The growing carder of dissatisfied Patriotic Front – PF members of parliament – MPs and some PF aligned independent members of parliament are the main folder that have fueled the speculation that the impeachment motion filed has some credible backing.
The PF with a clear majority in Parliament would not have needed to pay any attention to this motion but the fact that Zambia’s main opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema is one of Zambia’s richest men also add the possibility of raising the financial bets, a possibility of vote sell out.
From this impeachment motion filing, it clearly indicates that the political polarity is still high in Zambia, and goes to undermine the current dialogue process which its fair to say both parties are unwilling to embrace. Some deep seated mistrust which have some ethnic and historical inclinations have been sighted as the root cause.
The rivalry between incumbent President Lungu and Opposition UPND leader Hichilema has been brewing and reached boiling point at one time had led to the Opposition leaders motorcade refusing to badge and give way to President Lungu’s presidential motorcade. The road race during the Western Province Kuomboka ceremony resulted in Hichilema being arrested and detained for over 120 days.
This impeachment motion comes at an interesting time when the ruling PF has some members that are reported to be dissatisfied for many reasons, some of which include not being given ministerial positions and other of more personal nature.
This makes these MPs possible targets and keys Zambia’s main opposition political party, the United Party for National Development – UPND filed motion done on Thursday, 22 March seeking the impeachment current President Edgar Lungu, accusing him of constitutional breaches.
A signed impeachment motion emailed to the Zambian Businesss Times – ZBT by the UPND media team stated that the impeachment proceeding were based on President Edgar Lungu violations of the constitutions and other laws of Zambia and for gross misconduct.
The petition proposed that a tribunal be established to investigate the allegations. The key allegation is that President Lungu during the period August 19 and September 5 2016 refused or failed to or neglected to hand over executive powers to the speaker of the national assembly during the the presidential election petition period.
Mazabuka Member of Parliament for UPND Garry Nkombo and National Democratic Congress defecto leader and PF member of Parliament for Copperbelt’s Roan Constituency signed the petition. A combination that expected to work at splitting the loyalty of the PF MPs.
However, presidential spokesperson, Amos Chanda on Friday 22 march said that “This is just a continuation of the UPND’s failed court challenge of President Edgar Lungu’s election victory, It’s not going anywhere”.
It is however the political machinations, deft planning and power of money being fully leveraged that would see this motion see the light of day. Some experienced and veteran political hands have however told ZBT that deep seated ethnic loyalties are what makes this motion unlikely to be passed even with the well know power of money being put to its full play.