SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini should aim to leave behind a legacy he will be remembered for following the Constitutional Court’s ruling that he exceeded his powers when he declared Chishimba Kambwili’s Roan seat vacant, says CiSCA board chairperson John Mambo.
Last month, the ConCourt ruled that Dr Matibini exceeded his powers when he declared the Roan seat vacant and proceeded to interpret statutes to “cure” a lacuna he identified in Article 72 of the Constitution as amended.
In an interview, Bishop Mambo observed that while Dr Matibini had earned respect as a judge, his recent conduct in the manner he declared Kambwili’s seat as vacant, contrary to the doctrine of Separation of Powers, had shown that he was now compromised.
“I am one of those who are disappointed because Dr Matibini is a renowned judge. Before [being] Speaker of the National Assembly, he was a very strong advocate against the abuse of laws and rights in the country. But ever since he has gone to be the Speaker, many things do not happen the way we expected. We expected that the Speaker will fit in the shoes of [Robinso] Nabulyato where the Speaker was never viewed as siding. But today, it is like what we are seeing in the Judiciary where before you appear before them, you already know the outcome. All I am saying is that this shows that something went wrong. And since it is coming from the Court, all they can do is to go by what Kambwili is claiming. It is a big lesson that the three arms of government should totally separate; they should divorce each other. In this case, it is like you have one head with three necks,” Bishop Mambo said.
“The previous Speakers left a legacy; you need people like that. Even if I was young, I still remember speakers like Nabulyato. South Africa is remembering Nelson Mandela because of the legacy. I have a lot of respect for the current Speaker, I know his standing. But it appears that sometimes he rules from the blood and not the heart and that doesn’t help, especially now that we follow Parliament debate, people are listening. If you keep your integrity, some of us, we always come out regardless of how we are being tossed to say, ‘I stand by my principle, wrong is wrong and right is right’.”
He also called on members of the public to take into account Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa’s views on President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility ahead of next year’s general election.
“…Even about the eligibility of the President running in 2021, (John) Sangwa is a State [Counsel] lawyer, but he is being called names! In some civilized democracy, you don’t speak the language you don’t understand. I am not a lawyer and, therefore, if a learned person gives his opinion, we should be able to respect. But as Zambia, we have gone so low. Thank God for papers like News Diggers! who are trying to lift up our opinions in trying to promote our views,” said Bishop Mambo.