Impeachment motion is about respecting the rule of law – HH

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UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema has brushed aside concerns that his party’s plans to impeach President Edgar Lungu will derail the dialogue process, saying the impeachment motion is meant to remedy the breakdown in the rule of law.

And Hichilema says the impeachment motion is not about who wins or loses but about ensuring that leaders in future do not break the law with impunity.

61 PF, UPND and Independent members of parliament have signed a motion to impeach President Edger Lungu for alleged violation of the Republican Constitution.

The motion to be raised by Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo and seconded by his Roan PF counterpart Chishimba Kambwili is expected to be tabled this week.

But State House spokesperson Amos Chanda claimed the UPND’s move to start impeachment proceedings against President Lungu has poisoned the atmosphere for a peaceful dialogue to take place and that the Head of State did not think there could be a meaningful conversation with “unreasonable people who were narrowing the democratic space in the country.”

Chanda, during a press briefing, said the impeachment motion is doomed to fail as the UPND do not have the numbers in Parliament for it to go through.

A source also told Zambian Eye that the launch of the Steering Committee scheduled for today has been postponed until further notice due to the Impeachment Motion which has “poisoned” the dialogue process.

But in an interview, Hichilema said his party is ready and committed to the dialogue process which is being facilitated by the Commonwealth.

“There is no way the impeachment motion can jeopardise the dialogue process because the impeachment motion is bringing to the fore the breakdown in the rule of law, the various aspects that have been pulled down in the rule of law, in particular the breaching of the constitution; several constitutional breaches that have been committed by this government. And the dialogue process is meant to deal with this kind of constitutional breaches. This is why the dialogue process is essential, so that no one in future is allowed to break the law, especially the constitution of our land,” Hichilema said.

“So it is basically lack of understanding for Amos Chanda to say that the impeachment motion will jeopardise the dialogue, no. It is therefore more important that dialogue must proceed so that no president in future, no citizen in future, no opposition in future shall break the rule of law, break the constitution and get away with it. The two are one and the same. The quicker we get the dialogue on the table to stop those that are breaking the constitution, that are abrogating the constitution, when they swore to protect the constitution, the better.”

He wondered why opposition NDC consultant Chishimba Kambwili was being persecuted at a time when political dialogue was supposed to be taking place.

“I am not the one who is saying dialogue should stop, I am the one who is saying dialogue must go on. If the question goes the other way round, why is Lungu brutalising Kambwili if the dialogue is in the process? Is he not demonstrating his brutality when the dialogue process is on? Is he not wrong to stop us from having our meetings, freedom of assembly when he knows that the dialogue is on? It is him who is not sincere with the dialogue. We are ready for the dialogue,” Hichilema said.

He said the pending dialogue did not mean people should break the rule of law and go scott free.

On his party’s supposed lack of numbers required to push the motion through, Hichilema said the impeachment motion is not about winning or losing but a constitutional remedy to correct breaches.

“Why do people go to court when they are aggrieved? They don’t go to court when they see that the outcome is one-sided. You go to court to seek remedies. You start the constitution breach via the petition, which is a remedy. The issue is to do the right thing, to do what is legal, it is not whether you will win or not…it is not about the numbers but it is about doing what is right. We want to stop those that are breaching the constitution, especially those that are occupying the Presidency. We must do the correct things…Martin Luther King did the right thing to fight for civil liberties and today we have had a black president in America but there are only 13 per cent of black people in America,” said Hichilema.

“It means when you do the right things, decent human beings must accept and do what is correct. It is about principle; it is about doing the right thing. It is not about whether we will win or not, otherwise in South Africa, the opposition would not have attempted to impeach president Zuma six times or more before he was finally forced to resign. Zuma was forced to resign because of the opposition impeachment motion. If you want to break a big wall and you don’t have a hammer and you have only a screw, you must start making small holes with a screw in that wall, eventually you will weaken the wall and the wall will collapse. Doing the right thing is not about the numbers but it’s about what needs to be done and that is what we are doing and Zambians must learn from there.”


2 Responses to Impeachment motion is about respecting the rule of law – HH

  1. The confusion is in whether you want to impeach Edgar Lungu or President Edgar Lungu.

    March 27, 2018 at 5:19 pm

  2. HH is very foolish doesn’t have clear atmospheric brains to mean well for his hope. How does he expect a dialogue to bear fruits of peace and reconciliation when you (HH) a desperate losing rich mason have weaked plans in your own world to get into power using impeachment excuses. Note that you have no numbers in the house to fulfill your selfish popularity.

    No numbers in Parliament
    March 28, 2018 at 1:47 pm

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