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PF takes GBM to court over dual membership

JIMMY CHIBUYE, Lusaka
THE Patriotic Front (PF) has urged the Lusaka High Court to expel Kasama Central member of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba from the ruling party because he has officially joined the United Party for National Development (UPND).
PF legal counsel Tutwa Ngulube has further asked the court to grant the PF an order of interim injunction restraining Mr Mwamba from holding himself out as PF MP and from earning any allowances, wages and gratuities while holding dual membership of two rival political parties.
He said Mr Mwamba’s acceptance of a senior position in the UPND should pre-empt to expel him from the PF because the Constitution does not allow parliamentarians to hold dual memberships.
On Wednesday, Mr Mwamba was appointed UPND vice-president for administration but he refused to resign from the PF, saying he would only do so if opposition MPs appointed into the executive relinquish their positions.
This is a case in which Mr Mwamba has sued PF secretary general Davies Chama, challenging his expulsion from the ruling party. He is seeking an interim injunction to block his eviction from the party.
Mr Ngulube’s arguments are contained in an affidavit in support of summons for an interim injunction and summons to determine the matter on a point of law filed in the Lusaka High Court yesterday.
“Unless restrained from attending parliamentary sittings on the PF ticket, Mr Mwamba may cause irreparable injury to the PF in that he will never fully support the ruling party’s agenda in Parliament,” he said.
Mr Ngulube said Mr Mwamba’s decision makes him the most senior member of the UPND in parliament and seriously conflicted because he now has a dual party membership.
He said Mr Mwamba’s decision violates Article 71(2) (C) of the Constitution, which terminates membership of parliamentarians who become members of another party other than the one which sponsored them to parliament.
Mr Ngulube said Mr Mwamba should be expelled from the PF because the Constitution does not allow dual memberships among parliamentarians.
He said Mr Mwamba has been attending parliament under the PF ticket pending determination of the court process in which he is challenging his expulsion.
Mr Ngulube said a bad precedent will be set if Mr Mwamba is allowed to serve two political parties at the same time because MPs are expected to live by the provisions of the Constitution.
He said even parliament will have difficulties classifying Mr Mwamba because the current National Assembly has no sitting arrangement for members with dual political party membership.


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