MMD Parliamentary chief whip, Vernon Mwaanga has described the route taken by the Patriotic Front-United Party for National Development (PF-UPND) pact to petition for the impeachment of President Banda as wrong and against Article 37 of the Constitution of Zambia.
The PF-UPND pact has used Wynter Kabimba and Company, a law firm, to write to Speaker of the National Assembly, Amusaa Mwanamwambwa informing him of its intention to move a motion for the impeachment of President Banda.
Mr Mwaanga said in an interview in Lusaka yesterday that it is an unacceptable procedure for the PF to allow a lawyer to present the notice of the impeachment motion to the National Assembly.
He said the route the PF-UPND has taken is against the provisions of the law.
Mr Mwaanga said the motion to impeach the President can only be initiated by members of Parliament and not outsiders.
He said all members of Parliament are alive to the fact that the motion to impeach the President can only be engineered by themselves and not legal firms or other members of the public.
“Yes, I have heard that the letter has been delivered to the Speaker, but whether he has received it or not, I have no knowledge. But what I can say is that the move is wrong because the motion can only be initiated by members of the House and not outsiders,” Mr Mwaanga said.
He said Article 37 of the Constitution of Zambia states that for any impeachment motion to succeed, 53 MPs must append their signatures before it is presented to the Speaker.
“The PF members of Parliament do not need a spokesperson to present the motion in Parliament because they know the procedures of the House, and so let them do it in a proper way.
“I even doubt, when they follow the right procedure, if they will even manage to organise 53 members to support the motion to impeach the President,” Mr Mwaanga said.
According to the letter dated 21st July, 2009 copied to PF and UPND presidents and allegedly some MMD client MPs, the lawyer says the motion to impeach the President is in line with breaches noted from August 2008 when President Banda was acting as President of Zambia following the demise of President Mwanawasa to date.
“We act for the PF, UPND and MMD client MPs in the above quoted matter.
“We would like to inform you that we have been instructed to peruse and advise our clients from the three named political parties the various breaches of the articles of the constitution by the President of the Republic of Zambia for presentation of the motion for impeachment to your office,” the letter reads in part.