There is need for the convicted Mufumbwe PF Member of Parliament, Steven Masumba, to seriously consider the interests and needs of the electorate in Mufumbwe Constituency by resigning his position following the High Court’s decision to uphold his conviction, says the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) .
But Masumba says he is now only waiting for God to redeem him from prison. Just after being jailed, Masumba said the High Court judge’s decision too is the will of God and there is nothing he can do about it but wait for God to redeem him.
But FODEP says it strongly feels that Mr. Masumba’s continued stay as Mufumbwe MP despite his conviction but clinging on due to the weaknesses in the current “defective but functional” Constitution is a disservice to the people of Mufumbwe and an affront to representative democracy and the entire democratic process in Zambia.
‘In as much as the law does not allow him to vacate his seat until the court appeal process has been exhausted, Mr. Masumba has a moral duty and responsibility to value and respect the collective interests and needs of the people of Mufumbwe by resigning as MP by invoking the provisions of Article 71 (2) of the Current Republican Constitution which dictate that a member of the National Assembly can vacate his/her seat if he/she is sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding six months,” said FODEP director Macdonald Chipenzi.
Chipenzi said this will facilitate the holding of a parliamentary by-election so that another person is elected to effectively represent the people of Mufumbwe for the remaining two years before 2016 while he fights his legal battles as an ordinary person.
FODEP appealed to Mr. Masumba’s conscience and advised him to stop being selfish by clinging on to the parliamentary seat whose duties he cannot discharge effectively due to his conviction. His failure to resign has neither economic nor political benefit to him but only deprives the people of Mufumbwe of the much needed development through effective parliamentary representation.