Speaker declares Kambwili’s seat Vacant
By Staff Reporter
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has declared the Roan constituency seat vacant following a point of order raised by Malambo member of parliament Makebi Zulu challenging the eligibility of Chishimba Kambwili to remain in parliament.
And Kambwili says he expected the decision but only tried to avoid a costly by-election in Roan as the constituents had given him a five-year mandate.
Zulu who is also Eastern Province minister raised on a point of order last week seeking the declaration of the Roan seat vacant as Kambwili had confirmed on several occasions that he was a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC).
In his ruling, Speaker Matibini said Kambwili had crossed the line” in his role as NDC consultant and was out of order to sit in the house during the same period.
Dr Matibini made the pronouncement amid loud cheers of “hear, hear’ from members of the ruling Patriotic Front, stating that the Roan law maker contradicted himself several times in the press when he was asked about his political position as Member of Parliament and political party consultant.
The Speaker who referred to Kambwili’s media interviews and statements over his alleged expulsion from NDC and his consequent defiance of the party General Secretary Mwenya Musenge’s declaration of the former’s dismissal, he came to the logical conclusion that Kambwili had crossed the floor.
“Honourable members I would like to state from the outset that coincidentally the legal status of Hon Kambwili MP, in the house has been under my carefull scrutine and reflection following an article that appeared in the Daily Nation Newspaper volume 4 issue number 2168 of Friday 4, January, 2019 and entitled as follows; ‘I Run my Own Party, Kambwili’ ”
He further indicated that Kambwili had instructed his lawyers to demand that the Daily Nation retracts the article indicating that he had been fired from NDC, or else he would take legal action against the Editor-In-Chief for the paper.
In the same vein the office of the clerk also wrote to the editor Inchief of the Daily Nation requesting him to confirm if the statement in the article had been correctly attributed to Kambwili and the response was in the affirmative. The newspaper further availed a recording of the interview Kambwili gave to the reporter.
“We thereby propose to remedy the situation, in this case, by reading in the necessary words so as to make them constitutionally provisio, in this case by reading the necessary words so as to make them un-discriminatory.”
Dr Matibini drew the attention of the House to Article 71. 2, which reads: “A member of the national assembly shall vacate his seat in the assembly…C, in the case of an elected member, if he becomes a member of a political party other than the party of which he was an authorised candidate when he was elected to the national assembly, or having been an independent candidate joins a political party Or Vice Versa’ end of quote” he stated.
He declared the evidence before him to the House, calling on the members to realise that there were several cases of precedence to back his decision.
“Honourable members, it is self-evident that in the Lewanika case, by using the purposive approach, the supreme court read into the statute the words “Or Vice Versa” to prevent the discriminatory and absurd result of an independent member who joins a political party having to vacate his or her seat,” he indicated.
The speaker pointed out that in the case under review, applying the purposive approach he similarly agreed with article 72 D and 2 G under the constitution to mean that a member of the national assembly shall vacate his or her seat in the assembly if the member resigns from the political party which sponsored him or her into the house.
“Therefore, honourable members, a member that leaves a political party which elected him to join another one on whose ticket he or she was elected to the house to join another political party loses his or her seat” he said, adding “in view of the fact that Dr Kambwili who was elected to this house on the ticket of the Patriotic Front party has become an office bearer and consequently member of the NDC by virtual of assuming the position of Consultant of the NDC, he has crossed the floor”.
And reacting to the decision, Kambwili stated that as a responsible and genuine leader he had tried to make sure a by election was avoided.
“Notwithstanding the fact that this is the farming season I would have preferred those residents continue making a livelihood rather than start participating in a by election which is totally unnecessary and will surely disturb the little they are making,” he said.
Kambwili alleged that this was the stunt that Musenge was contracted to pull off.
“Musenge was called upon to cause confusion and disruption in exchange for favour or whatever he was promised,” he said.
He said that he would ordinarily go to court again because there was no fact in the allegation of crossing the floor.
“I am only human and there’s only so much you can fight for, besides I believe my works and commitment to the betterment of my constituency are security enough to enter the battlefield,” he said.
Kambwili disclosed that he will not contest or put up any legal fight against the declaration.
“I would like to announce that I will not contest or put up any legal fight against the vacant declaration, instead we will go back to the people of Roan so that they can choose their leader once again,” he said. “To the people of Roan I say thank you for according me the opportunity to serve you diligently, I strongly believe the strong ties and bond we have built in the last 13 years is reason enough for you to choose wisely”.