THE transfer of the Road Development Agency (RDA) to State House by President Sata is illegal and unconstitutional and must be reversed in order to protect the office of the President from corruption allegations, says Former Works and Supply Minister Mike Mulongoti.
In an interview Mr. Mulongoti said that RDA was established through an act of parliament and President Sata’s action to move or detach it from the Ministry of Works and Supply was highly questionable, unconstitutional and illegal.He said that President Sata should have consulted his Minister of Justice Wynter Kabimba and Attorney General Mumba Malila before making such an illegal move because no procedure was followed to support his action.
“Unless the procedure is followed, the law does not support even people in power to circumvent statutes anyhow. RDA was established through an act of Parliament and the President knows the procedure to do with such institutions,” said Mr. Mulongoti who supported and campaigned for President Sata and the PF government during last years’ election.
Mr. Mulongoti reminded President Sata that procedure was important to avoid people and other institutions questioning the motives the suspension and subsequent establish the tribunal has been challenged in the courts of law.
He said it was lack of following procedure and consultation on matters dealing with the law that attracted public uproar.
“You saw what happened when they removed the Judges without following procedure; the people of Zambia questioned their decision. Their action was brought to question because the procedure was not followed. He acted illegally and they must also know that any decision made that infringes on the statutes surely they must be subjected to the procedures as stipulated by the law in order to benefit and support your action now and in the future,” said Mr. Mulongoti.
Mr. Mulongoti who is also a Lawyer said that there was no law that gave those in power absolute powers to disobey the constitution and other statutes, adding that it was a reason why some leaders in the former ruling party where today in trouble with the law.
He said President Sata should have consulted experienced people and technocrats in government before the move was taken to avoid illegalities and unconstitutionalism in his conduct.
Mr. Mulongoti wondered why President Sata had targeted the Road Development Agency (RDA) when there were a lot of similar concern in the procurement of fertilizer and oil.
“Speaking as a legal mind I don’t think that the law gives you powers to just wake up and create this and demolish that, there is procedure which must be followed always. And this RDA move to State House it is illegal because it is not supported by any statutes and it will create problems not only for the President himself but even other people. And by the way I do not see any reason why the President must target only RDA, how about the procurement of fertilizer, how about the procurement of oil so if he thinks he is the best person to attend to all these issues then let him take everything at State House but he should know that he is courting problems for himself,” said Mr. Mulongoti.
Mr. Mulongoti wondered who was going to stop any corrupt tenders awarded to contractors if the President was directly involved through State House, adding that the reason why it was decided to have RDA at the Minister of Works and Supply was to bring accountability in the management of public funds.
He said it would be difficult for the PF government to fight corruption in that sector because people entitled to audit government activities would not do so without any interference especially that President was directly involved.