ATTORNEY-GENERAL Likando Kalaluka has told the High Court that former Kasama Central member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba was not discriminated against when Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini declared his seat vacant because he joined another party.
This is in a case in which Mr Mwamba is challenging Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant when other MPs who have been offered ministerial positions by President Lungu were not expelled from the House.
Mr Kalaluka submitted that Dr Matibini was right to make that decision as he did so in accordance with the Constitution and well-established precedence and rules of the House in declaring Mr Mwamba’s seat vacant.
He said Mr Mwamba was not discriminated against on the basis of his political opinion because the position he found himself in is not peculiar as Dr Matibini has declared seats vacant before on similar grounds.
“The respondent had clearly distinguished the circumstances involving the petitioner from that involving the said Vincent Mwale [Minister of Youth, Sports and Child Development] and Dawson Kafwaya [Deputy Minister of Local Government and Housing], as stated above, and, therefore, the petitioner’s case does not fall under the bracket of Article 23 of the Constitution…,” Mr Kalaluka said.
He submitted that Mr Mwamba’s situation was different from those involving Mr Mwale and Mr Kafwaya, because the two MPs have not left their political parties as Mr Mwamba did when he formally joined the UPND.
Mr Kalaluka also said the amendment of the Constitution has rendered the petition academic as its provisions concerning the court’s interpretation have been repealed.
Zambia Daily Mail