UPND Whip Gary Nkombo says the impeachment motion will undergo a Parliamentary process which is out of PeP leader Sean Tembo’s control and it is therefore illogical for him to call for its withdrawal.
In a statement last week, Tembo asked the UPND to withdraw the impeachment motion, remove “frivolous charges” and re-file it.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we have noted the various legal challenges that the impeachment motion, which was recently filed in Parliament, appears to be facing in the courts of law. These court challenges are primarily premised on the argument that the majority of the grounds for impeachment are matters that are already being litigated on in various courts of law. As Patriots for Economic Progress, our advice to the UPND is that they should consider withdrawing the impeachment motion, amending it by removing all frivolities and matters that are already before the courts of law, then re-file the amended impeachment motion in Parliament. The amended impeachment motion must only contain substantive grounds, such as the gross violation of article 122 of the Constitution by intimidation of the Judges of the Constitutional Court by the Republican President while in Solwezi, on a matter that is before the said Court in which Mr. Lungu’s eligibility to stand for a third term in 2021 is being challenged,” Tembo stated.
He insisted that the only charge which could hold was President Edgar Lungu’s threats against Constitutional Court judges.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress, we strongly believe that it will be quicker to have the impeachment motion heard in Parliament if the current version is withdrawn and replaced with an amended version, than for the UPND to try to fight this issue in court. Based on past experience, there’s no question that the High Court matter involving the current impeachment motion, will go on and on until the coming of Jesus Christ. As Patriots for Economic Progress, we are hopeful that the UPND will consider our advice on the impeachment motion, so that the Zambian people can finally be afforded an opportunity, through Parliament, to hold their Republican President to account for his misdeeds in Solwezi,” stated Tembo.
But in an interview, Nkombo advised Tembo to allow processes which were out of his control to go on.
“My advice to Mr Tembo is that sometimes he must let processes that are out of his control go on. This particular process is totally devoid to Mr Sean Tembo’s talks. It’s a parliamentary process and we are working under the doctrine of the separation of powers that each arm of government is independent of one another. And the impeachment motion is specific on constitutional breaches, meaning breaking the law. Now, when we debate that motion, we will prove that the law has been broken. That is all our task is,” Nkombo said.
“And maybe my advice to Mr Tembo is that he should try and stop his back and forth movements of his opinions because you can’t believe in one thing [and] at the same time you believe in another, that is contrasting of the first belief. So I think he should try and avoid being in that situation and allow us to move. It would be according to the Speaker really to say what he thinks about that motion. But as it is, the Speaker’s ruling is very straight forward that the notice of motion was correctly tabled.”
He said members of parliament should be allowed to debate the motion once Parliament resumes sitting in June despite the court process which had been initiated to stop the motion.
“How then does Mr Tembo think about frivolity? Where is his moral compass to think that we should withdraw the motion? Those are the questions that I will be asking Mr Tembo. He says that its frivolous according to his judgement but for now I think that is a process that is devoid of easy engagement in politics because it’s a parliamentary process…So I don’t see why we would still want to bring some amendments on a topic that is clearly departed. We are just waiting for June. And allow members of parliament to debate it, and they can debate that this matter is in court if they wish to advance that argument. We are debating breaches, and we are not debating anything else. It is a specific motion. If I say to you Sipilisiwe that you have broken a traffic offence by beating the traffic lights, you cannot say no, you can’t litigate over this matter because there is a matter in court regarding a traffic offence. So that’s my friendly advice to Mr Tembo,” said Nkombo.