Withdrawal of GBM’s passport legal – Mwila


GOVERNMENT says the withdrawal of former minister of Defence Geoffrey Mwamba’s diplomatic passport by the Immigration Department is within the law.
On Tuesday, the Immigration Department at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport (KKIA) withdrew Mr Mwamba’s diplomatic passport as he was about to leave the country.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila told a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the decision to withdraw Mr Mwamba’s diplomatic passport No. D0011819 is within the law as provided for under the Passports Act No.22 of 2003 because he is no longer a Cabinet minister or a Member of Parliament (MP) for Kasama Central as per the ruling by the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini.
“The passport was withdrawn by Immigration officials at Kenneth Kaunda International Airport at about 15:00 hours when he attempted to leave the country.
“I wish to state that Mr Mwamba has not been arrested neither was he at any point detained as it has been alleged elsewhere,” Mr Mwila said.
He said Mr Mwamba is a free person and that he is free to apply for an ordinary passport to enable him to travel abroad.
Mr Mwila said Government is ready to issue Mr Mwamba an ordinary passport like any other citizen.
On July 28 this year, Mr Mwamba’s parliamentary seat was declared vacant following his appointment as United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president for administration.
Dr Matibini declared the seat vacant on grounds that Mr Mwamba had joined the UPND, as the constitution does not provide for dual party membership.
The Speaker ruled that Mr Mwamba crossed the floor by accepting the UPND vice-presidency and, as stipulated under Article 71(2) (c) of the Zambian Constitution, lost his seat as MP for Kasama Central.
Mr Mwamba is contesting the matter in court.

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