Wednesday, February 16, 2011
By George Chellah in Lusaka and Speedwell Mupuchi in Kitwe
Wed 16 Feb. 2011, 07:10 CAT
PRESIDENT Rupiah Banda has re-appointed deputy chief justice Ireen Mambilima as Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) chairperson. Well-placed sources at the National Assembly yesterday confirmed justice Mambilima’s appointment.
The sources disclosed that the Clerk of the National Assembly had even invited witnesses to testify before the Parliamentary Select Committee.
“Parliamentary Select Committee to scrutinise the Presidential appointments of Madam Justice Ireen Chirwa Mambilima to serve as chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia and Mr Alfred Kangwa Kaweza and Mr Davies Jose Mwanza to serve as Commissioners of the Commission for Investigations,” read the Clerk of the National Assembly’s letter in part.
“I am directed to inform you that His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia, Mr Rupiah Bwezani Banda has, subject to ratification by the National Assembly, made the following appointments; 1. In accordance with section 4(3) and (4) of the Electoral Commission of Zambia Act, Cap 17 of the Laws of Zambia, the President has appointed Madam Justice Ireen Chirwa Mambilima to serve as chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Zambia;
“2. In accordance with section 4(1) and (2) of the Commission for Investigations Act, Cap. 39 of the Laws of Zambia, the President has appointed Mr Alfred Kwanga Kaweza and Mr Davies Jose Mwanza to serve as Commissioners of the Commission for Investigations. In order to assist the committee in its scrutiny of the appointees, you are requested to furnish the Committee with background information on the suitability of the appointees to serve in the positions they have been proposed for appointment.”
And according to well placed sources who attended the meeting between President Banda and the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) on Saturday at State House, justice Mambilima had accepted the re-appointment as ECZ chairperson.
President Banda told the church leaders who sought to be addressed on the situation at ECZ that Chief Justice Ernest Sakala had also agreed to have justice Mambilima move to ECZ.
“He President Banda also said that Dan Kalale is not coming back, that ‘we’ve let him go but he will get his benefits’. They will bring back Mambilima because time is too short for a new person. Mambilima will have to run the commission for a year and that she has experience,” one of the sources said.
The source said the President informed CCZ leaders that judge Mambilima’s appointment awaited the resumption of Parliament sittings for ratification.
Justice Florence Mumba resigned as chairperson of ECZ at the height of controversy following the suspension of Dan Kalale as director.