Politics

LAZ Calls For Chitotela’s Dismissal

The Law Association of Zambia has said housing and infrastructure minister Ronald Chitotela must resign from public office or President Edgar Lungu should relieve him of his duties as he cannot effectively carry out his mandate while under investigation for alleged corruption.

 

Chitotela was arrested for alleged corruption by the Anti-Corruption Commission on February 5 and charged with two counts of concealing property suspected to be proceeds of crimes contrary to the Laws of Zambia.

Several stakeholders called for his dismissal, but President Edgar Lungu said he would not do so but allow the law to take its course.

The LAZ Council, in a statement today, stated that Section 18 of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act has no provision which compels the President to dismiss a Minister on account of being arrested and facing prosecution but noted that Chitotela ought to resign on his own as proper investigations against him cannot be carried while he serving as minister.

 

“…the President refused to dismiss the Minister and in aid of his decision cited Article 18 of the Republican Constitution, which presumes an accused person innocent until proven guilty by the courts of law. As the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), we have followed the issue and surrounding debate with keen interest. In doing so, we have had occasion to peruse the Constitution of Zambia as amended by Act No. 2 of 2016, Chapter 1 of the Laws of Zambia; the Anti-Corruption Act, 2012; the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act, Chapter 16 of the Laws of Zambia; and the Interpretation and General Provisions Act, Chapter 2 of the Laws of Zambia,” the LAZ Council has stated.

 

“Given the framing of Article 116 of the Constitution, which, among other things, deals With the appointment of Ministers, we hold the view that the arrest and Charging of a Minister for any criminal offence does not cause a vacancy in the office of Minister. A Minister serves at the President’s pleasure. Under any circumstances, it is only the President who can remove a Minister from office. However, the Constitution also gives any Minister the option to resign at any time. Our perusal of Section 18 of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act also reveals that there is no provision which compels the President to dismiss a Minister on account of being arrested and facing prosecution. However, the said Section 18 further provides that, nothing stops or limits the right of a Minister to resign as Minister.”

They stated that considering the powers vested in a minister, Chitotela would do well to resign.

“…given the spirit with which the Constitution is couched, the mandate of the Anti-Corruption Commission, the level of responsibility and power that a Minister has, it is our considered view as LAZ that it is not appropriate for Honourable Chitotela, to continue serving as a Minister whilst facing criminal charges and appearing in court pending the determination of the matter. We also hold the view that prosecution of a sitting Minister in the courts of law cannot be effective. We therefore call upon Honourable Chitotela to seriously reflect on his abilities to effectively and in good conscience run the affairs of his Ministry and at the same time defend himself in court. We firmly believe that under the circumstances, the Minister ought to resign from public service…,” LAZ stated. “…it is our considered view that the rule of law and the national values and principles of good governance and integrity in the discharge of public functions enshrined in our Constitution are not and cannot be enhanced by letting a Minister continue serving when he is subject of prosecution…Further, dismissing a sitting Minister facing prosecution does not offend the constitutionally recognized right of presumption of innocence. It is therefore the position of LAZ that the President should indeed consider relieving Honourable Chitotela of his duties as not doing so does not support the fight against corruption, which the President has on numerous occasions publicly supported.”

 

24 Comments

  1. judge not

    Acc is showing signs of fearlessness congratulations

    Reply
  2. Mukoswe mukulu

    Is President lunch supporting Mr chitotela or what .

    Reply
  3. Zambian

    Kuli ifyafiswa kunuma yachisalu icha fita. But one day ichisalu chikalepuka nafyonse fikasokoloka, takwabe ichafisama kuli kabumba lesa nangu fingafiswa Ku menso ya bantu. Ubushiku bumo fikasokoloka.

    Reply
  4. Geoffrey kabwe

    Well done laz ,please may you snatch this country from fire, mind you and me have children’s

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  5. ba Zambia

    Congratulation Laz

    Reply
  6. Zambia

    Please try to make sure you push this foward to help us poor zambian people who can even be jailed for stealing a spoon!!

    Reply
  7. Makai

    Mr President is supporting chitotela look that’s corruption….

    Reply
  8. Razor

    Finally this LAZ has woken up.

    Reply
  9. Ancient

    How do you fire the person you chill with?

    Reply
  10. MOUNTAIN TOP ADVICE .

    THE GUY WONT HEED CALLS TO QUIT GRZ . HE IS A SMOOTH DEAF THIEF.
    ACC PUT YOUR ACT TOGETHER. FALL ON HIM LIKE A TONNE OF BRICKS ,COMPETENTLY PROSECUTE THIS THIEF BEFORE HE COVERS HIS TRAIL …
    NOT THE MEANINGLESS ARREST YOU EFFECTED.

    Reply
  11. abel

    bwafya

    Reply
  12. Kings

    Laz At Work, The Lungus Can’t Fire Their Instruments Like That, Khoswe Akakhala Pa Mukhate Siapheka, He Knws What Can Not Be Done.

    Reply
  13. Hon k

    Bane tucenjele na Zambia ino kuntanshi ikaluka icishiba cakutapamo amenshi

    Reply
  14. Mule

    Pliz LAZ bombeni incito yenu ba kateka wesu tabaletwafwa. Any way let’s wait 2021

    Reply
  15. Mangelepa Sandals

    Easier said than done!

    Reply
  16. bk

    You are right LAZ, the president can better still send Chitotela on force leave to pave way for investigation. Now it seems the Head is siding with Chitotela

    Reply
  17. prisoner

    ciwamina galu

    Reply
  18. True story

    Ichimuntu chilefuma Ku milandu, nachikata namaboko mu ma tumba. Ifya bupuba, mwanya fyatile fyenu one day mukashana, echo fyondela nga fya lusa. Wait 2021 ili mupepi muleya. Remember what happened to RB, he cryd. Mukalila mwe fipuba mwe, mumona kwati ichalo chenu bali mishilile kuli ba wishinwe. Mwanya.

    Reply
  19. Harrison Nsemiwe

    I this even if the President can say no to the calls from the public and law enforcement urgencies; somehow somewhere it can also be concluded that he is just trying to protect his puppets! If I remember very well before even fired honorable Chishimba kambwili as information and broadcasting minister, the President had to put his stance in black and white when he said I’ll start firing ministers who’re said to be corrupt! Two weeks down the line Chishimba kambwili was fired! Now if he could come tell us that he was mislead then it’s unfortunately! Because it was him who suppose to guide the investigative wings on what stage and facts before hands to show that the man was actually corrupt! So to compare Chishimba’s and Chitotela issues I think there are not holding any water! Because even the appointment of the two did not come or occur at the same time! For Ck it was almost a month if not two when he was appointed and sworn in after people talked about! He was almost Left out! Talk of chitotela the man was fired by the late Sata and I think it was of the same allegations! Now if the President was ready to maintain Mr. Sata’s legacy how can he bring back the condemned of his predecessor? Anyway I end here!

    Reply
  20. mr patriot

    Piece of advise to mr president, wat ever is hapenin now everyone is recording nd it shal b used for or against u in 2021.think like a lawyer if u ar truely 1.

    Reply
  21. Dr Fonicks

    If Mr. Lungu is a lawyer why does he act like someone who has no knowledge about law ? the President has failed us by not relieving a corrupt minister. truly, there’s a connection or involvement of state house in this case. most of us are not at all happy with this laissez faire attitude from the highest office in the land. I think chitotela was not arrested for corruption but somehow it is an intimidation towards the Luapula United issue. GBM may have been right in what he said. Kabanshi, chimese, Mihova, Miti, CK mention them were dismissed. what is so special about uyu pompwe Chitotela ? cibemba citila “kalulu, tapusuka imipya ibili”. mulemoneka ukucenjela. 2021 yena ni “kolwe piteni ne mbwa”. elyo kabili”inshiku mutanda, tashicela mumo”. you will feel as if the Lord is off peak.

    Reply
  22. soko

    Cry my beloved Zambia

    Reply
  23. BISWARCK

    if u fail to chase him mukapona ukwambila pali president mpaka councellor

    Reply
  24. Spoiler

    Just goes to show how dull and incompetent those that write Laws are that they don’t test the Law they write before giving it to the approval process. Starting from the Constitution, laws have such huge loopholes that a ship in the dark can pass through without bumping into something. If you can’t do it, give back control to those that can

    Reply

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