President Michael Sata has nominated an undischarged bankrupt person Panji Kaunda as Memebr of Parliament against the constitution of Zambia
The constitution of Zambia states clearly that a person declared bankrupt by the court is disqualified to be elected or nominated as Member of Parliament.
Panji Kaunda, a nominated MP and deputy minister of defence was declared bankrupt by the High Court of Zambia in January 2004.
Judge Anderson Zikonda declared Panji Kaunda a bankrupt for being indebted to Hybrid Poultry Farm Limited to the tune of K121,703,436.
The Lusaka High Court even placed Panji Kaunda’s Sindamisale Farm in Chipata under receivership.
Hybrid Poultry Farm Limited was represented by lawyers Lewis Nathan and Advocates.
In granting the order, Judge Zikonda said on hearing the petition dated June 10, 2003 filed by the petitioner, and upon reading the affidavit of one Edward Mwamba and hearing counsel for the petitioner, an act of bankruptcy had been committed.
‘A receiving order is hereby made against the respondent Lt Col Panji T. Kaunda of Sindamisale Farm, in the Chipata district and the official receiver of this court is hereby constituted receiver to the estate of the said respondent,’ the judge said.
The petition stated that Col Kaunda was truly indebted to Hybrid Farm in the sum of K121, 703,436 arising from products which he bought from the company.
The amount also included costs of the judgment and interest.
Article 68 of the constitution of Zambia gives the president powers to nominate 8 MPs. But these nominated MPs must be qualified to be elected as MPs.
‘The President may, at any time after a general election to the National Assembly and before the National Assembly is next dissolved, appoint such number of persons as he thinks fit to be nominated members of the National Assembly, so, however, that there are not more than eight such members as any one time. (2) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person may be appointed as a nominated member if he is qualified under Article 64 and is not disqualified under Article 65 for election as an elected member’ said article 68 (1).’
However article 65 which is being referred to disqualifies criminals and bankrupt persons from being nominated as MPs by the president.
It states ‘ No person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly: (a) who is under a declaration of allegiance to some country other than Zambia; (b) who is, under any law in force in Zambia, adjudged or otherwise declared to be of unsound mind; (c) who is under sentence of death imposed on him by a court in Zambia or a sentence of imprisonment, by whatever name called, imposed on him by such a court or substituted by a competent authority for some other sentence imposed on him by such court; (d) who is an undischarged bankrupt, having been adjudged or otherwise declared bankrupt under any law in force in Zambia; (e) whose freedom of movement is restricted, or who is detained, under the authority of law; or (f) who, within a period of five years before his nomination for election, has served a sentence of imprisonment for a criminal offence. ..’