Kambwili goes to ConCourt over Roan seat

CHISHIMBA Kambwili has petitioned the Constitutional Court seeking a declaration and order that Speaker Patrick Matibini’s ruling that his Roan parliamentary seat is vacant is null and void.

Kambwili, the National Democratic Congress political consultant, has in this petition filed in the Constitutional Court registry on Wednesday cited the Attorney General.

The petitioner also wants the court to declare and order that he did not cross the floor as ruled by Dr Matibini.

He also wants the court to declare that his seat did not fall vacant as ruled by the Speaker.

In his petition, Kambwili stated that Dr Matibini on February 27 declared his seat vacant.

He stated that the Speaker was ruling on a point of order by Malambo member of parliament Makebi Zulu raised on February 21.

The petitioner stated that he came to learn that the reason for declaring his seat vacant was on account of his alleged floor crossing from being a PF party member under whose ticket he was elected to the National Assembly.

Kambwili also stated that he has not received any correspondence from the Speaker of the National Assembly nor his subordinate such as the Clerk of the National Assembly to date in the usual manner of written communication whenever a need for communication has arisen.

The petitioner stated that on February 29, he learnt through various print tabloids that the Speaker in his ruling raised various issues and referred to various authorities before arriving at a conclusion to declare the seat vacant.

Kambwili explained that he was fully aware that the notion of being a consultant engaged by the NDC was at all material times the subject of active litigation before High Court judge Mapani Kawimbe by way of counterclaim, adding that the matter has to date allegedly not been presided over by the court and awaits a hearing date.

He stated that at various times, he informed the Speaker and the Clerk about the case through various written correspondence which have been fully acknowledged of the litigation under cause number 2017/HP/1238.

“The petitioner takes grave concern that the Speaker of the National Assembly in his ruling deliberately chose to disregard the fact that he was making pronouncements on a matter that was subjudice and is yet to be determined by the High Court of Zambia,” the petition further read in part.

He stated that his case which should be afforded a fair hearing within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court established by law as guaranteed under Article 18 (1) of the Constitution has been or was likely to be violated because of the Speaker’s ruling.

Kambwili stated that he was equally aware that even if he had joined the NDC at the material time, a fact denied, the Speaker acted on provisions in any event that do not provide for alleged floor crossing as provided for by law in 2016 Amendment of the Constitution and as canvassed in the MMD vs Akashambatwa Lewanika and others 1993 to 1994 ZR 164.

He stated that his rights as a duly elected member of parliament have been severally infringed on by Dr Matibini and that the Speaker violated various provisions of the Constitution.

Kambwili submitted that the Speaker’s ruling and reliance on the case of the Attorney General and the MMD vs Akashambatwa Lewanika and Others 1993 to 1994 ZR 164 precedent of floor crossing was highly unconstitutional because it has now been suspended by Amendments to the Constitution by virtue of Act No 2 of 2016 and in particular Article 72 which the Speaker allegedly breached in his ruling.

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