Zambian opposition plans to impeach Banda

Zambian opposition parties on Thursday announced plans to impeach President Rupiah Banda for violation of the Constitution during his time as acting president last year.

The Patriotic Front (PF) and the United Party for National Development (UPND) did not disclose exactly what violations they allege took place after the late president Levy Mwanawasa fell ill, when Banda was acting president.

“These breaches cover the period from August 2008 when Mr Banda was acting as president of Zambia following the demise of Levy Mwanawasa in Paris to date,” PF chairperson Wynter Kabimba said in a letter addressed to the speaker of Parliament.

The two parties last month formed a coalition in a bid to unseat Banda. They said they plan to present the impeachment motion within 14 days.

Government spokesperson Ronnie Shikapwasha said that the ruling party was ready to defend Banda.

“We are not intimidated by their baseless plans to move the motion. We shall defend ourselves,” Shikapwasha said.

The ruling party Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) chief whip, Vernon Mwaanga, said the opposition would need support from 50 of Parliament’s 150 members to bring the impeachment motion in Parliament.

Taken together, the two parties hold 63 seats.—Sapa-AFP

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