• Affected opposition parties must move the speaker on a point of order.
• The Speaker should guide if defected MPs qualify to get their gratuities.
• FODEP proposes amendment of article 72 of the constitution.
Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) has called on Speaker of the National Assembly Dr. Patrick Matibini to consider guiding the nation on Members of Parliament who recently defected to the ruling Patriotic Front if they qualify to get their gratuities.
FODEP Executive Director George Chimembe told Money FM News that the Ministerial and Parliamentary office Act, Cap 262 of the laws of Zambia is unclear as it appears to suggest that the former parliamentarians have forfeited their gratuities.
Mr Chimembe said this is because the former MPs will not be parliamentarians at the time of dissolution of parliament, therefore affected opposition parties must move the speaker on a point of order.
“Section 4 subsection 3, paragraph A of the Ministerial and Parliamentary office Emolument Act Cap 262 of the laws of Zambia is ambiguous and in its literal meaning appears to suggest that the former parliamentarians have forfeited their gratuities,” Mr. Chimembe said.
And Mr. Chimembe called for the amendment of Article 72 of the constitution so that any MP who resigns before parliament is dissolved does not only become ineligible to stand in a by-election but forfeits their gratuity.
“FODEP is concerned that defections of politicians especially those driven by politics of cash empowerment have potential to compromise the essence of multipartism as opposition parties will be weakened and fail to offer meaningful challenge to the party in power,” he said.