Ministers must vacate offices when Parley is dissolved – NGOCC

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Sara Longwe

Sara Longwe

The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has backed the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)’s position that the tenure of all serving Ministers will come to an end after Parliament is dissolved today.

And former Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director McDonald Chipenzi has accused the PF Government of manipulating the Constitution to illegally allow Ministers occupy their positions even after the dissolution of Parliament.

In a statement made available to Zambian Eye, NGOCC Board Chairperson Sarah Longwe has called on President Edgar Lungu to provide leadership in abiding by the provisions of the amended National Constitution on the status of Ministers after parliament is dissolved.

She says her organisation stands by the position advanced by LAZ that Article 116 (1) of the Constitution provides that “The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers”and Article 72(1) provides that “A Member of Parliament shall, except the Speaker and the First Deputy Speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon a dissolution of Parliament”.

“In consideration of Article 116(1) and article 72(1), Ministers are appointed on the basis of them being Members of Parliament. Considering that parliament will be dissolved, there will be no basis under which the Ministers will continue to exist as such,” Longwe explained, adding, “NGOCC contends that our leaders swear to faithfully and diligently discharge their duties and perform their functions to uphold and maintain the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia. It is also given that leaders in this country dedicate their abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Zambia without fear, favour and in defense of the Republican Constitution.”

She observed that the country is currently at crossroads regarding constitutional interpretation, a situation she says justifies her organisation’s calls for a people-driven constitution that will stand the test of time.

But Government has maintained that Ministers will keep their jobs until a new president is sworn in, saying their position is in accordance with Article 116 of the Constitution.

“There is no need for a debate here. The constitution in Article 116 is clear, Ministers continue until a new President is sworn in so even as Parliament dissolves, Ministers continue,” Chief Government Spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili said in a statement.

Meanwhile, electoral expert McDonald Chipenzi has charged that the on-going debate on the status of Ministers after the dissolution of Parliament shows poor workmanship on the part of Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula, whom he accuses of deliberately failing to effect a consequential amendment in Parliament during the amendment of the constitution after the dropping the Article on Appointment of Ministers outside Parliament.

Chipenzi explains that the logic behind the retention of Ministers after the dissolution of Parliament was premised on the draft constitutional Article or clause that dictated that Ministers were supposed to have been appointed from outside Parliament not within as the practice has been all along.

“In this case, Ministers were not to be affected by the dissolution of Parliament but remained and in office and retained their functions until a new President is elected after a General Election,” he said.

“To this end, since the PF government manipulated and doctored the constitution and removed the Article/Clause on the appointment of Ministers from Outside Parliament and retained the old system of appointing ministers from within Parliament, there is no way these Ministers can and will continue to remain in office after the dissolution of parliament on May 11, 2016.”

 

 

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2 Responses to Ministers must vacate offices when Parley is dissolved – NGOCC

  1. Problem in the city part 2. If you watched part 1 which talked about Grade 12 Certificate then you understand that this part 2 and subsequently the famous part 3 which will hinge on the public order and public usage of various grounds, the case of Kitwe freedom park (UPND Vs PF)campaign day. What I know is that after 11.08.2016 Zambia will have a new President.

    Mainza
    May 11, 2016 at 12:37 pm
    Reply

  2. Let PS’s head each ministry were they belong till election day is over.at least 4 them r civil servants unlike ministers who r not.let the president be wise.

    JD
    May 12, 2016 at 6:29 am
    Reply

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31