President Lungu can appoint 30 cabinet ministers – LAZ

President Edgar Lungu can appoint up to 30 cabinet ministers excluding the 10 provincial ministers who are provided for in a separate provision of the constitution, LAZ president Linda Kasonde has said.

The asscociation has also said there is nothing wrong with the nominations and appointments of Felix Mutati, Lucky Mulusa and Nathaniel Mubukwanu to their portfolios because they did not participate in the just-ended general election.

In a statement made available to the Daily Nation yesterday, LAZ president Linda Kasonde said Article 69 (3) of the Constitution of Zambia did not deter the trio from being nominated as Members of Parliament and their subsequent appointments to their respective portfolios because the last time they stood in an election was 2011, thereby making them eligible.Ms. Kasonde said LAZ was compelled to make its position on the matter following numerous media queries and that the association considered relevant provisions of the Constitution to arrive at the conclusion over the legality of the trio’s nomination and appointments.“Regarding the issue of whether Honourable Felix Mutati, Lucky Mulusa and Nathaniel Mubukwanu qualify to be nominated Members of Parliament under Article 69 (3) of the Constitution, it provides that a person who was a candidate for election in the last preceding election or subsequent by-election is not eligible to be nominated as Member of Parliament.“All three Members of Parliament last stood for elections in 2011. LAZ is of the view that the last preceding election was held on 11th August, 2016 and not in 2011 and subsequently, all three qualify to be nominated Members of Parliament,” Ms. Kasonde said.Ms Kasonde indicated that these provincial ministers and cabinet ministers were dealt with by separate provisions of the constitution and that the President was allowed to appoint a total of 30 cabinet ministers and only 10 provincial ministers.“In terms of the number of provincial ministers to be appointed, 10 provincial ministers are to be appointed, one for each province as prescribed by Article 117 of the Constitution. On the other hand, Article 116 (1) provides that the number of ministers shall be prescribed by a statue. The relevant statutory provision is section 3 of Ministers (prescribed number and responsibilities) Act No. 26 of 2016 which provides that the maximum number of ministers to be appointed is 30,” she said.The MMD faction under Nevers Mumba has been critical of the appointment of the trio to various positions, saying they did not qualify and had demanded for the reversal of their appointments because they were in total contravention of the Constitution.