The recent public speculations on President Michael Sata’s health should be an eye opener for government to quickly rectify the anomalies surrounding the functionality of the office of the Vice President and the Chief Justice respectively.
Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali said President Sata should start thinking of appointing people without constitutional variances to challenge their authority to hold sensitive and constitutional offices
Mr Tayali said while the country was celebrating President Sata’s good health amid recent frightening speculation, it was important that he (Sata) upheld the functional constitutional status of the Vice President and Chief Justice by appointing eligible substantive people.
“These speculations should be a wakeup call on his (Sata) part and on the part the Zambian people as a whole. Vice-President Guy Scott cannot act as president in the absence of Mr Sata and Justice Lombe Chibesakunda has been the Acting Chief Justice since the PF formed government. These offices would create constitutional challenges in the governance of the country in the absence of a president,” Mr Tayali said.
Mr Tayali said Dr Scott had constitutional challenges surrounding his position and it is clear from the foregoing that cabinet is deeply divided as ministers had been fighting each other in the media ceaselessly.
He advised that President Sata should seriously consider having substantive officers in constitutional officers to avoid creating a constitutional vacuum in the absence of the Head of State.
He wondered what President Sata was waiting for in appointing a person who would not just be ceremonial in the position of Vice-President.
He charged that even the current Acting Chief Justice could not be relied upon to take assume executive functions because of the constitutional issues surrounding her continued stay in office despite having already attained the official retirement age.
“President Sata has credible people in his government, who can be appointed Vice-President or Chief Justice from within the judiciary to correct the problems surrounding the two vital offices. Mr Tayali said.
He charged that under the circumstances, it would be difficult to fill the office of the President if any unfortunate acident occurred to the highest office in Zambia.