NGOCC calls for adherence to constitution on status of cabinet ministers

The Non Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) has called on President Lungu to provide leadership and abide by the provisions of the amended national constitution on the status of Ministers after Parliament dissolves today. (Wednesday 11th May)
But President Lungu has maintained that the cabinet ministers will remain in office because the constitution says so.
NGOCC Board Chairperson Sara Longwe said in a statement that her organisation as the focal point of the women’s movement stands by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) that Article 116(1) of the constitution provides that “The President shall appoint a prescribed number of members of parliament as ministers” and Article 72(1) provides that “A member of parliament shall, except the Speaker and the First Deputy Speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon a dissolution of parliament.”
Longwe has argued that in consideration of Article 116(1) and Article 72(1), ministers are appointed on the basis of them being members of parliament and considering that parliament will be dissolved; there will be no basis under which the ministers will continue to exist as such.
‘NGOCC contends that our leaders swear to faithfully and diligently discharge their duties and perform their functions to uphold and maintain the constitution and the laws of Zambia,” reads part of the statement.
The women movement has further called on leaders to dedicate their abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Zambia without fear or favour adding that the country was at crossroads over interpretation of the constitution.
Longwe said calls for a people driven constitution remain justified so that the Zambian people fully participate in bringing forth a constitution that will stand the test of time.
But President Lungu has maintained that the cabinet ministers will remain in office because the constitution says so.
Lungu told reporters this morning before he left for Uganda that his ministers will remain in office even when Parliament dissolves according to the amended constitution.
Several stakeholders have differed with the government and PF interpretation of the amended constitution on the status of cabinet ministers after dissolution of Parliament.

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