Patriots for Economic Progress leader Sean Tembo says he supports calls to impeach President Edgar Lungu and has advised the UPND that the only ground which can hold is his threats on judges.
But Tembo says he is disappointed with the snail’s pace at which the UPND was moving to lay the motion on the table of the House.
In a statement, Sunday, Tembo advised the UPND not to add frivolous charges to the motion to avoid being regarded as bitter.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we would like to announce to the nation that we are in full support of calls for the impeachment of the Republican President, His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, by various opposition political parties. Such a move, even if it does not eventually succeed, will be unprecedented in the history of Zambia and will have the desired effect of awakening the Republican President to be more cautious in his handling of national affairs, and to desist from making loose and unguarded public statements, which he has regrettably developed a habit of doing in the recent past,” Tembo stated.
“We in the Patriots for Economic Progress wish to take this opportunity to offer counsel to the UPND that in drafting the proposed motion for impeachment, caution must be taken to ensure that the impeachment move is not seen as a display of bitterness by the main opposition political party, and an avenue for venting their anger for losing the 2016 general elections. This can partly be attained by ensuring that no frivolous charges are laid against President Lungu. In our view, the only charge on the basis of which a motion of impeachment can be moved against the President is his threats against the Justices of the Constitutional Court that he made while in Solwezi. We would consider any other charge to be frivolous and a fishing expedition on the part of the UPND. We look forward to the laying of the proposed motion for the impeachment of President Lungu, on the floor of Parliament for debate. We are hopeful that actions such as this one will help to test our Republican Constitution and also ensure that those who are given the rare opportunity to occupy the position of Republican President, do so with humility, respect for the citizens and adherence to constitutional order.”
But Tembo charged that the UPND was delaying to present the motion because it could expose divisions in the party.
“However, as Patriots for Economic Progress, we wish to take this opportunity to register our unhappiness with the inertia and snail’s pace at which the UPND, in its capacity as main opposition political party, has been moving to lay this proposed motion of impeachment on the floor of Parliament for debate. About six months ago, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress wrote to the UPND requesting for their support to lay a motion of impeachment on the floor of Parliament, against President Lungu for violating article 122(1) of the Republican Constitution, for the statement which he made while in Solwezi in which he threatened the Justices of the Constitutional Court to rule on his behalf in a matter that is before the Court, in which Mr. Lungu’s eligibility to stand for a third term in 2021 is being challenged. However, the UPND has been dragging its feet to do this simple task. It must be noted, country men and women, that article 108(1) of the Republican Constitution only requires one-third of the MPs to move a motion for impeachment of a President. Parliament has a total of 164 MPs and one-third of this is about 55 MPs, and the UPND has about 58 MPs in Parliament, which is more than they need to move the motion of impeachment against the President,” stated Tembo.
“As things stand, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress have got no option but to speculate that the primary reason why the UPND have continued to drag their feet to move this proposed motion for impeachment, is because they are not sure about the loyalty of their MPs to toll the party line, and are afraid of exposing the divisions that might be existing in their party.”