LUSAKA lawyer Joseph Chirwa says there is no provision of the law which President Edgar Lungu has abrogated for some sections of society to call for his impeachment.
Last week, Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Gary Nkombo requested Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to restore to the Order Paper the motion to impeach President Edgar Lungu.
He premised his request on recent developments and the Speaker’s own rulings that emphasised the doctrine of exclusive cognisance.
Nkombo initially moved the motion to impeach President Lungu on March 22, 2018, which was seconded by Chishimba Kambwili, who was then-Roan PF member of parliament
But in an interview, Chirwa said that the UPND should instead focus on mobilising people to vote for them in next year’s general election rather than waste time on still trying to impeach the Head of State.
“Suggesting to impeach the President without following the grounds that are listed in the Constitution on ways you can impeach is treasonous! The Constitution of Zambia has listed grounds on which a President can be impeached, there is a reason why in framers of the Constitution put in place grounds on which you can impeach the President. Remember that a President is an elected official by majority of Zambians. No wonder we have elections next year for everyone to decide that the President is incompetent, did not perform his functions, therefore, they will not vote for him. The desperation is somewhat shocking because we have elections less than a year (away). Right now, there is no provision that the President has abrogated for people to call for an impeachment. They are acting in a treacherous and unpatriotic way,” argued Chirwa.
“The politics of the UPND are shocking. They have been in existence longer than PF, but it is like they miss the point. They really need to find political engineers who can help and advise them because it is a waste of time for people to say we should impeach the President instead of mobilising. COVID-19 has failed to play to their advantage because this is a global issue. Tomorrow, they will talk about the dollar, so what is their plan? There is no plan! This impeachment issue, which people are talking about, is a waste of time and it is a treasonous matter because you are trying to subvert the Constitution. The Constitution says, ‘you can only impeach the President in one of the following ways…’ But you want to start creating grounds on which to impeach the President? It is unfortunate. The UPND should go flat out, convince people to vote for them and if people are convinced, they will be given a vote.”
In his letter dated November 18, 2020, which the Speaker had acknowledged receipt, Nkombo informed him that the First Deputy Speaker, Catherine Namugala, subsequently confirmed to the House that the motion was compliant in terms of the established practice and procedure of the House.
He explained that before consideration and debate of the motion could ensue, it was brought to the Speaker’s attention that Robert Chabinga and Henry Mulenga had taken out judicial review proceedings in the High Court against the Attorney General in which they purportedly challenged his decision to allow the tabling of the motion.