UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa says his party is considering the possibility of impeaching Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini for violation of the law.
And Mweetwa has challenged government, through the Ministry of Home Affairs, to tell the nation why Chingola businessman Kabaso Mulenga alias Spax is being held in custody on charges of murder when the murdered victim has not been mentioned to the public.
Meanwhile, Mweetwa says UPND members of parliament are consulting amongst themselves no a possible walk-out on President Edgar Lungu again if he does not give an inspiring speech when he addresses Parliament this Friday.
Speaking when he addressed journalists at the party secretariat in Lusaka, Wednesday, Mweetwa said following the Constitutional Court ruling declaring that Dr Matibini had overstepped his mandate when he declared the Roan Parliament seat vacant last year, the Speaker had given citizens an opportunity to question him.
“That is what the UPND is doing, it is studying. And there is nothing political about this, it is just like many other citizens are doing, they are following up with the court judgment. And in keeping with the doctrine of separation of powers that an entity or individual should not overlap the precincts of their authority, it is the position of the UPND that the Speaker is well positioned to know or at least to have known when it was not his province to undertake a performance of the interpretation of the law in the manner he did. So I can confirm that the UPND is studying that matter because we have numbers in the House but not sufficient to have him impeached and we believe that if an impeachment motion is to be tabled, it should not be driven by political motive, it should be driven by the desire to see the true realization of the rule of law. It should not be driven by political appetite to embarrass the Speaker, no!” Mweeta said.
“There is nothing to embarrass the Speaker about, he has already positioned himself in such a way as to give citizens an opportunity to say whatever it is they are saying about him because of the decision he made. Meaning, therefore, that such an impeachment will require support from members of the Patriotic Front and I can state here that within the corridors of Parliament yesterday (Tuesday), I overheard a number of exchanges of views between members of parliament of the opposition and the ruling party, pertaining to the possibility of an impeachment. So this is not a UPND agenda, this an agenda of members of parliament because we swore before Dr Matibini as Speaker to uphold and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. So us when it was deemed that we had violated rules of Parliament, we were suspended, and if it will be the view and position of many stakeholders that an impeachment motion be tabled because of this violation in accordance with the court judgment, I believe that it will be in the interest of rule of law and not politics.”
And Mweetwa questioned Spax’s friendship with senior government and PF officials.
“A few days ago, a well known Chingola resident and businessman who we are told is popularly known as Spax, was arrested by Zambia Police and Zambia Police yesterday (Tuesday) indicated to us that he (Spax) is being held for the offense of murder and two, for being found wearing certain uniforms that he’s not supposed to because they are military oriented. The question that begs an answer is; who has this Spax killed for him to be charged with the offense of murder? Because at every stage when the police have arrested any person in this country, they have told us who the victim or victims are. We want to find out from Zambia Police and from government, who has Spax killed?” Mweetwa asked.
“We are raising these questions because we are concerned that as a result of this gassing, has government not started arresting people any how? Or is it that people are being arrested for gassing but they are being given charges or offenses to cover up for the gassing? These questions must be answered, you can’t arrest someone, charge him with the offense of murder without telling the nation that ‘this person killed this or the other person’. Government has to come out clean on this one. The rule of law does not allow arbitrary arrests. In the absence of telling us who Spax killed, some people will begin to conclude that he’s just been arrested for nothing. Let government come out clean on this one, people are already beginning to speculate arising from the fact that this person has been seen at various forums rubbing shoulders with President Lungu, various ministers and high ranking PF officials. So we do not need speculation and at the same time, we do not want to politicise this matter. That is why we are saying Zambia police should tell us who the victim is.
Meanwhile, Mweetwa said UPND MPs were planning to walk out on President Lungu’s Parliamentary address this Friday if his speech would not be inspiring.
“We are consulting amongst ourselves if it is necessary to go and listen to political rhetoric as usual. We are wondering if we should go and sit at Parliament and listen to President Lungu just fulfill a Constitutional requirement of addressing Parliament and not hammering issues to give hope to the nation,” said Mweetwa.