STEPHEN Masumba, the Mufumbwe Patriotic Front (PF) member of Parliament, is free to get back to Parliament and resume his legislative duties after he received a presidential pardon following his 12 months conviction after he was found guilty of forging a National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA) diploma.
This is according to a National Assembly letter addressed to Chilufya Tayali, the Zambian Voice executive director who wanted a clarification on whether Mr Masumba would be present in the National Assembly when it resumes its sitting when he was convicted before the Presidential pardon.
Mr Masumba was convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment last year for forging a NIPA diploma but Dr Scott as acting president pardoned him together with George Mpombo on Christmas day.
Writing on behalf of the Clerk of the National Assembly Doris Mwinga, Cecilia Sikatele said in a letter, that following the pardon by then acting President Guy Scott, Mr Masumba was eligible to take up his position in Parliament and was entitled to receive his remunerations as well as start visiting his Constituency.
She said Mr Masumba would also be awarded his arrears in allowances for the period during which he was not in Parliament while serving his prison sentence.
Ms Sikatele said if Mr Masumba had resigned as member of Parliament, he would not be present in the House and perform his legislative functions.
“If a member of Parliament who was convicted by a court of law and sentenced to imprisonment for more than six months is granted a free pardon, he or she is entitled to resume their functions unless they have resigned. As you rightly observed, Mr Masumba was convicted by the courts and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment and subsequently pardoned by the President. It is clear from the constitutional provisions cited above that Mr Masumba is entitled to resume his functions, which include being in the House,” Ms Sikatele said.
She said according to article 71 (2) (e) and 71(3) of the Constitution, a member of Parliament shall vacate his seat if he is sentenced by the court to death or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or declared mentally unsound or bankrupt.
Mr Tayali wrote to the National Assembly seeking clarification on whether Mr Masumba who was convicted and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment would resume his function as member of Parliament following the presidential pardon granted to him on December 25, 2014.
Efforts to get Mr Masumba for a comment failed as his mobile phone was switched off.