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President Hichilema Secretary to Cabinet appointment in Breach of Constitution – GPZ President Silavwe

Golden Party Zambia – GPZ President Jackson Silavwe says the appointment of Mr Patrick Kangwa as Secretary to the Cabinet by President Hakainde Hichilema is in breach of the republican Constitution.

Mr Silavwe cited that Article 176 (3) of the current Constitution states that “A person qualifies to be appointed as Secretary to the Cabinet if that person has or had at least ten years experience as a Permanent Secretary or equivalent rank.”

He mentioned that Mr Patrick Kangwa is a fine and hardworking professional, unfortunately based on the Constitution, he has only 7 years Permanent Secretary equivalent experience.

“We advise President HH to seek further interpretation from the Constitutional Court to avoid legal ramifications in future over the Secretary to the Cabinet appointment,”” he mentioned

Mr Silavwe said that in 2012, President Sata and Vice President Guy Scot elevated the office of National Coordinator at DMMU to that of a Permanent Secretary, formerly it was equivalent to a Director in a Ministry, thus, Mr Kangwa served as DMMU National Coordinator from 2012 until his promotion as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet in 2017.

He explained that Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet (DSC) is not equivalent to Permanent Secretary, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet is much higher than Permanent Secretary, Adding that the Late Chief Justice Ireen Mambilima in consultation with the then Speaker of the National Assembly did administratively advise then Republican President Edgar Lungu that Mr Kangwa did not meet the 10 years Constitutional threshold because Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet is not equivalent to the position of Permanent Secretary.

The Golden Party President said that on the other hand, Presidential appointments at the Electoral Commission of Zambia – ECZ is a very bad governance practice, stating that appointing a known United Party for National Development – UPND supporters and sympathizers to institutions of good governance such as Electoral Commission of Zambia is the same weakness UNIP had when making appointments.

“As such the current ECZ Commissioners cannot exercise any form of independence as they are bound to continue their biasness towards President Hichilema and the UPND. We surmise that the ‘new’ line up at ECZ now looks like the UPND National Management Committee (NMC) by extension,” he said

Meanwhile, the newly appointed Electoral Commission of Zambia – ECZ Commissioner MacDonald Chipenzi has allayed concerns raised by some sections of society over his appointment.

Concerns have been raised over Mr Chipenzi’s appointment on social media with people criticizing it saying he is politically inclined.

But Mr Chipenzi has assured Zambians that he will not conduct himself as he did before he was appointed and has further assured that he will apply credibility, transparency and accountability as he takes up his new role once ratified by Parliament.

He has said in an interview that although he is perceived to belong to the UPND, he is going to the Commission as a person who understands elections along with his team.

On Wednesday, President Hakainde Hichilema appointed Mr Patrick Kangwa as Secretary to the Cabinet in pursuant to Article 176 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia and in consultation with the Civil Service Commission. The President also appointed Dr. Mubita Kalabo as Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet in charge of Administration.

Additionally, President Hichilema also appointed Lusaka lawyer Mwangala Zaloumis as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and Mr Ali Simwinga as the Deputy Chairperson while Mr MacDonald Chipenzi was appointed as a Commissioner.

The President in exercise of the powers vested in him in Section 16 (1) of the Anti-Corruption Act No. 3 of 2012 appointed Mr Tom Trevor Shamakamba as Director General of the Anti-Corruption Commission.

The President also on recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission pursuant to Article 140 (e) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia appointed Mrs Caroline Zulu Sokoni as the Judge of the High Court for Zambia.