By MUKOSELA KASALWE
PRESIDENT Lungu is a lawyer who understands and respects the rule of law hence his decision not to fire Housing and Infrastructure Minister Ronald Chitotela, the Bishops Council of Zambia (BCZ) have said.
BCZ general secretary Able Kaela said President Lungu’s decision settled the matter on the Minister.
Bishop Kaela told the Daily Nation yesterday, that the Head of State had a good understanding of the law.
“President Lungu is a lawyer who has been in the practice for a long time and has a good understanding of such matters,” Bishop Kaela said.
And Lusaka lawyer Hobday Kabwe of Hobday Kabwe and Company said Mr Chitotela’e should not be dismissed but instead suspended until the case was finalised by the courts of law.
Mr Kabwe a senior lawyer said if Mr Chitotela was dismissed that would be deemed to paint him guilty even before the matter commences before the courts and in a similar manner innocent if he kept his position.
The Law Association of Zambia said its perusal of Section 18 of the Parliamentary and Ministerial Code of Conduct Act revealed that there was no provision which compelled the President to dismiss a Minister on account of being arrested and facing prosecution.
LAZ said it followed the matter and debates with keen interest adding that the framing of the various pieces of laws that indeed a Minister serves at the President’s pleasure.
In a statement issued yesterday, the Council said having considered the rule of law and the national values as well as principles of good governance and integrity in the discharge of functions enrichened in the Constitution it was prudent that Mr Chitotela either resigns or dismissed.
On February 5, 2019 the ACC arrested and charged Mr Chitotela who is also Pambashe Member of Parliament with two counts of concealing property suspected of being proceeds of crime contrary to Section 71(1) of the Forfeiture of Proceeds of Crime Act, Number 19 0f 2010.