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AG defends Speaker’s action in Kambwili seat case

 

ATTORNEY General Likando Kalaluka has submitted before the Constitutional Court that Speaker Patrick Matibini has not breached any constitutional provisions in declaring Chishimba Kambwili’s Roan parliamentary seat vacant because his decision was anchored on the law.

 

In this case, Kambwili has petitioned the court over the Speaker’s decision to declare his seat, Roan, vacant for crossing the floor.

In an answer to the petition filed in court, Kalaluka stated that Dr Matibini’s decision was anchored on the fact that Kambwili publicly declared that he run a political party and that he was, in fact, the leader of the National Democratic Congress party (NDC) when he served as a member of parliament under the PF party.

He stated that the declaration of Roan Constituency seat as vacant was as a result of Kambwili’s decision to become a member of NDC party when his election to the National Assembly was sponsored by the PF.

Kalaluka also stated that he would aver at trial that Kambwili was contacted, and informed that the Speaker’s ruling was scheduled to be delivered on February 27, 2019.

“At any event, he ought to have been in the House at the time the ruling in question was rendered, because that is the mode of communication of decisions of this nature to an affected member of parliament,” he said.

Kalaluka stated that it was common ground that Kambwili’s seat became vacant following the ruling of the Speaker on February 27.

He added that there was a clear distinction between proceedings in which the Speaker declared the Roan parliamentary seat vacant and the proceedings that were before the High Court under cause 2017/HP/1238.

“The matter under which the Speaker rendered a ruling was an internal proceedings of the House,” Kalaluka said.

He stated that Dr Matibini was notified of the action under cause number 2017/HP/1238, when it commenced, but was not privy to the details and development of the cause of action, because he was not a party thereto.

Kalaluka also submitted that the pronouncements by the Speaker were not subjudice because they related to internal proceedings of the House.

He stated that he would also aver at trial that Dr Matibini had not breached any constitutional provisions as alleged by Kambwili, and he would put him to strict proof.

He stated that Kambwili was thus not entitled to any of the substantive reliefs sought and he denies each and every allegations contained in the petition as if the same was separately transversed seriatim.

And deputy clerk-procedure at National Assembly Cecilia Sikatele stated that the Speaker informed the Electoral Commission of Zambia of the vacancy in the Roan parliamentary seat within the period of seven days of the vacancy in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution.

“We wish to state that the Speaker of the National Assembly has not breached any constitutional provisions because his decision was anchored on the law,” she said.

Sikatele further submitted that Kambwili’s application for an order of stay was dismissed by the court in March 19, 2019 for none attendance by the applicant and his advocates, and therefore, there was no application before court for it to exercise its jurisdiction to grant the petitioner a stay in respect of Dr Matibini’s decision to declare the seat vacant.

She also stated that the application for a stay has bee overtaken by events.

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