Pressure mounts on Dr Msiska over acting President

Pressure has continued to mount on Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska to make public a letter of transfer of power authentically signed by President Michael Sata delegating his presidential powers to Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba following a flood of speculation that the Justice Minister could be illegally acting as republican president.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) has joined many other voices demanding the publication of the letter to confirm that President Sata had formally handed over the instruments of power to Mr Kabimba before leaving for Israel on Friday 20th June, 2014 for a working holiday.

Douglas Syakalima, UPND President Hakainde Hichilema’s special assistant has also demanded that Mr Kabimba who is the acting President must order Dr Msiska to immediately make public the document signed by President Sata delegating his presidential powers to his Justice Minister to halt the speculation that he (Kabimba) may not have been left with the instruments of power.

But Dr Msiska in a short statement to media houses said Mr Kabimba was legitimately appointed by President Sata to act as President and that the Head of State signed the instrument of delegation of the functions of President on Friday, 20th June, 2014 and that the transfer of power was done in compliance with the law. Dr Msika said the appointment of Mr Kabimba as acting President was published through a gazette notice number 385 of 2014 dated 27th June, 2014.

“Following the comments that recently appeared in the press questioning the delegation of presidential powers to Mr Wynter Kabimba, the Minister of Justice, Dr Roland Msiska, Secretary to the Cabinet would like to confirm that Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the republic of Zambia did indeed appoint Mr Kabimba to act as President before departure for Israel. The President signed the instrument of delegation of the functions of President on Friday, 20th June, 2014 and complied with the law in all respects. The appointment was published through gazette notice number 385 of 2014 dated 27th June 2014. I hope that the speculations over this matter will now be allayed,” Dr Msiska said.

Dr Msiska however did not explain how the military sentries remained at the State House main entrance from Friday, the day the President left of Tel Aviv to Sunday after speculation flooded online media that the Head of State had been evacuated.

But Mr Syakalima said Dr Msiska and Mr Kabimba should state when the said gazette was signed and printed because the speculations would not go away until it was proved beyond reasonable doubt that President Sata’s presidential powers were not illegally delegated to the PF secretary general.

“It is not a crime for Dr Msiska to produce the instrument of delegation of the functions of the President authentically signed by President Sata. What is criminal is to pretend that President Sata appointed Mr Kabimba to act in his absence because that is usurping power from a legitimately elected President. Dr Msiska and Mr Kabimba must state categorically if our Constitution was not violated during the process of the transfer of instruments of power because there is just too much speculation and suspicion that yet again, the Justice Minister has committed another crime. Mr Kabimba confessed recently that he had smuggled Kenyan Nationals into Zambia to help the PF with Parallel Vote Tabulation (PVT) and we have all the legitimate reasons to suspect that President Sata could not have formally and procedurally handed the instruments of power to the PF secretary general,” Mr Syakalima said.

Mr Syakalima said Mr Kabimba was not going to remain the Minister of Justice and acting President forever and that time would soon come when he would have to account for all his actions.