Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has asked the UPND to lay a fresh motion of impeachment on the table of the House following President Edgar Lungu’s eSwatini land saga.
He said in a statement, Sunday, that if President Lungu was an ordinary citizen, he would have demanded his immediate arrest and prosecution.
“As Patriots for Economic Progress (PeP), we have keenly been studying the issue of the acquisition of land and intentions to build a mansion by President Lungu, in the Kingdom of eSwatini, formerly known as Swaziland, which is alleged to be corruptly financed by a Mr. Michelo Shakantu, who is a Director and Shareholder of both Inyatsi Construction Limited, a company registered and operating in Zambia and Inyatsi Properties Limited, a company registered and operating in the Kingdom of eSwatini. As Patriots for Economic Progress, in seeking to arrive at our position on this matter, we took into consideration the fact that Mr. Michelo Shakantu’s company in Zambia, Inyatsi Construction Limited, has been a major beneficiary of large government contracts that include the proposed construction of the Ndola-Mufulira road at about K700 million, and the proposed construction of the Kafue-Chikankata-Mazabuka roads. We have further noted that Mr. Michelo Shakantu’s company in the Kingdom of eSwatini, Inyatsi Properties Limited, is the one that donated the said property and is financing the construction of the alleged mansion for President Lungu,” Tembo stated.
“We have further taken into consideration the close personal association between President Lungu and the said Mr. Michelo Shakantu, as the two have been captured in photos together at various social gatherings in the past. Given the foregoing, our position as Patriots for Economic Progress on this matter is that, if Mr. Lungu was an ordinary citizen of this Republic, we would have demanded for his immediate arrest and prosecution for alleged corruption, because sufficient evidence exists to support this charge. However, Mr. Lungu is no ordinary citizen of this Republic. He happens to be the Republican President and is therefore immune from arrest and prosecution.”
He asked the UPND to draft a fresh impeachment motion, being the largest opposition party.
“On the basis of the foregoing, we in the Patriots for Economic Progress would like to take this opportunity to call upon our brothers and sisters in the United Party for National Development (UPND), who have the required numbers in Parliament, to consider laying a fresh motion of impeachment against the Republican President, as provided for by article 108(1)(c) of the Republican Constitution, as soon as Parliament reconvenes in June. As an opposition political party in Zambia, we believe that this is an opportunity for the UPND and other genuine opposition political parties to show leadership and do what is in the best interests of the citizens of this Republic. If we do not act now on this matter, then posterity will judge all of us harshly,” he stated.
He said a fresh impeachment motion based on article 108(1)(c) of the Constitution would help Zambia deal with gross violation of the law by President Lungu.
“However, as Patriots for Economic Progress, we firmly believe that each and every citizen of this Republic of Zambia must be held accountable before the law, for their indiscretions. Given the circumstances at hand, we strongly believe that the only way in which we can hold President Lungu accountable for his alleged violation of the law by corruptly acquiring and financing the construction of a mansion in the Kingdom of eSwatini, is through the provisions of article 108(1)(c) of the Republican Constitution that provides for the laying of a motion of impeachment against the President, on the floor of Parliament, for gross violation of the law,” stated Tembo.
“Once an impeachment motion meets the support of one-third of the total Members of Parliament and is laid against President Lungu, the Chief Justice of Zambia will be compelled to convene a tribunal to investigate the alleged corrupt association of President Lungu and Mr. Michelo Shakantu and their respective roles in this Kingdom of eSwatini mansion scandal. If the tribunal so convened finds President Lungu not criminally liable in this matter, then it shall acquit him accordingly, just like all wrongly accused citizens are expected to be acquitted by the courts of law. However, this proposed approach of an impeachment motion followed by a tribunal, as provided by article 108 of the Republican Constitution, will ensure that His Excellency Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu is properly held accountable for his alleged criminal acts in this matter.”