By JOHN SAKALA
The United Party for National Development (UPND) says it has started the process to move a motion to impeach Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini in accordance with article 83 of the Republican Constitution.
UPND Deputy National Spokesman Cornelius Mweetwa told a media briefing this morning that the party was currently collecting the required signatures from one third of the members of parliament which the opposition currently enjoys.
Mr Mweetwa flanked by Mazabuka Central MP Gary Nkombo said the decision to move the motion against the Speaker is constitutional and not political as the Mps move to protect the integrity and sanctity of parliament and the rule of law.
He said the Speaker should be made to account for his violation of the constitution when he wantonly declared the Roan parliamentary seat vacant, an act which was ultra vires and in violation of the principle of separation of powers.
“We have a firm position as members of parliament from the UPND and our alliance partner the NDC as well as some independents that time has come for the Speaker to account for his violation of the constitution. This action is not political but borders on the sanctity of the Constitution. We have the correct numbers to enable us the motion which is supported by some MPs from the PF.
“When UPND MPs were said to have violated the constitution by walking out of parliament, we were punished by the Speaker because no-one as he said is above the law. We now want the same law to take effect on this matter hence our collective and firm position,” he said.
And Mazabuka Central MP Gary Nkombo further cited the failure by the Speaker to take over the reins of government during the Presidential Petition as another violation of the constitution by Dr Matibini.
Speaker Patrick Matibini last year declared the Roan parliamentary seat vacant following them MP Chishimba Kambwili’s engagement as a Consultant for the opposition NDC.
According to the Speaker’s ruling, the action by Dr Kambwili amounted to crossing the floor thus declaring the seat vacant.
But the Constitutional Court last week found Dr Matibini’s actions to be ultra vires as he did not have the authority to interpret the constitution in the manner he did and as such was in breach of the Supreme Law of the land.