The government must produce the letter of power transfer authentically signed by President Michael Sata, delegating his presidential powers to Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba because there are allegations that there was a breach in law and procedure in the constitutional process of the power handover.
MMD president Nevers Mumba has charged that following a flurry of intense speculation that President Sata may not have formally and procedurally handed the instruments of power to his Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general to act as President, it had become necessary that government should cause to publish the document duly signed by the Head of State to allay the fears that the Justice Minister could have usurped power from a legitimately elected President.
Dr Mumba said he was almost certain that the procedure of President Sata delegating his presidential powers to Mr Kabimba was not followed and that if there was such a constitutional breach, the onus was on government to prove Zambians wrong by making available the letter so that the nation could know that the PF secretary general was not acting as President illegally.
Dr Mumba who previuosly served as republican vice-president under the Levy Mwanawasa administration gave the Daily Nation the chronological order of how the President could delegate instruments of powers each time he was leaving the country.
He said the document of the transfer of powers by the President was stocked in the office of Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska who also had the constitutional function of preparing the document each time the President was leaving the country.
Dr Mumba said Zambians were deeply concerned that just days after President Sata had left the country for Israel on what government called a working holiday, there had been intense speculations and doubts that the transfer of power to Mr Kabimba was not done formally because the letter of power transfer was allegedly not prepared.
He said government should also allay fears that if indeed the document for the transfer of power was signed; all doubts that it could have been lifted from one of President Sata’s many signed documents should be cleared.
“Our demand is that the Secretary to the Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska and government must prove to Zambians that indeed President Sata signed the document of the transfer of power delegating his Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba to act as President. Government must scan the document and make it available to the public to dispel speculation that Mr Kabimba is acting as President illegally. When the President has a trip outside the country, the Secretary to the Cabinet prepares the document of the handover of power. The President then signs the document and gives the copy to the one he has delegated his presidential powers and the other copy is taken back to the office of the Secretary to the Cabinet. I am almost sure that this process was not followed,” Dr Mumba saidHe said it was important for the peace and political stability of the nation for government to prove that Mr Kabimba was not a illegitimate acting President.
Yesterday, People’s Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti demanded Dr Msiska must clearly state whether he prepared the letter of transfer of the instruments of power for President Sata to formaly hand over power to Mr Kabimba.
Mr Mulongotiwarned that it was treasonable for anyone to take over power without authority and procedure and that it had become imperative that Dr Msiska should tell the nation if Mr Kabimba was formally given the instruments of power by President Sata before leaving for Israel for medical treatment.When contacted for a comment, Dr Msiska refused to comment charging that although it was his responsibility perform such constitutional functions, he was not going to state whether he did or not.
“We have systems in this country and we cannot be making system and breaking them. Without being rude, I do not want to comment on this matter because government has an official spokesperson who is the Minister of Information and Broadcasting. Call him and I will ask him that you will be calling. That is the best you can do if you want to help this country. I am a man of procedure,’ Dr Msiska said.
President Michael Sata on 20th June 2014 in the still of the night left for Israel and government was forced to announce the arrival of the Head of State in Tel Aviv after the nation woke up to a flood of rumours that the President had been evacuated.And a week after President Sata left the country, the country has yet again been chocked with speculation that the Head of State did not hand over power to Mr Kabimba who is acting President because the Secretary to the Cabinet did not prepare the letter of the transfer of power.