THE law does not allow a Member of Parliament to have dual political party membership and United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba ceased to be Kasama MP after joining another political party, the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) has observed.
FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said the argument that Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, had the legal right to remain a PF parliamentarian and be a member of the UPND at the same time was misconstrued and against the current law as stated in the constitution.
Mr Mwanza said the UPND MPs serving as ministers and deputy ministers in Government were not serving the PF as a party but as Government officials, a practice allowed by law.
.”Article 71 (c) clearly states that an MP ceases to be MP once he joins another political party other than the party he contested his seat on and thus GBM ceased to be an MP the moment he joined UPND,” Mr Mwanza said.
“Article 46 and 47 of the Constitution gives the President authority to appoint any Member of Parliament as a minister or deputy minister. Those serving are not members of their parties but officials of the State and that is why they take oath of office” he said.
And Mr Mwamba has dared the Lusaka High Court to declare the Kasama Central seat vacant, declaring that he would re-contest and retain it with a landslide victory in a by-election.
But PF secretary general Davies Chama said Mr Mwamba was already expelled and that the ruling party had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to declare the seat vacant.
Mr Mwamba claimed that the PF would be obliterated in Kasama and the Northern Province following his acceptance of the position of vice-president in the UPND because the people in his constituency were not happy with the ruling party.
He said if the court was going to ask Dr Matibini to declare the Kasama seat vacant following his move to accept the position of vice-president of the UPND, the ruling party should be ready to suffer a humiliating defeat in the subsequent by-election.
Mr Mwamba claimed that without his wealth and financial contribution to the PF while in the opposition, the ruling party would never have formed Government in 2011 and most of the members of Parliament would never have become ministers.
Featuring on the Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme alongside UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, Mr Mwamba claimed that 23 percent of the PF MPs would not be able to retain their seats in the 2016 general elections because, according to him, they had become unpopular while most of them would not be readopted.
The special Muvi TV Assignment Programme also featured former first lady Maureen Mwanawasa, UPND vice-president for political affairs Canisius Banda and Likando Mufalali who is Senanga Member of Parliament.
“If the PF think they can win the Kasama seat, let them go ahead and expel me and declare the seat vacant. I will go to Kasama with a load of UPND MPs and the PF will get the shock of their lives. The PF is finished in Kasama and the UPND has taken over and for those who are saying I am boasting about my riches, they would never have been MPs without my financial contribution. Without my riches, they would not be ministers in the PF Government. Most of them are not going to retain their seats because they have become unpopular,” Mr Mwamba said.
But Mr Chama said the PF was not going to expel Mr Mwamba twice because the UPND vice-president was no longer a member of the ruling party.
Mr Chama said the Speaker of the National Assembly had been written to asking him to declare the Kasama seat vacant because Mr Mwamba had been expelled from the ruling party.
Mr Chama has also challenged the PF MPs allegedly courting the UPND to leave the ruling party immediately instead of waiting until next year to defect.
He said if there were PF MPs secretly working with the UPND, they should come out in the open and follow Mr Mwamba but declared that the ruling party was still going to win the 2016 general elections with the majority vote.