President Banda says he is not worried about plans by the Patriotic Front (PF) and United Party for National Development (UPND) to impeach him.
Mr Banda, who was speaking to journalists at City Airport upon arrival from Eastern Province yesterday, said the two political parties can go ahead with their plans to impeach him.
“Let them go ahead. Do I look like someone who is scared of their plans? The Zambian laws allow that,” he said.
The President said the political parties involved have a democratic right to go ahead with their plans in Parliament.
And MMD Lusaka Province chairperson Cleophas Chimembe has warned the PF and UPND to stop inciting the people of Zambia to rise against President Banda.
He said the PF went to court to challenge last year’s Presidential by-election but withdrew.
Mr Chimembe said the fight should have ended there after the court case was stopped.
“I would like to tell the nation that this evil scheme will fail, but only succeed in dividing the nation and scaring away potential investors,” Mr Chimembe said.
He reminded Zambians that President Banda was democratically elected and deserves respect and support from well meaning Zambians.
“Politics of comedies should be discarded. There is a lot of comedy in the ranks of some opposition political parties, at the expense of politics of development. While we appreciate the freedom of expression, we should be aware that there is no absolute freedom, it is relative,” Mr Chimembe said.
He said President Banda and his government are working to ensure that they tackle the challenges the country is facing.
Mr Chimembe said impeachment calls are desperate attempts aimed at dislodging President Banda at all costs.
“This is a recipe for confusion in the country because President Banda has not failed the nation in his nine months rule.
“Zambia’s young democracy and unity of purpose is at stake and risks to be derailed if the disgruntled behaviour is going to be used as a yardstick to settle old scores,” he said.
Mr Chimembe said Zambia will only benefit if all citizens come together in unity.
And the Zambia National Women’s Lobby (ZNWL) has advised opposition political parties to stop calling for the impeachment of President Banda and instead wait for the 2011 elections to test their popularity.
ZNWL chairperson Tamara Kambikambi said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that her organisation cannot support impeachment calls because it believes in upholding constitutional democracy.
Ms Kambikambi was reacting to calls by the PF-UPND pact to have President Banda impeached.
“As women’s lobby and African Peer Review Mechanism chairperson, I personally believe there are other ways of offering government checks and balances.
I also believe that the motion to have President Banda impeached is not in the best interest of Zambia, especially women and children,” she said.
She said the opposition political parties should wait for the right time to challenge Mr Banda in 2011 because he is at the moment constitutionally serving his term of office.
“Just because we have not reacted to calls to have the President impeached does not mean we can not comment. We believe in the rule of law and upholding of the constitution,” Ms Kambikambi said.
She advised opposition political parties to concentrate on helping government resolve pressing economic problems instead of talking about the impeachment of Mr Banda. (DAILY MAIL)
Meanwhile, the Times of Zambia reports that PF leader Michael Sata has challenged United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament (MPs) questioning the reasons behind the proposed impeachment of President Rupiah Banda to resign and join the MMD.
Mr Sata (above) said he was not surprised that the 18 MPs challenging expulsion from the PF were opposed to the impeachment but did not expect to encounter such problems even in the UPND.
Mr Sata said in an interview yesterday that those who felt strongly against the decision of the PF and UPND leadership should emulate former Kasama Central MP Saviour Chishimba by resigning.
The PF leader said that the UPND MPs against the impeachment of Mr Banda should not be entertained in the pact with the PF because they were not genuine members.
“UPND MPs that are questioning the proposed impeachment are just ordinary members who are not accessible to policy matters and they should resign and join the ruling MMD. They are just trying to confuse the pact.
“The impeachment has not started today. In fact, impeachment is the baby of the UPND who initiated it during the reign of the late president Mwanawasa through Sakwiba Sikota and Jack Mwimbu,” he said.
He said the PF MPs taking part in the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) were not supporting the impeachment because they were desperate.
Asked to state what grounds the pact was advancing for the impeachment, Mr Sata said the pact had noted 27 breaches of the constitution but that he could not divulge them for fear of equipping Vice President George Kunda and President Banda with the defence.
He said the PF-UPND pact would then sort out the UPND MPs questioning the impeachment, in the Parliamentary by-elections in their various constituencies.
“One of the grounds is the very keeping of the 18 rebel MPs in Parliament when we the sponsors have withdrawn. The other 26 I cannot give you because I do not want to equip Mr George Kunda and the president,” he said.
He said that several people, including former president Frederick Chiluba were now panicking following the proposed impeachment.
“Several people are panicking. Our 18 rebel MPs led by Dr Peter Machungwa and former president Dr Frederick Chiluba are some of them,” he said.
He said that he has since appointed a taskforce led by PF chairman for local government Winter Kabimba to spearhead the impeachment process.