Kambwili’s Seat Cannot be Declared Vacant-Assembly Clerk Tells Court

Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly Cecilia Sikatele has told the Lusaka High Court that Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini cannot declare the Roan parliamentary seat vacant following the dismissal of the case in which expelled Patriotic Front Roan Member of Parliament Chishimba Kambwili lost a case in which he was challenging his expulsion from the party because there is an appeal against the Court’s decision in the Court of Appeal.

On October 25, 2018, High Court Judge Maria Kawimbe threw out Kambwili’s case in which he was challenging his expulsion from the party.

But PF secretary general Davies Mwila asked the Court to direct Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini  to declare the Roan parliamentary seat vacant.

In responding to this matter through an affidavit, in opposition to affidavit, in support of an application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings, the Deputy Clerk has confirmed having sighted Kambwili’s notice of appeal and memorandum of appeal.

Sikatele further confirmed the expulsion of Kambwili by the Central Committee.

In his application for leave to commence judicial proceedings, Mwila contended that Dr Matibini’s refusal to declare the seat vacant is illegal and against article 72 of the Constitution.

He argued that the Speaker’s decision to give latitude to the court to conclusively deal with the case is unlawful because he allegedly does not possess such authority.

Mwila said that the dismissal of Kabwili’s case by the court means that there was no challenge currently pending in the High Court to challenge the Roan parliamentarian’s expulsion from the ruling PF.

In his matter, Mwila sued the Attorney General as the first respondent.

The PF chief executive officer said by a resolution passed by the PF central committee on July 22 last year, it was resolved to expel Kambwili from the ruling party.

“By a letter dated July 26 last year last, the Honorable Speaker was informed of the decision to expel Honourable Chishimba Kambwili from the membership of the PF and to request that the Roan seat be declared vacant,” Mwila said.

He said on July 27 the same year, Kambwili issued a writ of summons in the High Court challenging his expulsion from the PF on grounds that the central committee never followed the due process.

“That consequently, upon several breaches and contumelious disregard of the court’s orders, an application was made to dismiss the matter for want of prosecution,” Mwila contends.

He submitted that  refusing to declare the seat vacant, the Speaker said the court had not yet pronounced itself on the merits of the case to confirm the expulsion or otherwise of Mr Kambwili.

Source: Zambia Reports

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