President Sata has no blanket powers under the current Constitution to poach and appoint opposition MPs to ministerial positions, says Heritage Party president Brigadier-General Godfrey Miyanda.
Gen Miyanda has since challenged Mr Sata to come out of his fortress and explain the illegal and provocative poaching of opposition MPs to the nation so that the issue could be put to rest.
“ I call upon President Sata to come out of his fortress and respond in a non-partisan way about his real stand on governance but particularly on the provocative poaching of members of Parliament from opposition partiers so that this matter can be put to rest,” he said
In a Press statement to the Daily Nation yesterday, Gen Miyanda maintained that the matter was a constitutional and legal one, hence it called for legal arguments rather political rhetoric.
“So far the PF have neither provided legal grounds nor even cited the actual provisions that give President Sata the blanket mandate they are claiming he possesses,” said Gen Miyanda.
The General trashed claims by President Sata that poaching promoted development as well as a claim by the PF that it was inclusive to entice opposition MPs since they too were Zambians.
“There is even one outlandish justification by a poached UPND MP asking the question “ ‘Where in Bible does it say it is a sin to work with Sata? In all pronouncements no legal arguments have been proffered,” he said.
He said an elected president before assuming office takes an oath of office which obliged him inter alia to uphold and maintain the Constitution and Mr Sata’s vow that he would continue to poach opposition MPs was a breach of his Oath of Office.
Gen Miyanda explained that while Articles 46 and 45 provide for the appointment of ministers, Provincial deputy ministers and deputy ministers from the National Assembly, these provisions should not be read in isolation from other relevant parts of the Constitution.
“A case in point is Article 71 (2) of the Constitution which provides that a member of the National Assembly shall vacate his seat in the National Assembly (b) if he acts contrary to the code of conduct prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
He said it was fallacious for President Sata to claim that poaching was inclusive politics when these MPs were mere Deputy Ministers who never attend Cabinet meetings.
He passionately appealed to opposition political parties not to succumb to partisan arguments encouraging by-elections but fight against dictatorial tendencies by the PF regime.
“It is better to remain with one MP who speaks for you than a horde of mercenary MPs with daggers in their hands.