Clearly Zambia is at crossroads with constitutional interpretation at present, says Non-Governmental Organisations’ Coordinating Council (NGOCC) chairperson Sara Longwe.
Adding her voice on Law Association of Zambia’s demand for ministers to vacate office after dissolution of Parliament, Longwe President Edgar Lungu to provide leadership in abiding by the provisions of the amended National Constitution on the status of Ministers after parliament is dissolved.'
|NGOCC chairperson Sara Longwe|
“NGOCC, as the focal point of the women’s movement, stands by the position advanced by the Law Association of Zambia that Article 116 (1) of the Constitution provides that “The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers” and Article 72(1) provides that “A Member of Parliament shall, except the Speaker and the First Deputy Speaker, vacate the seat in the National Assembly upon a dissolution of Parliament”.” Longwe said. “In consideration of Article 116(1) and article 72(1), Ministers are appointed on the basis of them being Members of Parliament. Considering that parliament will be dissolved, there will be no basis under which the Ministers will continue to exist as such.”
She said that NGOCC contended that leaders swore to faithfully and diligently discharge their duties and perform their functions to uphold and maintain the Constitution and the Laws of Zambia.
“ It is also given that leaders in this country dedicate their abilities to the service and welfare of the people of Zambia without fear, favour and in defence of the Republican Constitution,” she said. “Clearly Zambia is at crossroads with constitutional interpretation at present. Therefore our calls for a people driven constitution remain justified so that the people of Zambia fully participate in bringing forth a constitution that will stand the test of time.’’