The National Democratic Congress, NDC, is urging all the parliamentarians in the opposition and especially those in the ruling Patriotic Front, PF, to be magnanimous enough to move and support a motion of impeachment for the Republican president, Mr. Edgar C Lungu, to face the criminal allegations leveled against him by the Environmental Investigative Agency (EIA) over the illegal trade, transportation and export of mukula logs.
The President, being implicated as a major beneficiary in the illegal timber trade of the famous mukula tree by an investigative report, published by the EIA, based in the USA and the United Kingdom should be taken seriously and further investigated by the Drug Enforcement Commission.
The allegations that 40-50 foot containers of mukula have been exported monthly from June 2017 to May 2019 (equivalent to over 2,000 cubic meters) each month, which, was in direct breach of the export ban. The estimated value of this illegal trade generates a total of approximately US$ 7.5 million annually in bribes and informal fees. This alleged criminality on the part of president Lungu by EIA is a direct act against the constitution of the Republic of Zambia to which he swore to protect and defend.
We propose that a motion be moved to impeach president Lungu in order to pave way for criminal investigations against him.
In accordance with article 108, of the 2016 amended constitution,
a Member of Parliament, supported by at least one third of the members of parliament, may move a motion for the impeachment of the president alleging that the president has committed a violation of a provision of the constitution or other law; a crime under international law; or gross misconduct.
In this process, once the house adopts the motion by two-thirds majority, the speaker shall then inform the chief justice within 48hrs. The chief justice shall immediately inform president Lungu, whereupon he shall cease to perform the executive functions and the vice president shall perform the executive functions, except the power to make an appointment or dissolve the national assembly.
The chief justice shall, within seven days of being informed of the resolution shall, appoint a tribunal, in consultation with the judicial service commission, which shall consist of a chairperson and not less than two other members from among persons who hold, have held or qualify to hold, the office of judge. The tribunal appointed shall, within thirty days of its appointment investigate the matter relating to the impeachment of the president; and report to the chief justice as to whether or not the particulars of the allegations specified in the motion have been substantiated.
The president will have the right to appear and be represented before the tribunal for investigation. The chief justice shall, on receipt of the report, immediately submit the report to the National Assembly. If the tribunal reports that the particulars of an allegation against the president is not substantiated, the national assembly shall, on a motion supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the members of parliament, taken by secret ballot, resolve that the president did not commit the violations specified in the motion. Further proceedings shall not be taken with respect to the allegation.
However, if the motion is substantiated the national assembly shall, on a motion supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the members of parliament by way of a secret ballot. If they resolve that the president has committed the violations specified in the motion and that, the president should cease to hold office forthwith, and be amenable to prosecution without the need to lift the immunity under article 98.
We believe in the rule of law and that no one individual is exempt to the law of the land. It is about time that president Lungu stood before a tribunal to defend himself for the allegations which have brought shame and reduced the credibility of our country and the office of the president on the international stage. Criminality must not be shielded by the very institution which is supposed to be above board in its dealings. Therefore, if an individual is subverting the integrity of an institution of presidency then that individual is not fit to continue in that office.
Issued by: the Policy and Research Department- NDC
source: zambian observer