Power and Politics

Pending court ruling, Speaker Mutti refuses to declare seats of nine expelled PF lawmakers vacant


Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelly Mutti, has refused to declare vacant the seats belonging to nine expelled PF Members of Parliament until judicial
intervention is over, court documents have revealed.

National Assembly Deputy Clerk, Cecilia Sikatele-Mambwe submitted to the Constitutional Court that Ronald Chitotela and eight others who were expelled by purported PF president Miles Sampa and his Secretary-General, Morgan Ng’ona, remain MPs.

Read more: PF internal wrangles deepen, as Sampa-led faction moves to expel 9 members of parliament

This is according to an affidavit in support of the response by the Attorney-General, to the petition in which the nine are contesting their expulsion.

Early this month, Secretary-General, Morgan Ng’ona, announced the expulsion of the nine for gross misconduct.

The nine MPs are Chitotela -Pambashe,
Nickson Chilangwa -Kawambwa, Mutale-Chitambo, Brian Mundubile -Mporokoso, Stephen Kampyongo-Shiwang’andu,Musonda Mpankata-Lupososhi, Christopher Kang’ombe -Kamfinsa, Remember Mutale, Mulenga Fube-Chilubi and Mutotwe Kafwaya-Lunte.

They had alleged that the purported Secretary-General, Ng’ona, had no requisite authority to execute an expulsion as he was appointed by an expelled Sampa.

They are seeking a declaration that the purported actions of the Speaker to act on the letters sent to her by Ng’onga was and is illegal and, therefore, null and void ab initio as such actions were and are a violation of Article 60(2) of the Republican Constitution (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016.

They seek an interim order allowing them and the party to operate freely, and for Sampa and Ng’onga to stop masquerading as PF president and Secretary General respectively.

The Deputy Clerk had, however, stated that that the Speaker had not acted on the letters awaiting the court’s decision on the matter, in accordance with the Constitution.

“It is only after the confirmation of the expulsion by the court or the elasping of the period within which to challenge the expulsion, that the Speaker is mandated, by the constitution, within seven days, to inform the ECZ of the occurence of the vacancy.

“Consequently,the office of the Speaker has not acted on the letter of expulsion from the second Respondent, therefore,the Petitioners remain members of Parliament,” she submitted.

Mambwe further stated that the procedure used in the appointment of Leader of the Opposition Robert Chabinga, the MP for Chilubi, was not a new practice.

She said both the UPND and PF in 2016 and 2021, respectively used a similar method.

“For example, in 2016, Mr Stephen Katuka, the then SG of the UPND, in a letter dated September, 2016, informed the Speaker that Mr Jack Mwimbu, MP for Monze constituency, was appointed as the Leader of the Opposition. This was after a meeting held, and resolution arrived at by the party,” she said

“Similarly, on August 30, 2021, Mr Davies Mwila, the then PF SG, informed the Clerk of the National Assembly that Mr B M Mundubile, MP for Mporokoso Constituency, had been appointed as Leader of the Opposition. This follows a caucus meeting held between members of the central committee and MPs” she added.

On the same matter, the respondents, Sampa and Ng’ona have pleaded with the Court not to entertain the petition.

Sampa stated that issues to do with the legality of the extraordinary convention were matters not within the Constitutional Court mandate.

“The petition is an attempt to use this court to serve private expectations or political aspirations of individual members which does not serve the common good of the party as a when, therefore an abuse of court process.

The petition seeks to re-litigate matters that are already pending adjudication in the high Court and which fall outside the purview of this court,” the two contended.

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