SPEAKER of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini yesterday ruled that Rupiah Banda had been violating the benefits for presidents Act by continuing to engage in active politics and told Parliament that the onus of forfeiting his emoluments and other benefits he was entitled to was on the Executive.
The Speaker’s ruling comes in the wake of a point of order raised by Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo last Friday on the government’s failure to implement the law in relation to Banda over his continued involvement in active party politics.
Dr Matibini ruled that the legislation on benefits and conditions which apply for one to benefit as a former president was very clear.
“To this effect, the benefits of the former presidents Act chapter 15 of the Laws of Zambia as amended by Act No 21 of 1998 or rather as follows, section 85: (1) The pension and other benefits conferred by this act shall not be paid as assigned or provided for the former president who (A) is in receipt of a salary from government, or (B) engaged in active politics, (2): the former President shall be disqualified from the pension and other benefits conferred by this act (a) if he ceases to hold office or on ground of willful violation of the constitution or of misconduct or (B) if he is convicted of an offence and he is sentenced to imprisonment for a term exceeding six months and the National Assembly through a motion supported by not less than two thirds of the members of the assembly, resolves that the former President shall not receive the whole or such part of the pension and other benefits,” he stated.
“Therefore honorable members the law is clear on this matter and the onus is on the executive to implement the law.”
Last Friday, Speaker Dr Matibini saved ruling on a point of order raised by Masebo on the matter.
Masebo had questioned the government payment of emoluments to Banda even when the former president is actively involved in politics.
Banda last week said he was still the MMD president until the party held its convention.