THE Lusaka High Court may stop Vice-President Guy Scott from performing the functions of the office of the President because the Zambian Voice, a civil rights organisation is today expected to file an injunction to restrain Dr Scott from acting as Republican President.
Zambian Voice executive director Chilufya Tayali contends that Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu should be given back the instruments of power because the revocation of his appointment as Acting President was unconstitutional.
Mr Tayali said Cabinet had no powers to revoke the appointment of Edgar Lungu as acting President as only the appointing authority or an elected president could do so.
Mr Tayali said President Sata did not appoint Vice-President Guy Scott to act as Republican President because there was a possibility that he (Scott) was incapable of discharging the functions of the office of President.
Mr Tayali said Cabinet did not have the constitutional authority to revoke President Sata’s decision to appoint Defence and Justice Minister Lungu as Acting President.
He said the powers of an acting President could only be revoked by an elected President and that it was a breach of the Constitution for Cabinet to have revoked the appointment of Mr Lungu as Acting President.
He said there was no article in the Constitution where the Acting President could be forced to hand over power to the Vice-President to begin acting as Head of State.
Mr Tayali told the Daily Nation that it was not an omission that Dr Scott, who was the principal advisor to President Sata, was never considered for the appointment of Acting President in the three years the Patriotic Front (PF) was in power.
He stated that Dr Scott was neither out of the country nor was he ill not to have been considered for the appointment of Acting President and that judging by the repeated actions by President Sata, it was possible that Dr Scott could have been incapable to act as Head of State.
“On October 28th 2014, President Sata died at King Edward Hospital in London and this means that Mr Lungu had no President to revoke his appointment as provided for in article 39 of the Constitution. Since President Sata relinquished the presidency through death, a vacancy was created in the office of the President and Mr Lungu had no option but to continue and wait until after a new President had taken office,” Mr Tayali said.
The Zambian Voice chief wondered where Dr Scott or Cabinet received powers to revoke President Sata’s appointment after he had died.
“Was Dr Scott a President for him to revoke the Acting President’s power? Where is it written in the Constitution that Cabinet can revoke the powers of the Acting President and choose anotherperson to act? How did this shift of power happen in Cabinet and which members of the Cabinet were present in the meeting? Was Edgar Lungu threatened and what should we make of the Defence and Justice Minister’s statement that he handed over power to Dr Scott for the sake of peace?” Mr Tayali wondered.