Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has declared Chishimba Kambwili’s Roan parliamentary seat vacant.
Dr Matibini said this in parliament, Wednesday, when he made a ruling on a point of order which was raised by Eastern Province Minister Makebi Zulu last week, seeking the speaker’s ruling on whether or not Chishimba Kambwili was in order to continue being in the House as Roan PF member of parliament when he was at the same time claiming to be NDC leader as well as a member of the opposition political parties Alliance.
Dr Matibini said Kambwili had on his own declared that he was running his own independent political party, NDC.
“Honourable members, to augment or back-trace the preceding conclusion, Dr Kambwili has on his own volition vehemently and unreservedly declared as follows (a) that he runs his own independent political party, (b) that he is in fact the leader of the NDC, little wonder he considered it incredible that he could be dismissed from the NDC, his party by a subordinate secretary general Mwenya Musenge and (c) that he is a member of the alliance of the opposition political parties and that he will forge ahead with the alliance. In the circumstances, I therefore find and I hold that Dr C Kambwili MP by virtue of being a member of the NDC, has clearly crossed the floor,” Dr Matibini said.
He declared the Roan seat vacant adding that the office bearer was in continuous breach of the constitutional provision which allowed him to hold that position.
And Dr Matibini ordered that Kambwili leaves the office with immediate effect from the day of the ruling.
“Honourable members, the law governing the circumstances under which a member of parliament may vacate his or her seat in the National Assembly as outline in Article 72 of the Constitution of Zambia (1) of the Laws of Zambia and Article 72 is in the following terms ‘a member of parliament shall except the speaker and the first deputy speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon dissolution of parliament, (2) the office of a member of parliament becomes vacant if the member, (a) resigns by notice in writing to the speaker, (b) becomes disqualified for election in accordance with Article 70 (c) acts contrary to the prescribed code of conduct, (d) resigns from the political party which sponsored the member for election to the National Assembly, (e) is expelled from the political party which sponsored the member for election to the National Assembly, (f) ceases to be a citizen, (g) having been elected to the National Assembly as an independent candidate [and] joins a political party, (h) is disqualified as a result of a decision of a Constitutional Court or (i) if he or she dies,” Dr Matibini cited.
“It is instructive to note that the provision of a member losing his or her seat on account of crossing the floor is provided in Article 72 (d) and (2) (g) cited above to recapitulate Article 72 (d) makes it mandatory for a member who presides from a political party which sponsored him/her for elections in the National Assembly to vacate his/her seat.”
And Dr Matibini said he drew the inspiration to declare the Roan seat vacant from the case of GBM versus the Attorney General as reported in the Zambia Law Reports of 2016.
“I draw inspiration from the case of Mwamba versus Attorney General as reported in the 2016 Zambia Law reports volume 2, page 296. This is what justice Siavwapa said at page 311 in construing the term “office bearer” and I quote ‘It is clear from the above petition that the petitioner became an office bearer in the UPND upon accepting the position of vice president by virtue of which he became its member.’ Justice Siavwapa went on to observe as follows on page 314 ‘the seat was declared vacant on account of the petitioner’s decision to become a member of the opposition United Party for National Development when he accepted his appointment as its vice president for administration on 22nd July 2015,” said Dr Matibini.