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Stop giving Lungu Presidential benefits – Tayali tells Govt

Filed under: Latest News,Politics |
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Economic and Equity Party President Chilufya Tayali has told Government to stop giving former President Edgar Lungu Presidential benefits as he feels he is still active in politics.

Tayali says despite Lungu writing a letter to the Secretary to the Cabinet of his resignation as Patriotic Front (PF) President and from active politics on August 26, 2021 after losing power to President Hakainde Hichilema, the PF Members of Central Committee have insisted that Lungu was and is still party President for PF.

He however demands the following remedial measures within 7 days of the Letter failure to which his lawyers have instructions to approach the courts of law for redress:

i. Immediate cessation of payments of benefits to President Lungu until he categorically states the he is no longer actively involved in politics as per law required. This must be supported by the necessary amendments on the entries at the Office of the Registrar of Societies and an acknowledgement letter from the PF Central Committee that President Lungu is no longer Party President; and

ii. Immediate recovery of all monies paid to President Lungu as part of his benefits from 26th August, 2021 when he supposedly resigned as PF President and retired from active partisan politics.

Below is the full statement posted by Tayali on his Facebook page seen by Zambian Eye.

GOVT IS FINANCING PRESIDENT EDGAR LUNGU POLITICAL CAREER BY PAYING HIM PRESIDENTIAL BENEFITS WHEN HE IS STILL ACTIVE IN POLITICS

I am sorry I could not hold a press conference as earlier announced, this is due to some family emergency. However, I will find time to give more details on the subject matter.

I have actually instructed lawyers to pursue the matter, to stop this illegality. Below is the demand letter on the AG.

04/10/2023
The Secretary to Cabinet
Cabinet Office
Independence Avenue
LUSAKA

The Learned Attorney-General
Attorney-General’s Chambers
Civil Litigation Department
Ministry of Justice
New Kent Building
LUSAKA

Dear Sirs,
RE: LETTER BEFORE ACTION – PAYMENT OF BENEFITS TO HIS EXCELLENCY, MR. EDGAR CHAGWA LUNGU, FORMER AND SIXTH REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT
The above subject matter refers.
We act for one Chilufya Tayali, President of the Economic and Equity Party (EPP) (“Our Client”) kindly note our professional care and interest in this regard. We have been instructed by our client to write to you regarding the above captioned matter as we do now.

1. Background
Zambia is a constitutional democracy whose proper functioning is dependent on constitutionalism and the rule of law. This therefore, calls for strict adherence to the dictates of the law and the application of the law fairly, impartially and without discrimination. This can be summed up by borrowing the words of the great son of the soil in Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, Third Republican President who envisioned a Zambia where there was a “government of laws rather than men.”

The above said, Zambia held its General Elections in August, 2021 in which His Excellency, Mr. Edgar Chagwa Lungu, then sitting Republican President was defeated by the incumbent His Excellency, Mr. Hakainde S. Hichilema. In a great show of statesmanship, President Lungu conceded defeat and ceded power to President Hichilema. In another fashion of statesmanship, President Lungu wrote, in a letter of 26th August, 2021 informed the Secretary to the Cabinet of his resignation as President of the Patriotic Front (PF) and from active politics in accordance with the Benefits of Former President Act, Chapter 15 of the Laws of Zambia as amended by Act No. 21 of 1998 (“The Act”).

In a twist of events, dramatic as they were, several Members of the Central Committee (MCCs) of the PF led by its National Chairman have repeatedly announced that President Lungu is still Party President of the PF and that the party’s politburo, the Central Committee, rejected his resignation attached to his letter of 26th August, 2021. The said MCCs have insisted that President Lungu was and is still Party President for the PF. Judicial notice may also be had that in defence to several suits against the current top PF leadership, the PF has insisted that there is no vacancy in the Office of the Party President as President Lungu was and is still its President until he hands over power at its elective General Conference.

In the same vein, our client insists that entries at the Office of the Registrar of Societies in respect to the leadership of the PF remain unchanged and show that President Lungu was and is still Party President. This is corroborative evidence supporting the statements by MCCs individually and severally as a Central Committee that President Lungu was and is still PF President. The same extends to submissions in court documents that speak to the same position.

2. Our client’s grievances
The above said, our client notes that the Office of the Secretary to the Cabinet has failed to discharge its duties as it has continued to facilitate an illegality in contravention with the Act on benefits of formers Presidents. Our client is of the firm view that this amount either to dereliction of duty and/or breach of statutory duty as the law is clear that Former Presidents who are politically active should not access their benefits. It is against this background that our client demands the following remedial measures within 7 days of the Letter failure to which we have instructions to approach the courts of law for redress:

i. Immediate cessation of payments of benefits to President Lungu until he categorically states the he is no longer actively involved in politics as per law required. This must be supported by the necessary amendments on the entries at the Office of the Registrar of Societies and an acknowledgement letter from the PF Central Committee that President Lungu is no longer Party President; and

ii. Immediate recovery of all monies paid to President Lungu as part of his benefits from 26th August, 2021 when he supposedly resigned as PF President and retired from active partisan politics.
Please acknowledge safe receipt of the above by signing a copy attached hereto.
Faithfully yours,

MESSRS JOSEPH CHIRWA AND COMPANY
cc. Client

TAYALI THE PUBLIC LAWYER OF THE PUBLIC COURT OF OPINIONS!!!

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