Lusaka, March 15, 2015, ZANIS—Clerk of the National Assembly Doris Mwiinga has clarified that Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Parliament (MP) Steven Masumba is Constitutionally allowed to return to the House.
Mrs Mwiinga says the Constitution of Zambia allows a convicted Member of Parliament who has been pardoned by the Head of State to resume parliamentary duties provided that he or she did not previously resign.
The explanation by Mrs Mwiinga is contained in her letter to the Zambian Voice Executive Director Chilufya Tayali dated 13 February 2015 released to ZANIS in Lusaka today by Mr Tayali.
The Clerk of the National cited Constitutional provisions that allow a convicted Member of Parliament that has been given a free pardon by the Republican President to resume and attend the business of the House.
The Clerk, in the letter signed for her by Cecilia Sikatele, cited Clause (4) of Article 65 of the Constitution which entitles a Member to resume his functions as Member of the National Assembly unless he has previously resigned, and to receive remuneration as a Member for the period during which he did not exercise his functions by reason of the provisions of Paragraph (i) of the said proviso.
‘’the import of the foregoing is that if a Member of Parliament, who was convicted by a court of Law and sentenced to imprisonment for more than 6 months is granted a free pardon, then he or she is entitled to resume their functions as Member of Parliament unless they resigned’’, the letter reads in part.
The clarification by the Clerk of the National Assembly follows a petition by the Zambian Voice to the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to state whether Mr Masumba should continue being in parliament following his 12 months sentence for forging an Accounting Technician Diploma from the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA).
Mr Masumba was released from Prison recently following a Presidential pardon together with former Defence Minister George Mpombo by the then Acting President Guy Scott.