IN A DRAMATIC turn of events, Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti has announced the Miles Sampa led Patriotic Front (PF) Mafinga Member of Parliament Robert Chabinga, as the new Leader of the Opposition in Parliament.
This decision sparked chaos within the parliamentary chambers.
Kamfinsa area Member of Parliament, Christopher Kang’ombe, along with other PF members, vehemently opposed the speaker’s ruling.
Their objections were based on concerns that the election of Miles Sampa as president at the PF’s extraordinary convention violated the law.
Additionally, they expressed dissatisfaction with the appointment of Mr Chabinga as the new PF Leader of the Opposition.
In response to the uproar, Ms Mutti called for security to restore order, but the PF members refused to comply, leading to a 10-minute suspension of parliamentary proceedings.
The disruption stemmed from Speaker Mutti’s announcement and her ruling on a point of order raised the previous week.
The Speaker told the House that she received communication from PF Secretary General Morgan Ng’ona regarding the appointment of a new leader of the opposition.
Furthermore, Speaker Mutti addressed a point of order raised by Pambashe area Member of Parliament Ronald Chitotela.
The point of order questioned whether the house should grant Mr Sampa the privileges and immunity associated with MPs, considering his expulsion from the party.
“I have studied the matter and let me begin that a point of order cannot be raised against the house. This is because a point of order is raised against an individual Member of Parliament so as to draw the speaker’s attention. However, given the fact this matter has attracted a lot of attention and interest from a wide spectra of society, I have decided to give guidance,” she said.
Ms Mutti clarified that such matters should be decided by the courts of law, as they were beyond her jurisdiction.
During a subsequent discussion of urgent public importance initiated by Shiwang’andu area Member of Parliament Stephen Kampyongo, the PF members expressed their refusal to recognize Robert Chabinga’s election, alleging a breach of the constitution.
However, Ms Mutti advised the MPs to seek legal recourse in the courts, emphasising that the National Assembly would abide by the court’s ruling.
Despite the guidance provided, Kamfinsa area MP Christopher Kang’ombe attempted to raise the same issue, but he was promptly redirected by Speaker Mutti.
(Mwebantu, Wednesday, 1st November, 2023)
President Hichilema to continue living at Community House, as Concourt dismisses petition against his stay at the private house
THE Constitutional Court has dismissed for lack of a merit Patriots for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo’s petition challenging President Hakainde Hichilema’s continued stay at his private house instead of shifting to State House.
This means that the President will continue staying at his private Community House in New Ksama.
Passing judgment, Constitutional Court deputy judge president Arnold Shilimi said the court found Mr Tembo’s petition to have lacked merit because the constitution does not compel the President to move to Nkwazi House.
Further, the judge said the court found that Mr Tembo’s plea for the court to declare an order compelling the President to shift to State House is not tenable considering that no law that obliges the Head of State to reside at State House.
“We find that in the absence of any Constitutional provision or any other law that compels the President to reside at State House,and in light of the Respondent’s[Attorney General] submission on the dilapidated state of Nkwazi House requiring high cost of renovations.
“The alleged constitutional breaches relating to the President’s alleged refusal to shift to State House lacks merit and is misconceived,” Judge Shilima said on behalf of other judges who heard the case.
“We find that the alleged breach relating to the right to life is improperly before this court for want of jurisdiction over part iii of the constitution,” he added.
The court consequently dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
In this matter, Mr Tembo petitioned the Constitutional Court over President Hichilema’s refusal to relocate to State House since he was elected in August, 2021.
The politician had submitted that the President was spending huge sums of money through his trips from Community House to State House on a daily basis and putting at risk the safety of many Zambians on the route he is using to access his house.
He further argued that the huge sums of money which was being used on a daily basis, about K126 million per year, could be channeled to other areas of need such as procurement of drugs in hospitals and books for readers in schools.
However, in reply, the State, through Attorney General Mulilo Kabesha, argued that the petition lacked merit because Mr Tembo did not cite the particular article or law which mandates the president actually reside at State House.
He also argued that accommodation of the past Presidents at State House was only a matter of practice or custom and not law.
(Mwebantu, Saturday, 9th December, 2023)
Masturbation comment invites Sean Tembo to court
PATRIOTS for Economic Progress president Sean Tembo has pleaded not guilty to using insulting language when he compared the intervention to sale cheaper ZNS mealie meal in the wake of escalating prices of the commodity prices to masturbation.
The outspoken businessman has been charged with use of insulting language which he allegedly uttered on October 17 this year, the eve of National Day of Prayer, Fasting, Repentance and Reconciliation.
Allegations are that on the material day, the accused said “Bally is selling a few bags of ZNS mealie meal using Shoprite, hoping to create a perception of low price is equal to masturbation”.
The sentiments are alleged to likely provoke Abel Mashowo, who reported the case, to break the law or commit any offence against Tembo.
When the case was called today, a magistrate readout the charged and asked the accused whether he understood it.
In response, Mr Tembo responded in the affirmative and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The court adjourned the case was adjourned to next month for commencement of trial.
(Mwebantu, Friday, 8th December, 2023)
DPP wants more punishment for CK
THE State, through the Director of Public Prosecutions, Gilbert Phiri, has filed a notice to appeal against the five months sentence imposed of Chishimba Kambwili after he was found guilty of promoting hate speech by uttering tribal remarks.
On Thursday, Mr Kambwili, a Patriotic Front member of the central committee, was sentenced to five months imprisonment with hard labour.
This was after the Kasama Magistrate’s Court found him guilty of the offence of expressing or showing hatred, ridicule, or contempt for persons because of tribe or place of origin.
After being hailed, the politician appealed against the verdict and was later released on bail pending hearing of his appeal against the sentence.
But the DPP has filed a cross appeal seeking to challenge the five months jail term imposed on the outspoken former Roan MP.
Mr Phiri feels the sentence was too lenient and that when his application is being heard, he wants to be present in court..
“I, the above named appellant(DPP) , hereby give notice that I desire to appeal to the High Court against the sentence of the accused person.
I desire to be present when the court considers the appeal,” the notice of appeal, which has been circulated online, reads in part.
(Mwebantu, Thursday, 7th December, 2023)