PF SG sues AG over Speakers refusal to declare Kambwili’s seat vacant

By Staff Reporter

Patriotic Front secretary general Davies Mwila has applied for leave to commence judicial review proceedings against Speaker Patrick Matibini’s refusal to declare Roan PF member of parliament Chishimba Kambwili’s seat vacant.

Mwila has argued that the Speaker’s decision to refuse to declare the Roan parliamentary seat vacant was illegal and unreasonable.

According to documents filed in the Lusaka High Court, Mwila who has sued the Attorney General, wants the court to quash Dr Matibini’s decision and direct him to declare the seat vacant because there was no suit on the part of Kambwili pending before court to challenge his expulsion.

He said Dr Matibini’s decision was irregular and contravenes Article 72 of the Constitution of Zambia.

Mwila contended that the refusal to declare the seat in order to give the court latitude to deal with the matter conclusively was unreasonable and amounts to use of discretion that the Speaker does not possess.

He explained that the party’s Central Committee on July 22, 2017 passed a resolution to expel Kambwili and communicated to him on July 24, 2017.

Mwila stated that the party on July 26, last year informed the Speaker of Kambwili’s expulsion and requested him to declare the seat vacant but that the Roan MP sued the party in the High Court to challenge his expulsion and argued that due process was not followed by the Central Committee when they made a decision to expel him but the court dismissed the case for want of prosecution.

Mwila further stated that following the dismissal of the case, he again on October 26 this year wrote the Speaker requesting him to declare Kambwili’s seat vacant since there was no cause or matter pending for determination before the High Court in respect of the decision to expel him from the PF but on October 31, 2018, Dorothy Kapumbu on behalf of the Speaker, cited Article 72 (5) of the Constitution and refused to declare the seat vacant on the basis that the court had not pronounced itself on the merits of the case to confirm the expulsion or otherwise and in any case there was an appeal against the dismissal of the case pending before the Court of Appeal.

He added that he wrote back to Kapumbu on November 1, explaining that the appeal pending before the Court of Appeal was against the dismissal of Kambwili’s case and not his expulsion and again requested that the Speaker should declare the seat vacant  because there was no case pending in court to adjudicate on the propriety of the expulsion.

But according to Mwila, the Speaker through Kapumbu wrote back, informing him that he would not declare the seat vacant in order to to give the courts latitude to deal with the matters conclusively.

He stated that he was advised that the route Kambwili took of appealing against the dismissal of his case meant that his seat was liable to be declared vacant.

 

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