By NATION REPORTER
GARRY Nkombo and 52 other UPND Members of Parliament who were dragged to the Constitutional Court for shunning President Edgar Lungu’s address to the National Assembly have asked the court to dismiss the petition for want of jurisdiction.
This is a matter in which Richard Mumba, a private citizen, petitioned the Constitutional Court to declare vacant the seats of the UPND MPs who boycotted President Lungu’s address to parliament on March 17, 2017.
Mr Mumba says by boycotting the President’s address in the House, the UPND MPs breached the oath of allegiance to the President and, therefore, violated the constitution which cause them to lose their seats in Parliament.
But the MPs argued that Mr Mumba’s petition did not disclose which provisions of the constitution were violated or any provisions of the constitution that required interpretation.
They claimed that the National Assembly regulated itself and that the issues raised by Mr Mumba were already dealt with in Parliament through points of order.
“Following the events of March 17, 2017 which are the subject of this petition, several points of order were raised on the floor of the House arising from the same events.
Those points of order were dealt with in accordance with established processes and procedures of the House,” Mr Nkombo claimed.
The UPND lawmakers argued that the Constitutional Court did not have jurisdiction to delve into the internal working of Parliamentary etiquettes and as such, the petition should be dismissed.
“It is clear abuse of this court for the petitioner to ask that the National Assembly’s internal rules and regulations be interpreted by this court when the constitution itself clearly speaks out the extent of this court’s jurisdiction,” they contended.