Friday, March 18, 2011
By Ernest Chanda
Fri 18 Mar. 2011, 14:30 CAT
COLONEL Panji Kaunda says it is criminal to change laws in order to suit an individual and if Michael Sata wins they will ask him to bring back that law. Commenting on President Rupiah Banda's attempt to change the presidential emoluments Act so that he qualifies for gratuity, Col Panji said such a move should be rejected.
" If Sata wins we shall ask him to bring back that law," Col Panji said. "We shall take it back, no matter what. Law is law and you can't just change it to suit an individual.
That's a criminal act which should not be allowed in this country," Col Panji said.
"People have worked for 30 years and they are still waiting to get their pension benefits. And one person can't just jump the line and say they want gratuity; no, we shall not allow that."
Col Panji urged parliamentarians to reject the bill and maintain the status quo.
According to the Presidential Emoluments Amendment Bill presented to parliament on Tuesday by Vice-President George Kunda, President Banda wants to do away with the three-year specified period of service prescribed in the current Act.
Section 3 of the presidential emoluments Act 12 of 2005 states that: ...Provided that where a person who holds office of President ceases to hold office - (a) by reason of his death; or (b) when a new President assumes office after an election following the dissolution of Parliament before its full term; that person shall be deemed to have served as President for the specified period of three years for the purpose of this section."
But the proposed bill has overlooked the specified three-year period by remaining silent on the matter.
Section 3 (2) of the proposed bill states that: "Where a person who holds office of President ceases to hold office- (a) by reason of death; or (b) when a new President assumes office after an election following the dissolution of Parliament before its full term; that person shall be deemed to have served as President for the purpose of this section."
President Banda was sworn in on November 2, 2008 and is expected to clock three years in office on November 1, 2011.
However, elections are expected to be held before this date which disqualifies him from gratuity if the status quo stays.