Masumba can’t function as MP – National Assembly

MasumbaNATIONAL Assembly has explained that convicted Mufumbwe PF member of parliament Stephen Masumba is not supposed to engage in any parliamentary duties until he is cleared by the courts.

Media Liaison officer at Parliament Mathew Mukelabai said yesterday that the National Assembly of Zambia’s position on Masumba was as provided for under the Constitution of Zambia Article 71(2)(e) and (3) and its proviso, which states that a member of the National Assembly shall vacate his seat in Parliament where, among other causes, he is sentenced by a court in Zambia to death, or to imprisonment, by whatever name called, for a term exceeding six months.

However, where the convict appeals against the decision of the court, Article 71(3) of the Constitution provides that the requirement to vacate one’s seat as member of parliament shall not have effect until the final determination of such appeal.

The Constitution also adds that where such convicted member of parliament has appealed to a higher court, he cannot perform his functions as a member of parliament and he cannot receive any remuneration as such.

Masumba has since appealed to the High Court against his conviction by the subordinate court that sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for obtaining pecuniary advantage by using a questionable certificate to obtain a job.

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has called for Masumba’s resignation as member of parliament on the grounds that he would no longer perform his duties until the outcome of his appeal.

LAZ president James Banda said: “The law allows Masumba to remain a member of parliament now that he has appealed but that he cannot preform the functions of MP and cannot receive a salary.”

But Masumba advised LAZ to leave him alone instead of issuing malicious statements about his conviction.

“LAZ is being malicious to call for my resignation. LAZ should leave me alone,” said Masumba.

Banda said LAZ was of the view that for as long as Masumba remained a convict, the honourable thing for him to do was to resign his position as member of parliament.

Courtesy of Post Newspaper