We want our money, immediatelly

The Constitutional court ruling that Ministers must immediately vacate their offices and should have not been in office from the point that parliament was dissolved just proves that Edgar Lungu is not only a failed president but an incompetent lawyer too.

Edgar Lungu and his ministers failed to obey a simple and straight forward constitutional requirement. Despite the Law Association of Zambia giving them guidance, they arrogantly brushed timely advice aside and went on to rape the law of the land in broad daylight.

Our Current ministers are drawn from Parliament and therefore when parliament dissolves they cannot continue to be ministers. Even the dullest of them all, Chishimba Kambwili, surely must have understood this.

Any salary and/or other benefit paid after that date that parliament was dissolved should be deemed as theft of public funds. They cannot plead ignorance because Edgar Lungu was sufficiently advised by a professional legal body, the Law Association of Zambia. In fact, ignorance is not defense in a court of law.

For Edgar Lungu and his ministers, it was an opportunity to steal from the Zambian people. It was also an opportunity to use public resources to have access to government coffers during the campaigns.

We urge fellow Zambians to demand that a comprehensive assessment of how much has been paid out to ministers, in terms of salaries, allowances, per diems and other related costs, since parliament was dissolved.

We further demand that this money is recovered and paid back in full by all those that were masquerading as Cabinet Ministers from 12th May 2016 to now.

Lungu, having sworn to protect the constitution breached that public trust and is therefore unworthy and can not morally continue to hold the office of president. He is a disgrace. Lungu, as a lawyer, even as a mediocre one, is in a better position to understand the law. By authorizing and encouraging his friends to loot national coffers when they were not entitled to, Lungu committed a serious criminal offence to which he must be arrested.

Moreover, some of the people that Lungu allowed to steal from public coffers are lawyers. Can Siambyakula honestly claim that he acted out of ignorance? What does this say about the Attorney General, the person who is supposed to advise cabinet? Is this not the highest form of incompetence on the part of the Attorney General?

The fact that these former ministers will pay back the money does not absolve them of the criminal aspect of the matter. Theft is a criminal offence whether the thief has voluntarily returned the stolen items or as is the case here, has been forced to return the items. Theft is complete at the point the thief grabs the goods.

We are humbled by this unexpected, rare but welcome show of courage by the judges of the constitutional Court. This is a serious indictment on Lungu and a very loud and clear vote of no confidence in Lungu from the judiciary.

One day, Lungu will account.

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