Zambian High Court has set tomorrow (Friday) as the day to hear the case in which
the court is being asked to declare that Rupiah Banda cannot be Zambia's vice
president and acting president once he has been nominated as his party's
candidate for the coming October 30th presidential elections.
Anti-Rigging Zambia Limited, a non-government organization which brought the
case, says Banda cannot use state resources as vice president and acting
president to fund his political campaign.
Mbita Chitala is the chief executive
officer of the Campaign Committee for the ruling Movement for Multi-party
Democracy. He told VOA that the lawsuit is an attempt by
main opposition leader Michael Sata to subvert the Zambian constitution.
view as MMD is that this is truly an outrageous attempt by the Patriotic Front
led by Mr. Sata to subvert our constitution of our republic. Our
courts are professional and we know that Article 43 of our constitution
provides protection of the president against legal proceedings. And Article 43
(1) states and I quote "no civil proceedings shall be instituted or continue
against the person holding the office of president or performing the functions
of that office in respect of anything done or needed to be done in his private
capacity". In other words, what we have here in Zambia is an acting president,
not the vice president. And so he's completely and totally protected by our
constitution," he said.
When asked to clarify,
Chitala reiterated his assertion that Zambia's main opposition leader Michael
Sata was behind the lawsuit before the High Court.
"I'm blaming basically the
Patriotic Front because the gentlemen who masquerade as the chairman and
leaders of this organization are at the same time the leaders of the Patriotic
Front Party. So there is really no difference between the two," he said.
The Anti-Rigging Zambia
Limited, a non-government organization, which brought the case, says Banda
cannot use state resources as vice president and acting president to fund his
political campaign. But Chitala said Mr. Banda is working within the confines
of Zambia's constitution.
"Yes, it is permissible. And
I'm saying that for now he is the acting the president of the republic as
provided for in our constitution. And therefore he is the president of the
republic. So that this attempt by the PF and their NGO is totally outrageous
and an attempt to subvert our constitution," Chitala said.
In an interview earlier this
week, opposition leader Michael Sata told VOA that the ruling MMD party was
going to rig the October 30 presidential election by bribing other opposition
politicians to support Rupiah Banda's candidacy.
But Chitala the MMD is
responsible for entrenching democracy in Zambia.
see we in the MMD are the pioneers of democracy in this country. So we are not
a party that practices or attempts to rig elections for the sake of just being
in power. We brought in democracy so we can contest fairly and equally. And
therefore this characterization of us as undermining our democracy is totally
unacceptable and an unfair comment against us," Chitala said.