MMD President Dr. Nevers Mumba has expressed alarm at the shocking levels of ignorance and inexperience being exhibited by President Lungu on important constitutional matters that hinge on poor governance and disregard for rule of law.
Commenting on the Constitutional Court ruling that Ministers’ continued stay in their positions beyond the desolution of Parliament on 16th May, 2016 was illegal and were now required to re-imburse all monies received in allowances and salaries since that date. Dr. Mumba wondered how President Lungu could have made such a blunder even on Deputy Ministers when the position was now not in the Amended Constitution and that the entire case only proved the theft and lack of regard for public resources by the PF Government. He further said those that had accused President Lungu of being unfit to occupy the highest office in the land had been vindicated since it appeared that the country had been on ‘auto pilot’ since January 2015 and perhaps explained certain questionable political and governance decisions made by Mr. Lungu, which had led to the current pitiful state of affairs in the country. He said it was now clear that President Lungu and his advisers were all simply incompetent to run government.
Dr. Mumba further said it was extremely disturbing that a lawyer of President Lungu’s stature could superintend over a government so fraught with lawlessness and recklessness plunder of national resources never experienced before in this country. He said right now the country was grappling with trying to understand how a lawyer president could allow a former president, who was actively involved in politics, continue to draw hefty pension benefits in defiant violation of the Benefits of Former President’s Act Chapter 15 of the Laws of Zambia, which stipulates that any former President who engages in active politics immediately forfeits claim to the benefits. But it now appeared that Mr. Banda had met his match in President Lungu in defying the rule of law and violation of the Constitution of the land.
“It is gratifying that the Law Asociation of Zambia has won this case to bring sanity to the nation. We now appeal to the Association to petition President Lungu on the unfortunate case of former President Rupiah Banda being allowed in active politics while drawing his benefits in clear violation of the law. We also request LAZ to censure and question the Attorney General, the Minister of Finance, the DPP, the Secretary to the Cabinet and the Secretary to the Treasury to answer to the taxpayers on how this case has been handled which was another case of obvious abuse of office and authority on the President’s part.
“This is not based on anything personal against Mr. Banda, but must be addressed for the sake of precedence and posterity,” he said.
Mr. Banda was recently awarded K5 Billion (un-rebased) which was the purported value of a house he is entitled to as a former president. Last week Mr. Banda joined President Lungu on the campaign trail in Eastern Province to campaign for Mr. Lungu and the Patrotic Front, in blatant violation of both the Principal and the Amended Benefits of Former Presidents Act.
Dr. Nevers Mumba is Governance specialist.