Zambia’s main opposition party UPND seeks to impeach President Edgar Lungu

The opposition Party in Zambian last Thursday submitted a motion to impeach the current seating president Edgar Lungu on the grounds of corruption and violation of the constitution.

Last year Lungu drew rebuke from the top legal body after he warned the constitutional judges not to stop him from running.

Allies of the president have been asking the supreme court to confirm that Lungu is eligible to run for election in 2021. But opponents of the government say this would plunge the country into a constitutional crisis because of the current constitution has a two-term limit on the presidency.

To my colleagues in the Judiciary, I am just warning you because I have information that some of you want to be adventurous, your adventure should not plunge us into chaos please,” Lungu was quoted as saying.

According to the Zambian observer and online news website, Patriotic front insiders, feel angered and unimpressed by President Lungu’s leadership and may favour a motion to have him impeached this year.

The impeachment motion submitted last Thursday was brought by Gary Nkombo and Chishimba Kambwili and Roan MPs. This motion will test the Zambian lawmakers resolve to rise above partisan politics and defend the constitution which they swore to uphold.

The motion to impeach is based on the allegation that the incumbent president repeatedly breached provisions of the constitution and had turned the cabinet into a procurement entity.

“There are a number and many of our MPs who are frustrated with the way things are being handled by the President and when the time for voting comes they may vote in favour of the motion. This is a matter which must not be taken lightly as anything can happen,” said the PF insider.

According to the Zambian Observer, the motion reads 

  • That the president fell into violation of article 90 and 198 of the constitution when cabinet authorised the road development agency to procure the construction of the Lusaka Ndola dual carriageway at an excessively high coast contrary to the principles enshrined in Article 90 and 198 aforesaid which require that executive authority, including the use of public resources, is exercised prudently and in the manner compatible with the principles of social justice and for people’s wellbeing”.

  • The president breached the constitution when he failed to hand over power to the speaker contrary to the provision of the constitution shortly after the 2016 general election when UPND filed an electoral dispute in the constitutional court.

  • That he has presided over carbonate making illegal procurement decision on the digital migration, sale of NRDC and other contrary to the provisions of the law of the cabinet is not a procurement entity in the laws of Zambia.

  • Cabinet authorized the purchase of allegedly overpriced fire trucks and ambulances

  • He’s accused of interfering with the judiciary in November when he warned constitutional court judges over a pending ruling on whether he could run for a third term.

 

Amos Chanda, the spokesperson for the president, said  “The motion is defective and an act in desperation by an opposition that enjoys grandstanding for the sake of it, the president has committed no offences for which he can be impeached. The desperate action by the UPND is an exercise in futility and will end in an embarrassing failure.”

According to Bloomberg UPND has the signatures of one-third of Zambia’s 167 member parliament. Two-thirds of the national assembly have to support the motion in for it to succeed. The ruling party has 89 members who are 54 percent of total members of parliament.