FORMER Secretary to Cabinet Dr Sketchely Sacika has encouraged Lusaka Mayor Miles Sampa and his Kitwe counterpart Christopher Kang’ombe to sue Local government Minister Charles Banda for illegally suspending their councils.
And Dr Sacika has called on the Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) to pass a resolution to abolish the position of District Commissioner saying it is unconstitional.
In an interview, Dr Sacika said there was no law in the Zambian Constitution which allowed the central government to interfere in the operations of local councils.
“Miles Sampa and Kang’ombe should challenge Charles Banda for suspending their councils. Article 2 of our Constitution says that every Zambian has the duty to defend the Constitution and prevent a person from illegally abrogating the Constitution. Banda acted unlawfully when he suspended the two councils and he must therefore be challenged and no better persons could do that than Sampa and his friend, Kang’ombe. The law under which Banda has suspended the two councils is an unconstitutional [one]. Article 152 of the Constitution is very precisel, it says that the central government has no powers to interfere in the affairs of councils,” Dr Sacika said.
“And by some token, according to the Constitution, the post of the District Commissioner is also unconstitutional. District Commissioners are appointed to administer a district on behalf of the central government. But according to Article 152 of the Constitution, the administration of districts is a responsibility of district councils. The Local Government Association of Zambia (LGAZ) should therefore pass a resolution, demanding that the post of District Commissioner is abolished because it is neglecting to defend the Constitution.”
Dr Sacika insisted that by suing Banda, Sampa and Kang’ombe would be promoting the cause of good governance.
“The safety of all of us and of our country depends on obeying the law. If the law is set aside by those in power, our country will come to grief. Already our police force has become a militia of the Patriotic Front, carrying out unlawful orders to persecute citizens, contrary to what the Constitution and the law says and this is because we the people have not stood up to defend the rule of law. This is a responsibility bestowed on all of us. Supporting the PF does not mean supporting even the wrong things that those in government are doing. A good supporter is one who sees to it that the party is doing the right thing. My view therefore, is that Sampa and Kang’ombe will promote the cause of good governance and of the rule of law in our country if they took Banda, the Minster of Local Government to court for acting unlawfully when he suspended their councils,” said Dr Sacika.
“There are risks involved, but those risks are worth taking. No one can dismiss them from their jobs as mayors for taking legals action against the suspension of their councils because they were elected by the people. So Charles Banda or Lungu the President cannot dismiss them, and they will be doing their country a lot of good if they stood up to defend what the Constitution says.”