We, the Opposition Alliance, wish to appeal to the Secretary to the Cabinet Mr. Rowland Msiska not to deliberately mislead the public on the constitutional provision that immediately triggers the assumption of executive powers by the Speaker upon the filing of a petition to challenge the election of the incumbent president as happened with the filing of the UPND petition on Friday 19th August, 2016.
We note that Mr. Msiska was right to allay the public’s concerns in postponing the inauguration arising from a statement from the PF saying INAUGURATION TO PROCEED WITH OR WITHOUT PETITION but wish to caution him not to misdirect himself by assuming powers the Constitution does not give him in commenting on the status of the incumbent president during this process. This is a constitutional responsibility of the Attorney General alone which he has already correctly clarified in guiding the nation.
In the said press release Mr. Msiska erroneously stated that the incumbent president would stay in power as State President and as Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces pending the determination of the petition thereby defeating the entire spirit of the amended constitution to remove undue advantage and influence from the sitting president during a petition period.
The public may recall that Mr. Msiska made another controversial decision when he appointed one of the former ministers to act as president for one month while late President Michael Sata (MHSRIP)was away on medical treatment.
We now wish to urge the powers that be to move swiftly to formalize the correct constitutional position which has been created by the petition to avoid people like Mr. Msiska abuse the apparent power vacuum that the delay is causing.
NEVERS SEKWILA MUMBA
MMD President/For Opposition Alliance