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Patriotic Front claims appointment of Mwambwa as Auditor-General unconstitutional


The Patriotic Front (PF) says the appointment of Ron Mwambwa as Auditor-General is unconstitutional and illegal on account of age.

On Monday September 25, 2023, President Hakainde Hichilema announced the appointment of Mwambwa as new Auditor-General.

PF Chairperson for Information and Publicity, Emmanuel Mwamba, said Article 252(1) of the Constitution of Zambia states that the Auditor-General shall retire from office after attaining the age of 60 years.

Mwamba in a statement issued in Lusaka on Tuesday said Article 252 (2) further stated that the Auditor-General shall retire with full benefits at age 55 and Mwambwa was 63.

“In his complaint dated June 23, 2023, to the Judicial Complaints Commission against the former Auditor-General, Dick Chella Sichembe, Mwambwa, in paragraph 2, stated his age was 63 years old,” he said.

Mwamba said having complained against his predecessor, leading to his resignation, Hichilema had since appointed Mwambwa as Auditor-General subject to ratification by the National Assembly.

He said if Hichilema was properly guided as to the provisions of the Constitution, he would not make this appointment.

“Mwambwa is not eligible for appointment on account of the age limit of the office.
The issue of age and eligibility to serve on contract or full time was extensively canvassed and ruled by the Supreme Court,” Mwamba said.

Read more:Hichilema fires Minister of Information, Kasanda; names Mwamba Auditor-General. See other appointments

He said in 2012, in a similar matter, the Supreme Court ruled that Judges, who retired at 65, were not eligible for appointment to higher office; therefore neither the current acting Chief Justice Lombe Chibesakunda nor her Deputy Florence Mumba could be appointed to the positions they were acting in because they retired as Supreme Court Judges- the positions to which they were serving on contract.

Mwamba said both Chibesakunda and Mumba were not available to be appointed as Chief Justice on account of age.

“It is imperative that Hichilema checked with his Attorney-General on the legal status of this appointment before Mwambwa’s name is processed any further,” he said.

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