Like Malawi when Bingu WA Mutharika died our neighbor Zambia is having difficult deciding who should succeed President Michael Sata. It appears Michael Sata like Bingu before him did not trust his Vice President Guy Scott and thereby appointed Lungu as acting President when he fell ill. After his passing Lungu is having difficulty just like the Gang of 6 had issues with Joyce Banda who was Bingu’s embattled Vice President to rightfully claim the Presidency.
Thankfully it finally worked out in Malawi but the battles in Zambia promise to be prolonged and divisions are getting wider and solutions do not appear to be at hand.
It seems that Scott’s appointment was based on an exclusive interpretation of a constitutional provision, namely Article 38. This provides for the vice-president to perform the functions of the president in his absence, without considering the powers of an appointed acting president as per Article 39.
This article states that an elected substantive president – and not the vice-president – is the only person who can remove the authority of the person left to discharge the functions of the office of the presidency. The transfer of power to Scott has now been legally challenged, and is before the High Court.
A Member of Parliament Rodgers Mwewa is accusing PF’s Lungu of terror tactics. “Lungu is the secretary general of the party. The president of the party is Dr Guy Scott. Who used to question late president Michael Sata when he made decisions? I don’t expect Lungu to say what he is saying to his boss. Where I come from, umukulu mukulu (older people should be respected),” Mwewa said. “When the acting President does something wrong, Lungu is supposed to sit down with him and sort out the issue and not going to the media and start washing dirty linen in public. Equally, if the acting President thinks Lungu has done something wrong, he is supposed to sit him down. Not what we are witnessing.”
Postzambia reports Mwewa said there was need for all members of parliament to listen to what the people who voted for them want. “I should not push my interest first just because I want a job from Lungu. I don’t want a job from Lungu. I should not be forced to sign or endorse Lungu because I want a job from him when he becomes president. I don’t want a job… I am content as a member of parliament. I get paid. My employers are the people in my constituency. Why should I endorse Lungu at the expense of the people of Zambia?” he asked.
However The Zambian Watchdog goes further that rumors are abound that PF secretary General Edgar Lungu and his supporters plan to cancel the presidential by-election if the court declares him acting president in place of Guy Scott.
A senior member of the Edgar Lungu has explained that Lungu is neither willing nor ready to go through the presidential by-election but wants to be president at any cost.
When asked how Lungu and his supporters can circumvent the requirement by the constitution to hold elections in the next 69 days, the MP said ‘you have seen for yourself that Lungu does not believe in the law.’
According to Zambian watchdog, The MP explained that the same reasons they are using to ignore the PF constitution are the same reasons they will use to push the elections to 2016.
The source said Lungu himself will rarely talk but use others to say ‘this is what the people want’, in reference to the crowds they will hire.