Most times when the PF Members of Parliament are deliberating over constitutional issues, they normally fail to look at issues in all angles and normally end up shooting their own selves, an example is the way they hurriedly implemented the grade twelve clause and ended up knocking most of their colleagues out of Parliament (e.g their SG) and yet even those that knocked themselves out were busy parroting the amendment that also included the grade twelve clause just because the majority among them where saying the same.

Today the national dialogue forum has brought in a suggestion of Ministers and their deputies staying on beyond the life of parliament and only relinquishing their positions after elections and appointment of new office bearers, now what are the legal implications of this move.

  • A minister or deputy minister can only be appointed as such from sitting members of Parliament.
  • When Parliament is dissolved then automatically those position which only exist by virtue of one being a parliamentarian also cease to exist because one can only be a minister or deputy by virtue of one first being a member of parliament.
  • In the event that the PF tries to circumvent the above by declaring that parliament will continue until the next office holders are elected into office then it follows that parliamentarians are not supposed to get their final gratuity until such a hand over to the next office holders are done because it is at that point when the tenure would have been deemed to have expired and taking moneys before that time would be deemed to be getting moneys before the expiry of the contract.

Now, I am not a lawyer but common knowledge should allow us to see that the above should and must prevail in the event that the national dialogue provision is assented to meaning the MP’s will be paid by the incoming administration who may also decide to hold on to such moneys until such an office bearer is cleared of wrong doing before the gratuity is eventually paid.

I hope that the legal minds can look at this issue and advise accordingly so that MP’s do not cry after implementation of the said national dialogue provision and mind you the incoming administration will have a big say in when to pay such monies.

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14 COMMENTS

  1. This actually makes a lot of sense. PF is just digging their graves deeper, you better start renovating the jails because you will soon move there

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  2. Ministerial appointments by Law are a prerogative of the President. The fact that they are selected from MPs does not negate their tenor of appointment to office When parliament is dissolved. Those appointed as Ministers continue to serve at the pleasure of the president. The two appointments to office are independent when it comes to term of office requirements. Look at the Act that addresses the appointments and term of office requirements of the two designations, they are not connected. That’s why constitutional court erred in their judgement that Ministers pay back salaries.

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    • You are appointed Headmaster by virtual that u are a teacher if ur appointment as a teacher is revocked wud u stl remain as a headmaster

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    • Sakala – you are teacher because you are a qualified professional. An MP can just be a politician. A fresh graduate from College cannot become a Headmaster before serving – a fresh MP can. In other words, your analogy is off.

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  3. The constitutional court did not error in their judgement, because they also see the fact that a minister is appointed from parliament, so if parliament is dissolved it also follows that those positions fall away the only exception is the vice president and that is why the con court was very much on point regarding this issue, any where, I have given free advice in my article so MP’s, Ministers and their deputies should not cry when this is implemented because then the legal issues will kick in

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    • But the appointment of a Minister is at the discretion of the President – at what point do you override the privileges of a President?

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  4. Those resolutions of the NDF that seem not to be in the interest of Zambians cannot be supported. Further, the tendency of wanting to write the constitution even when one has no authority to do so is not supported by law.The general public is therefore advised to read and understand the law very well.Power derives from the people of Zambia and if reduced to a smaller segment only parliament has authority to amend the constitution after collecting views from people across the country via Constitution Review Commission. Most of Zambians are now alert.We are not going to allow a small group to manipulate the supreme law of Zambia.

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  5. Which Judge in the court ordered the ministers to pay back the money? That was a very wrong ruling which excited the opposition even when they new. In future if courts will be judging like that there will be no courts to talk about.

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    • Why don’t you (@hh big head) explain why you think the judge made a wrong ruling? What is the basis of your conclusion?

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