Pay K5 mil­lion or lose seats, Kamb­wili, Nkombo told

Daily Nation Newspaper - - FRONT PAGE - By NA­TION REPORTER

ROAN and Maz­abuka Cen­tral mem­bers of Par­lia­ment Chishimba Kamb­wili and Garry Nkombo, re­spec­tively, risk los­ing their seats through bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ings if they fail to pay the K5, 000,000 in costs the High Court awarded against them. On May 24, 2018, Lusaka High Court Judge An­nesie Bobo -Banda awarded the costs against the two MPs af­ter dis­miss­ing their ap­pli­ca­tion to join the case in which two cit­i­zens Robert Chabinga and Henry Mu­lenga ap­plied for ju­di­cial re­view of the al­leged de­ci­sion by Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly Pa­trick Mat­i­b­ini to ta­ble the im­peach­ment mo­tion against Pres­i­dent Lungu in Par­lia­ment. Later, Mr. Chabinga and Mr. Mu­lenga’s lawyers Lewis and Nathan Ad­vo­cates pegged and de­manded their costs at a col­lec­tive token of K5, 000,000. Ac­cord­ing to a let­ter of de­mand dated Oc­to­ber 26, 2018 is­sued by the law firm and ad­dressed to Mr. Nkombo and Mr. Kamb­wili’s lawyers, the two MPs have failed or ne­glected to set­tle the amount. “We now re­mind your clients to set­tle the said amount within 48 hours from the date hereof fail­ure to which we shall, with­out any fur­ther no­tice, in­sti­tute bank­ruptcy pro­ceed­ings against the said Hon. Kamb­wili MP and Hon. Nkombo MP, and in which case, upon bank­ruptcy or­der, their par­lia­men­tary seats shall be lost and de­clared va­cant by the Speaker of the Na­tional Assem­bly with­out any fur­ther el­i­gi­bil­ity for re-elec­tion,” the let­ter read in part. Mean­while, Pa­tri­otic Front (PF) me­dia di­rec­tor Sun­day Chanda says Mr Kamb­wili is scared and shak­ing right now be­cause his Roan Con­stituency seat may be de­clared va­cant not­with­stand­ing an ap­peal pend­ing be­fore the Court of Ap­peal. Mr Chanda said that Ar­ti­cle 72 of the Con­sti­tu­tion made pro­vi­sion for the va­ca­tion of of­fice as Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment if ex­pelled from the po­lit­i­cal party which spon­sored the mem­ber for elec­tion to the Na­tional Assem­bly. He told the Daily Na­tion that if the ex­pul­sion was chal­lenged in the Courts of Law but un­suc­cess­ful, the Con­sti­tu­tion re­quired that the mem­ber's seat fall va­cant as was the case with Mr Kamb­wili. Mr Chanda re­it­er­ated that Mr Kamb­wili was scared and shak­ing wher­ever he was as an ap­peal does not au­to­mat­i­cally op­er­ate as a stay on the seat fall­ing va­cant. “That the mem­ber whose ex­pul­sion chal­lenge was un­suc­cess­ful ap­peals against that de­ci­sion is not an au­to­matic bar on the ex­pelled mem­ber's seat fall­ing va­cant. This so be­cause the Con­sti­tu­tion does not make pro­vi­sion for an ap­peal to au­to­mat­i­cally op­er­ate as a stay on the seat fall­ing va­cant fol­low­ing an un­suc­cess­ful ex­pul­sion chal­lenge,” he said. Mr Chanda pointed out that Mr Kamb­wili’s sit­u­a­tion was un­like an ap­peal against the nul­li­fi­ca­tion of a seat fol­low­ing an elec­tion pe­ti­tion in which a mem­ber re­tained the seat pend­ing de­ter­mi­na­tion of an ap­peal. “An anal­ogy may be drawn from hon­or­able Keith Mukata's case. Once the High Court con­victed and sen­tenced Mr Mukata, Ar­ti­cle 70 (2) (f) which makes pro­vi­sion for the dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion of MPs serv­ing a sen­tence of im­pris­on­ment was trig­gered. In terms of Ar­ti­cle 72 (2) (b), Mr Mukata's seat fell va­cant as a re­sult of his dis­qual­i­fi­ca­tion,” he said. Mr Chanda pointed out that even if the for­mer Chi­langa MP ap­pealed against his con­vic­tion to the Court of Ap­peal that could not op­er­ate as an au­to­matic stay on his seat fall­ing va­cant.

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