Speaker of the National Assembly disagrees with the Constitutional Court

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

Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini says he reserves powers to interpret the constitution within the confine of the operations of the legislature.

Dr Matibini has disagreed with the Constitutional Court ruling that he has no jurisdiction to interpret the constitution.

According to the National Broadcaster ZNBC, Dr Matibini cited various cases such as Geoffrey Mwamba versus the Attorney General and Ben Tetamashimba versus the Attorney General where the courts did not interfere with the decisions of the Speakers of the National Assembly to declare the parliamentary seats vacant.

However, on the premise of the case involving former Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili versus the Attorney General, the Constitutional Court ruled that the Speaker of the National Assembly has no powers to interpret the constitution.

In this case, Mr Kambwili who is now National Democratic Congress Leader was challenging the decision of the Speaker of the National Assembly to declare his Roan Parliamentary Seat under the PF vacant.

Meanwhile, Dr Matibini has pronounced himself on the Constitutional Court judgment in Mr Kambwili’s case as part of his eminent ruling on a point of order concerning constitution amendment Bill number 10 of 2019. The ruling is expected to be rendered today.

The anticipated ruling comes on the backdrop of a point of order raised by Mazabuka Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo who wanted to know whether it was in Order to debate the Bill when there was a Court petition over it.

The Constitutional Court ruled in March 2020 that Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini exceeded his powers when in his ruling declaring Chishimba Kambwili’s Roan seat vacant, he proceeded to interpret statutes in order to “cure” the lacuna he identified in Article 72 of the Constitution as amended.

The court noted that the function of interpreting the law and the Constitution was vested in the Judiciary.

This came to light when the Court threw out a matter in which Mr Kambwili, who is former Roan PF member of parliament, was challenging Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant for allegedly floor crossing.


  1. 2 weeks since they opened, and no parliament seating.
    We heard PF parliament of Matibini bought video equipment for MPs, and they were swindled, have them outdated 1980s? Why not just use laptops and Google meetings. Tell us what’s the scandle?

  2. Mr Speaker sir with due respect, every person has a right to interpret the constitution to his family, work mates, subordinates whatsoever. However, per Article 128 of the constitution, the original and final jurisdiction is vested in the constitutional court. You are a judge alright but have never been appointed to serve on the bench of the constitutional court. When it comes to constitutional matters you are not better than my wife, girl friend or lunatic out there.Stop the arrogance, sir. Respect the decisions of the court’s. Don’t sow seeds of anarchy in the nation. As a former member of the bench ee expect you to be exemplary in that regard. So just shut up. Silence is golden.

  3. Put simply, forget the authorities you have cited. Those decisions were made by courts other than the constitutional court. So such decisions are not binding on the concourt. We expect you to know this better than we the commoners. Now, I am beginning to doubt your so called ‘learned’ tag. Maybe some of us the so called ‘unqualified’ persons by your profession are infact the learned.

  4. The ConCourt must just be disbanded. It’s not serving any purpose, their judgements so far are embarrassing. Look at the Edgar eligibility case? Daniel Pule shouldn’t have even been heard because he runs an illegal political Party. The Constitution doesn’t allow religious based political Parties. Why have a Constitution if you can’t obey its provisions?

  5. Why is Speaker Matibini not sighting the recent Concourt case involving him and Chishimba Kamwili.
    According to the 2016 constitution,the Concourt is a final court of appeal.How can the Speaker be referring to rulings made by lower courts?

  6. The key is “Parliamentary Sovereignty”. The Court of Parliament when the Speaker is presiding has the privilege of interpreting the law for RULINGS intra Parliament.
    Dr Matibini is right only in this context. Any wednesbury reasonable lawyer will opine thus.

  7. Yes, the Speaker is emperor of the empire called parliament. He makes rulings that are binding for purposes of holding his empire together otherwise it would fall like the Roman empire did.

  8. In my province, I rule and in theirs, they also have their rulers or should I say, they rule. So an escapee from my province cannot fight my dominion in the other provinces where I don’t rule, that’s ridiculous!.

  9. What law did matibini quote when making his ruling on the Kambwili seat issue, was it an intra parliament law that governs the happenings in parliament or the law binding on the whole nation the constitution in short?

  10. Me just sees gymnastics from the pappet masters in statehouse to make look like there is independence from mutabini and concourt and other courts.

    CK has been compromised by the findley case and will dance to any tune….

  11. Never in the History of Zambia has court judgement been rubbished in the manner this constitutional court judgments are. First it was presidential petition judgement ( or failure by the court to pronounce itself for so called lack of jurisdiction , thereby rendering themselves into public shame ) then ECL warning judges to rule in his favour on his 3rd term desire, then Ministers refusing the concourt judgement to refund the State monies wrongly accrued from their illegal stay in office and Now the learned DR MATIBINI , Speaker taking his turn.
    Behold , has the Speaker not known that even the British Prime Minister was overruled by the courts and graciously said -though i do not agree with this judgement i will accept it . DR Matibini and PF should be learn to be humble and for once…

  12. So Matibini expects the things that happened before the constitutional court came to be to happen when we have the constitutional court?

  13. All we needed to see was ACC, prosecuting Kambwili for alleged corruption, but that was hushed and now….we have a problem. There are many ways of dealing with difficult people.

  14. There is a total lack of respect for the rule of law! These levels of arrogance are astonishing. I hope Matibini knows that the term of speaker has a very limited time unlike that of constitutional court judges. Even if lungu protects you now, the law will catch up with you when both of you are out of office

  15. Theres a difference between disagreeing out of selfishness and disagreeing out concern for law or governance. This is a disagreement based on selfishment

Comments are closed.