Speaker was right to declare Kasama seat vacant – AG

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UPND vice president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba has argued in court that it is wrong for the Speaker to declare his parliamentary seat vacant for joining UPND when he has allowed opposition MPs to serve in the PF government when they are still members of opposition parties.

This is in a case in which Mr Mwamba is challenging Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant when other MPs who had been offered ministerial positions by President Lungu were not expelled from the House.
He argued that other MPs from the United Party for National Development (UPND) and the MMD had still retained their seats despite their parties writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini about their removal from respective parties.

Mr Mwamba said he was shocked by Dr Matibini’s decision to declare his seat vacant based on his decision to accept an appointment as vice president of the UPND. “My seat was not declared vacant because I joined the UPND. My seat was declared vacant because I had accepted the position of vice president for administration in the UPND,” he said.
Mr Mwamba noted that he had sought an injunction restraining Dr Matibini from performing his duties but that the same was not granted. Instead, the High Court had granted him judicial review and that the PF was stopped from expelling him.
He further stated that the ruling was still in effect at the time Dr Matibini declared his seat vacant.

He argued that he is not a member of the PF as he was expelled from the party.
Earlier, the 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 had 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 circumstances he found himself in were not peculiar as Dr Matibini had declared some 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. Therefore, the petitioner’s case does not fall within the bracket of Article 23 of the Constitution…,” Mr Kalaluka said.

Zambia Daily Nation

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