GEOFFREY Bwalya Mwamba has vowed to teach the Patriotic Front (PF) a big political lesson when he re-contests the Kasama Central constituency seat under the UPND ticket.
Speaking following the declaration of his seat vacant, Mr Mwamba, popularly known as GBM, vowed that he would defend his Kasama Central seat.
Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini yesterday declared that he (Mwamba) had defected to the opposition UPND party and had consequently lost his seat.
Dr Matibini ruled that by accepting the position of vice-president in the UPND, the former Kasama Central parliamentarian had effectively defected from the ruling party to the opposition UPND and the Kasama seat had consequently fallen vacant.
He said the Constitution outlawed dual membership of political parties for MPs and it was therefore crystal clear that Mr Mwamba could not continue holding on to his seat under the PF while at the same time being a member of the UPND. Mr Mwamba was appointed vice-president of the UPND last week on Wednesday and accepted the position but claimed that he had not resigned from the PF despite having accepted to serve the UPND as vice-president administration.
The Speaker ruled that it was legally incorrect for Mr Mwamba to argue that he could not lose his seat on the basis that there were some UPND members of Parliament who were serving in Government and had not lost their seats.
Dr Matibini’s ruling was in response to a point of order by Home Affairs Minister Davies Mwila who was seeking to know whether it was in order for Mr Mwamba to continue sitting in Parliament when he had resigned to join the UPND. He stated that the Constitution was clear on the appointment of ministers and their
deputies because it was the prerogative of the President to appoint any MP regardless of their political affiliation to serve in Government.
Dr Matibini cited a case in which former Solwezi Central member of Parliament the late Ben Tetamashimba lost his seat after he was appointed secretary general of the UPND in 2006 and stated that Mr Mwamba was neither a spectator nor a bystander in the UPND but a serving member who had been appointing to a senior position of vice-president in the party.
“I have reviewed the footage of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation (ZNBC) over the Press conference held on Wednesday Last week where Mr Mwamba did not only attend but also made a speech.
Mr Mwamba was appointed the vice-president of the UPND and becomes a senior member of the UPND and cannot therefore continue to hold on to his parliamentary seat because the Constitution outlaws dual membership or party affiliation of MPs. The Constitution under Article 71 (c) is very clear that if a member crosses the floor and joins a political party that did not sponsor him to Parliament, he automatically ceases to be an MP,” Dr Matibini ruled.
Dr Matibini said Articles 46 and 47 of the Constitution gave the President authority to appoint any Member of Parliament (Independent, opposition or ruling party MP) as a minister or deputy minister.
But Mr Mwamba said yesterday he was happy to be the vice-president of UPND, a party which he claimed represented all Zambians with clear alternative policies to economically liberate the country.
Mr Mwamba said Zambians were one people and must all rally behind the UPND leadership that has people’s interest at heart.
“I know what I am doing and it is important we join hands and save our collapsing economy through Mr. Hichilema and the UPND leadership.
I know the PF are pushing for a by-election but let them know that I will teach them a lesson because the entire country is now shouting ‘Zambia forward”.
I cannot mislead people here and it is important you all come with me in the UPND and its leadership. I do not just move anyhow like others who are being paid money at the expense of the country,” Mr Mwamba said.
And Mr Hichilema said Mr Mwamba was unanimously elected and accepted as party vice-president by the UPND structures at all levels.
Speaking when he addressed a crowd that welcomed the UPND team at Kasama Airport yesterday, Mr. Hichilema told the people of Kasama to ignore those saying GBM was imposed on the people.