‘Impeachment motion an egregious abuse of Parley’
Published On April 2, 2018 » 2322 Views» By Davies M.M Chanda » HOME SLIDE SHOW, SHOWCASE
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. Mundubile

. Mundubile

By CHILA NAMAIKO –
THE Patriotic Front (PF)’s legal committee has said the impeachment motion coined by the United Party for National Development (UPND) is an egregious abuse of Parliament which should be dismissed with the contempt it deserves.
Committee chairperson Brian Mundubile said an in-depth examination of the notice of impeachment motion by the committee has revealed that the allegations set out by UPND neither fell within the scope of impeachable offences nor met the test of substantiality.
Mr Mundubile said, though UPND’s allegations set out value judgment and opinions, which they were entitled to hold, a difference in opinion and their discontent with the Government could not form the basis of an impeachment.
He said in a statement yesterday that the notice of impeachment motion continued a pattern of UPND’s refusal to acknowledge the recent election of President Edgar Lungu as Head of State.
Mr Mundubile, who is Northern Province Minister, said the motion signaled a change of tactic from no acceptance to tacit acceptance of Mr Lungu’s election as President of Zambia.
He said the motion also continued with a trend of abuse of the Judiciary and legislative procedures in an attempt to thwart and subvert the mandate given to Mr Lungu by Zambians.
“The notice of motion is not only misconceived but also represents an egregious attempt to abuse the procedures of the National Assembly as well as the remedy of impeachment. The allegations taken severally or as a whole do not amount to any impeachment offence recognized in any system of Government,” he said.
Under Article 108 of the Constitution, a Member of Parliament may move a motion of impeachment on grounds of a violation of the provision of the Constitution or other law, a crime under international law or gross misconduct.
But Mr Mundubile stated that, not any violation or gross misconduct amounted to an impeachable offence on President as they were adequate safeguards and other laws to protect the public from breaches of the Constitution.
He said a President could not be impeached for doing acts which the same Constitution or any law had submitted to his discretion.
He said an impeachment offence was one against the systems of Government and abuse of official power or trust, but the allegations of misconduct should allege damage to the State.
Mr Mundubile said an impeachment was, therefore, a process to call the President to account for the usurpation or abuse of power or serious breach of trust.
Even if elements such as exceeding the Constitutional bounds of the President, he said allegations by UPND should meet the standard of substantiality.
He said, in deciding whether the test had been met, the facts should be considered as a whole in the context of the office not in terms of separate or isolated events.
He said an examination of the notice of motion by the PF legal committee and the grounds in support, revealed that allegations by UPND set out neither fall within the scope of impeachable offences nor did it meet the test of substantiality.
Mr Mundubile said the opposition was there to offer checks and balances and offer alternative development programmes to the electorate, and the Government also had a mandate to rule.
UPND Secretary General Stephen Katuka said the opposition political party would remain focused to ensure the impeachment motion was tabled in Parliament, particularly that the notice of motion was already submitted to the office of the Speaker and responded having received it.
Mr Katuka said in an interview yesterday that it was up to Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to set a date on which the motion would be tabled in the House within the course of the next sitting.
“The motion is already with the office of Speaker so it’s up to him to set a date on which our motion will be tabled in the House,” he said.

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