker and distinguished minister of our great city of Lusaka, what a mismatch!!

  9. Common sense seems to be against the learned speaker. I hope he has not erred at law. Do we have any lawyer on this forum to give us alternative interpretation?

  10. How I detest that Victorian WIG these Zambians insist on wearing even when their masters have long thrown them away! Little wonder we have this persistent backward way of thinking!

    • Yea – same with the ghastly stickers you are all forced to plaster on your beautiful, modern cars that have more reflective safety features than those sorry pieces of tape will ever provide!!! Zambia DOES need to wake up. Galamukani! Uukani!! Shibukeni!!!

  11. The Speaker is right. To let Keith Mukata hold on to Chilanga seat is depriving the electorate of representation in parliament. The appeal does not make Keith innocent, but seeking reduction of sentence from Murder to probably manslaughter. Life was lost and its him who fired the gun. Lets look at it without wearing partisan lenses.

  12. There was an MP who asked a question in Parliament saying yesterday saying: When the President accused some of his ministers of being corrupt, did he produce evidence?

  13. Matibini is very clever and his decision is correct. There’s now a clear distinction between civil and criminal matters. Masumba retained his seat after being convicted but wasn’t receiving a salary, now the Law doesn’t allow that. Margaret and Nkandu are in court on civil matters and the allows them to retain their seats until final determination of their cases. It’s as simple as that. The idi0cy in Kambwili is now manifest

  14. Mpundu Mwaume – The speaker himself is lawyer and former high court judge. I’m just imagining what rulings he would be making if he was on the bench.
    The two seats of Margret Mwanakatwe and Nkandu Luo were nullified and are at an appeal stage just like Mutaka’s case which is at appeal stage. Can some one educate me on the differences between these cases. The speaker may have been possibly responding these concerns that may be he is being selective. He should shade more light on the differences between the appeals for nullified sweats and the appeals where someone has been convicted.

    • I think you should also distinguish the difference between civil and criminal cases. Luo and Mwanakatwe are not in prison right now – but all are appealing their cases. Why don’t you also say that Mukata should not be in Prison because he has appealed his conviction.

  15. Ayatollah – I doubt your reasoning. My little understanding at law is that once there is an appeal either civil or criminal, the status quo of the accused remains the same until the appeal is head. Otherwise if it were not so, the convicts would remain incarcerated even when they appeal a case. This is what your argument implies. An example of the Katele Kalumba whose case has been on appeal stage for sometime now and the man is free as headman in his village until the supreme court decides his fate. May be you can cite the law you are referring to which distinguishes a criminal appeal and a civil appeal. I hope to hear from you because I need to learn more Sir/Madam.

    • @Ndetila Nati, that’s the old Law. As of now Mukata is a convict and there’s a certificate of committal to be hanged and a copy of which was presented to the Speaker and that’s the basis for his letter to ECZ. You can visit the Parley website for details on Matibini’s ruling

  16. What sort of constitution do we have when as matibini cites article 70 2 f you cannot be a mp if you are imprisoned under A WRITTEN LAW.
    Are there unwritten laws , if there arent maybe the constitution should have been read by a lawyer before it was signed into acceptance

  17. abilima – No he is not. What you should know is that this type of criminal offence is non bailable compared to other criminal offences. But the effect of appeal remains the same for Criminal or Civil. This is my contention and where I need to learn what differentiates between a criminal offence appeal and a civil matter appeal. I need the law to be cited which states that an appeal for a criminal offence does not change the status quo of the accused while that of civil case changes the status quo.

  18. “ Dr. Matibini has reprimanded Roan MP Kambwili for failing to provide evidence to back his allegations that Home Affairs Minister Kampyongo received three vehicles from Mr. Bokani Soko of GrandView as gratification for awarding the tender for the supply of the fire tenders to the company when he served as Local Government Minister”.
    Ba Kambwili naba journalist ba mu Zambia ni nsala and so are their informers and their sources of information. Investigative journalists in developed countries deeply investigate topics of interest such corruption, they spend months or years researching and preparing an investigative report. They spend lots of time in analyzing
    • Documents, like lawsuits and other legal documents, tax records, government reports, regulatory reports, and corporate…

  19. He didn’t committee murder. For now none of us is qualified to state that he committed murder until the appeal court holds him so. The first ruling is subject to be withheld, reversed or indeed squashed. Unfortunately that is how law operates. Not in anyway supporting the suspected murderer. Every time a report is made about this matter, the report will read that “he is alleged to have not that he committed murder. Only courts of law can pronounce that he murdered.

  20. @ Ndetila Nati, you’re quoting an old Law. As things stand Mukata is a convict and there’s a certificate of committal to be hanged that was filled and signed. That’s the copy on which the Speaker based his letter to ECZ. You may wish to visit the Parley website for details of Matibini’s ruling

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