CALLS by the opposition political parties and some civil society organisations that Patriotic Front (PF) presidential candidate Edgar Lungu should resign from his two ministerial positions are absurd and a negation of the law, Ngande Mwanajiti has observed.
Mr Mwanajiti, a human rights defender and governance expert said Mr Lungu should not be forced to resign from his two ministerial positions of Defence and Justice because although he was a presidential candidate, he was not using public money for his campaigns.
Mr Mwanajiti said Mr Lungu had not breached or offended any of the Zambian laws by remaining in his positions as Defence and Justice minister and calls that he should resign were not only unfortunate but baseless apart from lacking merit. He said in a statement that there was no law in the country’s statutes which required that Mr Lungu should resign from his ministerial portfolios on account that he was a presidential contender in the presidential election next week.
Mr Mwanajiti explained that demanding that Mr Lungu should resign was being discriminative because according to the Constitution in the Bill of Rights, Mr Lungu was protected from being discriminated on the basis that he was Defence and Justice minister.
“The information available to us is that Mr Lungu who is Defence and Justice minister is not using Government resources to campaign. It is also a fact that Mr Lungu has not broken or offended any Zambian law by having two ministerial positions and being a presidential candidate. That being the case, the calls from some political contestants are not only unfortunate but baseless,” Mr Mwanajiti said. He stated that in 50 years of Zambia’s independence, there had never been a time when a presidential candidate had been asked to relinquish his position on account of incumbency.