THE High Court, today (June 3rd, 2020), dismissed the constitutional petition lodged by Advocate Paul Kaunda to challenge the Speaker of the National Assembly decision to recognize Mr Cecil Mwambe as still Member of Parliament under opposition Chadema.
Judges Issa Maige, Stephen Magoiga and Seif Kulita ruled against Kaunda, the petitioner, after upholding one ground of objection advanced by state lawyers, for the respondents, with effect that the petition was incompetent and bad in law for being frivolous, vexatious and unjustifiable.
The respondents into the matter were Attorney General, Speaker of the National Assembly Job Ndugai and Mr Mwambe.
The judges ruled that the petitioner was required to file an ordinary petition instead of the constitutional case due to the nature of the complaints against the Speaker.
In the petition, Kaunda requested the Court to declare the statement by the Speaker, Mr Job Ndugai, regarding the recognition of Mr Mwambe as still MP despite crossing the floor from Chadema to Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) unconstitutional for offending Articles 71(1) (e) of the Constitution.
He requested for a declaration that Mr Mwambe ceased to be the MP for Ndanda constituency from February 15, 2020, when he declared to renounce his membership of Chadema and joined CCM party.
The petitioner also sought for declaration that Mr Mwambe should return all parliamentary privileges and benefits which he received from the moment when he crossed the floor from the opposition party to the ruling party.
Mr Mwambe was elected as the lawmaker in 2015 in the general election which was held countrywide pursuant to Article 66(1)(a) of the Constitution.
However, he ceased to be the MP for Ndanda Constituency on February 15, 2020 when he defected from his sponsor party, Chadema, to CCM.
It is claimed that in May 2020, Mr Mwambe was seen via various mainstream media reporting back to the parliament following a summons by the Speaker to return to the parliament and resume his duties as MP.
The petitioner alleged that the Speaker of the National Assembly has no powers whatsoever to reinstate and recognize Mr Mwambe as the Member of Parliament while the latter has already swapped parties, hence losing his parliamentary seat as provided under Article 71(1) (e) of the Constitution.