Perhaps owing to the key role played by MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba in the Amended Constitution making process towards the early part of this year, we have been inundated with press queries for us to comment on the nomination and subsequent appointment of certain people to Ministerial positions by Mr. Edgar Chagwwa Lungu yesterday Thursday 15 September, 2016 at State House.
Here below, is our official position.
At the Press Conference held today 15th september, 2016 at State House during the continued announcement of members of the Cabinet, Mr. Lungu nominated the following persons as Members of Parliament and went on to appoint them to ministerial positions as follows: Felix Mutati (Minister of Finance), Lucky Mulusa (Minister for National Development, and Nathaniel Mubukwanu (Minister – Western Province).
Article 69 of the Laws of Zambia states:
Nominated Members of Parliament
The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 68 (2)(b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly,
(2) A person may be nominated Member of Parliament if the person qualifies to be elected as such under Article 70
(3) A person who was a candidate for election in the last preceeding general election or a subsequent by-election IS NOT ELIGIBLE TO BE NOMINATED AS MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT.
Zambians are all aware that Felix Mutati was a candidate as Member of Parliament for Lunte in the last preceeding general election held in 2011 and was MP in the recently dissolved National Assembly (2011-2016). Lucky Mulusa was also a candidate and won as MP for Solwezi Central in the last General election, 2011. His seat was petitioned which he lost in a subsequent by-election and Mr. Mubukwanu was an MP till dissoluton of Parliament in May this year.
As Commissioners of the CRC will recall, the purpose of this clause was to put an end to what had become a nuisance situation where the Party in government took advantage of its position of power, to weaken the opposition by enticing them to ‘cross the floor’ at will by offering them ministerial positions in government, thus contributing to bringing total chaos in the governance system and triggering endless and expensive by-elections. This weakened the ability of the opposition to offer checks and balances to the party in Government.
We call on Mr. Lungu to quickly reverse the appointments and for once do the right thing. Let him sit down somewhere quietly and go through the Amended Constitution, page by page with Dr. Simbyakula who presided over the enactment of the Amended Constitution and save the country from further embarrassment.
Therefore, as the appointments stand, they are against the provisions of the Amended Constitution and therefore illegal, null and void.
REVEREND REUBEN SAMBO
MMD NATIONAL SECRETARY