CIVIL rights activist Brebner Changala says Speaker Dr Patrick Matibini has been caught pants down with his partisan approach on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019.
Changala also says he is very saddened that Zambia has “extremely” gone under at the expense of a lawyer, each handling the Legislature, Judiciary, and the Executive.
Changala charges that Dr Matibini cannot use Parliament as his own instrument to abuse Zambians while “glorifying the Patriotic Front.”
“He might be a member [of the PF] but that Parliament is a dignified chamber of men and women who are elected across the length and breadth of the country to assume the title of ‘honourable’. They are honourable men and women,” Changala told The Mast in an interview.
“[But] how come dishonourable conduct is now prevalent in that House? Why? Who has allowed that kind of conduct? I’m earnestly asking for clarification from the Speaker to tell us the difference between the impeachment motion that was on the floor and bill No.10 of 2019, which all went to court. He must clarify to the people of Zambia or else he is destroying the Parliament.”
The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has sought legal action against Dr Matibini and President Edgar Lungu, arguing that the constitution amendment bill before Parliament is illegal.
However, Dr Matibini has since replied that the House would go ahead to debate the bill because Parliament is an independent institution, to which Changala exclaimed: “what a cheeky response!”
“My message is that enough is enough,” Changala told Dr Matibini.
He reminded the Speaker that he was in his position to serve Zambians diligently.
“You swore to protect the Constitution, the supreme law of the land. You are not at liberty to interpret the Constitution in a manner that suits you, Mr Speaker,” Changala said.
“I appeal to the Speaker of the National Assembly not to be partisan. When he is running the affairs of Parliament, he must do so in the total interest and benefit of all Zambians and every other person living in Zambia.”
He further challenged Dr Matibini to explain to Zambians why the impeachment motion moved by the UPND and supported by some PF membes of parliament and independents could not proceed when Parliament was ‘independent.’
“What is good for the goose must be good for the gander! He cannot take Parliament as his own instrument to abuse Zambians while glorifying the Patriotic Front,” he noted.
“Today the Law Association of Zambia has taken Constitutional Amendment Bill 10 to court saying it’s unconstitutional. But the Speaker has come out claiming that the bill be debated in Parliament as Parliament is independent of the judiciary. Deceit has short legs and I seriously believe that the Speaker has been caught pants down. He has been caught in his own web of deceit.”
Changala added that many Zambians held Dr Matibini in high esteem but from a distance “because he has operated in a manner that is obscure.”
He pointed out that the Speaker’s true character has since been known by many citizens.
“His actions now have fully exposed him and surrendered him to ridicule. If you look at the impeachment motion that was tabled in Parliament by the UPND against President Edgar Chagwa Lungu, two Zambians went to court to block that impeachment. When those who were pushing for the impeachment went to Parliament, they were told that the impeachment motion could not proceed because the matter was sub-judice. That was [the position] of the Speaker of the National Assembly,” Changala recalled.
Meanwhile, Changala said he was saddened that Zambia has “extremely” gone under with lawyers, each handling the legislature, judiciary, and executive.
The Legislature is under Dr Matibini (a lawyer and judge ), Judiciary is headed by Irene Mambilima and the Executive by President Edgar Lungu, another lawyer.
“The government has three arms, that is the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Executive and for the first time in history, all three arms of the government are led by lawyers,” noted Changala.
“But these lawyers have taken the country extremely down. Yes, they are well educated [lawyers] but unuseful to the proper administration of our country.”