The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has observed that Attorney General Musa Mwenye allegedly miss-directed himself in his recently rendered interpretation of the law when noted that former Defense Minister George Mpombo was acting president when then President Levy Patrick Mwanawasa died 2008.
In his interpretation of the law to clarify the decision by Cabinet to uphold the provisions of Article 38(2) of the constitution which allow the vice president to act as president whenever the office of president becomes vacant, Mr. Mwenye was reported to have reminded the nation that when late President Mwanawasa died, then Defense Minister Dr. Mpombo was acting President but that President Rupiah Banda who was then Vice President had to assume office in accordance with Article 38(2).
But in an interview with Qfm News YALI governance advisor Isaac Mwanza says while his organization has already agreed with Mr. Mwenye‘s interpretation of the law that vice President Dr. Guy Scott is the right person to act as president following the death of President Michael, YALI holds the position that it is not true Dr. Mpombo was acting president when Dr. Mwanawasa died.
He says his organization’s argument is based on the fact when Dr. Mwanawasa left for Egypt before his death he did not leave the instruments of power to Dr. Mpombo.
Mr. Mwanza says this is evidenced by Gazette Notice Number 307 of 2008 which he says clearly shows that from the 28th of June to the 2nd of July 2008 the late President Mwanawasa instead left power to his vice Mr. Banda.
He says this means that the current situation where President Michael Sata died abroad while Justice and Defense Minister Edgar Lungu was acting President is unique but that Article 38(2) of the constitution still applicable because a vacancy in the country’s presidency has been created.
The YALI governance advisor has however advised the Attorney General to always ensure that in future he should conduct wide consultation before rendering any such interpretation of the law to the nation.
He says this is because if continues to miss direct himself in the manner he has allegedly done with respect to his part of the argument in his recent interpretation of the law, he risks losing public confidence.