President Rupiah Banda has said his announcement that Vice-President George Kunda should continue running his office is backed by the Constitution.
He wondered what would happen if there was no vice president during this period should anything that would incapacitate him happen.
He said a statement by Forum for Democracy and Development leader Edith Nawakwi that the vice-president should vacate office was irregular.
This is according to a statement released yesterday by the president’s special assistant for Press and public relations, Dickson Jere.
“It is sad that a leader of a political party and former senior Cabinet minister, Ms Edith Nawakwi can demand for the vice-president to vacate office when the Constitution of Zambia is very clear on this matter,” Mr Jere said.
He said the position by President Banda that Mr Kunda would continue in office even after the dissolution of Parliament was backed by the law and that Ms Nawakwi as a former minister should have known this fact.
“For the avoidance of any doubt, I wish to state that the president relied on Article 45 (3) of the Constitution of Zambia, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia, when he said that the vice-president will continue in office.
The relevant provisions read: 45 (1) There shall be an office of the vice-president of the Republic of Zambia (2) The vice-president shall be appointed by the president from amongst the Members of the National Assembly.
(3) Subject to the provisions of this Constitution the vice-president shall vacate that office upon the assumption by any person of the office of President,” Mr Jere said. He said the rationale provided in Article 45 (3) was meant to avoid a vacuum in case a vacancy occured in the office of the president during the time when Parliament was dissolved.
Mr Jere said in case a sitting president was incapacitated while Parliament and Cabinet was dissolved, the vice-president would take over in the interim period.