Resign on principle, Masumba advised

Mufumbwe Member of Parliament Steven Masumba should resign on principle, because he shall not be an active member of the National Assembly while the matter was in court.

Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president James Banda explained that as a convict Masumba would not be able to receive any remuneration from the National Assembly or perform his functions as an MP.

Banda said the Parliamentarian should relinquish his position in the interest of the people of Mufumbwe because he would not perform his duties any more until the Court disposed of his appeal action against the 12 months with hard labour sentence he received last week.

“It’s a notorious fact that matters in the Courts at times take long to conclude.  It is our position that Honorable Masumba reconsiders his position seriously and puts the interest of his constituency ahead of his so that they are not denied their constitutional right to be represented in the National Assembly for a long period even up to 2016,” he said.

He however said the convicted MP still remains constitutionally a member of the National Assembly, unless under Article 71(2) which states that he could vacate his seat if “….sentenced by a court in Zambia to death, or to imprisonment, by whatever name called for a term exceeding six months.”

According to the Republican Constitution in Article 71(3), the requirement to vacate the seat shall not take effect, but that the Parliamentarian shall not exercise his duties nor receive any remuneration as a member of the national assembly.

“Under Article 71(2) (e) of the Zambian Constitution, 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,” Banda explained.

Masumba filed his appeal against the judgment of the Subordinate Court that sentenced him to 12 months imprisonment with hard labour for fraudulently obtaining an Accounting Technician Diploma from National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA) and has been granted K10, 000 cash bail pending the determination of his appeal.

But the former sports deputy minister said he would not resign as MP despite being found guilty of obtaining pecuniary advantage to gain employment.

Speaking during a Muvi Television programme ‘The Assignment’, Masumba described himself as a ‘guy wapa easy’ (cool guy) said he could not resign unless it came from his constituency.