A legal entity civil society organization, AGE Justice International, says the Speaker of the National Assembly, the courts and the Electoral Commission of Zambia have treated Chishimba Kambwili very unfairly.
In a statement, Tuesday, AGE Justice International executive director Philimon Phiri stated that the Speaker and ECZ were in a hurry to declare the Roan seat vacant.
Phiri also said it was also unprecedented that the courts had refused to grant Kambwili judicial review.
“It should be noted that the speaker of the National Assembly proceeded to declare the Roan seat vacant following a point of order from the PF:- 1. The Speaker does not have such powers to declare a seat vacant as provided under section 72 of the constitution of Zambia. 2. Declaration of any seat vacant is a preserve of the constitutional court. 3. The roan member was never and not given chance to be heard through the relevant standing committees. 4. There is a requirement for a speaker to notify the Electoral Commission of Zambia of any seat failing vacant within 7 days, however on the 5th day the ECZ issued a notice for the by-election in Roan. The speaker and the ECZ were in unprecedented hurry to declare the Roan seat vacant. The Roan lawmaker proceeded to court for a Judicial review for the illegal actions of the speaker of parliament and ECZ,” Phiri stated.
“The High Court has refused to grant the relief sought. This is the first refusal by the courts to grant judicial review process to operate as a stay of execution in the history of this country to a serving member of parliament. In all instances were a serving member of parliament has applied for a judicial review to act as a stay of execution, the courts have in all incidents from 1964 to date given the relief sort. Therefore Dr Chishimba Kambwili is for all intent and purpose being extremely unfairly treated by the speaker, ECZ and the courts. It amounts to denying of justice to a citizen of the republic.”
He stated that PF were doing everything possible to exclude Kambwili from Parliament.
“It is therefore extremely difficult to exclude the PF from such maneuvers as they hold a world record in interfering with all institutions of governance. We are also fully aware that the PF are spending sleepless nights just to ensure that Dr Chishimba Kambwili does not get a fair hearing and totally exclude him out of parliament as they fear that he will expose all the corrupt leaders in the PF and government. It is also correct and true that Dr Chishimba Kambwili has been and his a strong voice in parliament speaking for the poor and marginalized and also continues to remind the PF and its failures to govern the country properly,” stated Phiri.