Minister wants Musa Mwenye out

ATTORNEY-General Musa Mwenye must consider resigning from his position because he has completely damaged his integrity and credibility by deliberately misleading the  Cabinet, Tourism and Arts Minister Jean Kapata has charged.

This follows Mr Mwenye’s lie to the nation that former defence minister George Mpombo acted as president when President Levy Mwanawasa died on August 19, 2008.

Ms Kapata said she had lost confidence in Mr Mwenye as the principal advisor to Government after it was revealed that the Attorney-General may have misled Cabinet ministers to have Defence and Justice Minister Edgar Lungu cede power to Vice-President Guy Scott after the death of President Sata.

She said ministers were threatened with treason if they were to resist having Mr. Edgar Lungu surrender power to Vice-President Guy Scott after the death of President Sata.

Ms Kapata said Mr Mwenye made ministers believe that article 38 of the Constitution made it mandatory that a Vice-President would automatically assume the functions of the office of President after the death of a sitting President.

She said the honourable thing for Mr Mwenye to do was resign from his position as Attorney-General because he could not continue advising the Government he was undermining by deliberately misleading it.

Ms Kapata said Mr Lungu, who is Patriotic Front secretary general, humbly surrendered the instruments of power to Dr Scott so as to maintain peace and stability so that Zambians could mourn President Sata in dignity and honour.

Mr Mwenye, in trying to convince Cabinet ministers to appoint Dr Scott to take over the functions of the office of President, cited a precedent that never was when he said Mr Mpombo was acting president when Dr Mwanawasa died at Percy Military Hospital in France.

Ms Kapata, who was among the ministers who attended the Cabinet meeting that appointed Dr Scott as Acting President, said Mr Mwenye should consider resigning so that he could be made to account for his actions of misleading a Government he was expected to serve with honour and dignity.

“Most of the Cabinet ministers attended the meeting that appointed Dr Scott as Acting President and I was one of them. Attorney General Musa Mwenye cited to us article 38 of the Constitution and made it sound like it was automatic and mandatory that the Vice-President takes over the functions of the office of President upon the death of a sitting President. Mr Mwenye threatened us that if we were not going to allow Mr Lungu cede power to Dr Scott, it was going to be a coup d’etat and that the Defence and Justice Minister was going to face treason. I told Mr Mwenye that he was using strong words but he insisted,” Ms Kapata said.

She said it was shocking that Mr Mwenye chose to be used instead of serving the country, adding that she had lost confidence in the Attorney-General and would never consider his legal advice genuine to Government genuine.

And Ms Kapata has chastised People’s Party (PP) president Mike Mulongoti and his counterpart of National Movement for Progress (NMP) Ng’andu Magande for supporting the action by Dr Scott to fire Mr Lungu as secretary general of the PF. Ms Kapata said it was wrong for the duo to have endorsed Dr Scott’s action of dropping Mr Lungu which sparked riots in Lusaka and other parts of the country.

She said the PF and its leadership had resolved their differences and were now united in mourning President Sata and that it was not correct for Mr Mulongoti and Mr Magande to meddle in the affairs of the ruling party.

She accused the two of formenting confusion in the ruling party and advised that the PF was a disciplined political party that would not allow its governing laws  to be breached by leaders whose interests were not to serve the country.

Ms Kapata said the cadres that demonstrated against the purported dismissal of Mr Lungu were not paid; adding that it was not only the PF members that were angered by Dr Scott’s decision but the country as a whole.

“The cadres that demonstrated against the purported dismissal of our secretary general were not paid or sponsored by anyone. If you noticed, the protests were spontaneous across the country.

Even people who are not PF members were annoyed that Dr Scott as interim president of PF could take such an action when the body of President Sata is still lying in state at Mulungushi International Conference Centre,” said Ms Kapata.