WINA DOES NOT QUALIFY TO HOLD OFFICE THE THIRD TIME – SANGW
HAVING held the office of Vice-President twice, Inonge Wina does not qualify to hold the office a third time.
This is according to Article 111 of the Constitution which prohibits a person who has twice held the office of Vice-President from being nominated as running mate.
Article 111(3) reads, “(3) A person who has twice held the office of Vice-President shall not be selected as a running mate”.
The same condition applies to the President.
Vice-President Wina first held office of Vice-President in January 2015 under President Edgar Lungu’s appointment and in September 2016 when she was elected Vice-President.
Last Sunday, Vice-President Wina announced that she is not available for nomination as running mate to President Lungu on account of age.
She said it was time to pass on the button.
But Constitutional lawyer John Sangwa said the Vice-President’s decision had nothing to do with age or passing the button but she was “not simply qualified”.
“The same conditions that apply to the President also apply to the Vice-President,” he said. “There is no button to pass, she is just not qualified. That’s it. Article 111(3) of the Constitution provides that; ‘a person who has twice held the office of Vice-President shall not be selected as a running mate’.”
Sangwa said age was not the real reason for Vice-President Wina’s decision because not too long ago she indicated that she was ready to run.
“But even if she was willing to go on, she couldn’t be named running mate because she already held office of Vice-President twice,” Sangwa said.
He said the qualifications for the office of the Vice-President were exactly the same to those that of the President.
“Even if Lungu wanted, even if someone else wanted to select her as a running mate, he or she couldn’t because she doesn’t qualify. It’s that simple. You have held the office of Vice-President twice, you are done,” Sangwa said.
Asked who is to disqualify someone from running, Sangwa said, “if you respect the law, you will say ‘I am not qualified’ but if one doesn’t respect the law he is going to insist that he is qualified and it’s up to the citizens to explore the options that available in the Constitution”.