Ministers are holding office illegally – Zambia’s Constitutional court

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The Constitutional court has ruled that ministers and deputy ministers are holding office illegally and should vacate their offices.

In a landmark ruling, the court has also ordered the former ministers to refund state allowances and payments they received while holding on to office after parliament was dissolved.

President Edgar Lungu had justified the decision to keep ministers in their positions after the dissolution of parliament saying there is a provision in the amended Constitution that allows ministers to remain in office.

He said this was in order to ensure a smooth handover as per provisions of the amended constitution.

And the opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) says the ruling by the Constitutional Court has embarrassed President Edgar Lungu who refused to heed to the wise counsel coming from his fellow lawyers.

FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza notes that other than drawing allowances and salaries the ministers made several decisions which may impact negatively on the governance of the nation.

He laments that cabinet has passed several binding decisions since they remained in office such as the contraction of the US$188 million loan last week by Finance Minister Alexander Chikwanda.

Mr Mwanza has told QFM News that the ruling by the Constitutional Court has exposed President Lungu that he did not read the constitution and his legal advisors were not doing a good job.

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