The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) calls on Speaker of the National Assembly to reflect on his conduct in determining the question of membership to the National Assembly in spite of the fact that the Patriotic Front had used the correct due process of the law as provided in Article 72 of Constitution that sought to determine the question of Hon. Godfrey Bwalya Mwambas’s membership.
The learned Judge Matibni should have realised the question was raised which required the High Court to make a determination on whether the Kasama Central seat held by Godfrey Mwamba had fallen vacant and he should have allowed the Court to exercise it’s constitutional power to do so as provided in Archer 72 (1)(a) even when it was obvious to him that he could make his own intepretation of the the law.
Speaker Matibni categorically made a declaration when he said and we quote, “I now declare the Kasama Central parliamentary seat vacant and Honourable Mwamba loses his seat forthwith because he crossover to another political party,” when the Constitution is very clear in Article 72 (1)(a) that “the High Court shall have power to hear and determine any question whether…the seat of any member has become vacant”.
The Constitution has a very clear provision that the High Court is one that needed to make a determination of the question as to whether the seat had become vacant and the matter was already before the High Court. There is nowhere in the Supreme law where the appeal against such lied to the Office of the Speaker.
The Constitution does not allow the Speaker to breach it based on any precedents or powers of the Speaker as contained in any other legislation. Speaker Matibni should have respected the provision of the Constitution and allowed the Courts to do their work.
We think the Courts must look at the action of the Speaker and guide accordingly and should it be found that Speaker Matibni breached the Constitution in declaring the seat of the Member vacant when the question was raised, speaker Matibni must step down for such a breach.
Young African Leaders Initiative