Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara has defended the role he played during late president Bingu wa Mutharika regime to have the then vice president Cassim Chilumpha removed from his position.
Kasambara – who was also Attorney General – helped Mutharika to remove Chilumpha, including accepting his “constructive resignation” in early 2006 and withdrawing the VP’s security detail, vehicles and other perks of office.
Kasambara told Zodiak radio that he still stands to what he did to try get rid of Chilumpha.
“I still stand by what I did that time. Dr. Chilumpha was not doing his work; you cannot have a vice president who doesn’t attend cabinet meetings so there was nothing with what I did,” said Kasambara.
“ My conscious is clear on that. The only problem is that the courts did not further to finalize the case because we would have done with the problems affecting the President and their vice,” said the Justice Minister.
That move was blocked by the Supreme Court which ruled that the President cannot dismiss his deputy and government was forced to back down.
Chilumpha sought a court’s determination on whether or not the President had legal mandate to deduce that the Vice-President’s absence from Cabinet meetings meant he had resigned constructively.
The court held the opinion that the Constitution does not provide for constructive resignation of the President nor his vice and pointed out that it would be dangerous to imply that constructive resignation exists.
According to the determination of the court, the Vice-President, who is elected along with the President, can only be removed from office after being indicted and the process of impeachment is followed to remove him in Parliament.
Chilumpha was State Vice President in the first term of Mutharika from 2004 to 2009.
Now Energy Minister, Chilumpha and Mutharika were estranged since the late president pulled out of the United Democratic Front (UDF) party and launched his own Democratic Progressive Party while in power. Chilumpha chose to remain in the UDF until weeks ago when he joined President Joyce Banda’s People’s Party to become minister
He was arrested and charged with treason and conspiracy to commit murder, for an alleged plot to assassinate President Mutharika.
The treason case is still in court but there has been no willingness from new President Banda to continue with the matter which was viewed “politically motivated.”
Chilumpha told the same radio last weekend that he hold “no grudges against Honourable Kasambara. I am a practicing Muslim and we are taught never ever to keep grudges.”
Meanwhile, Kasambara told the radio he would want to have laws that can allow a President to fire or hire their vice.
“During elections people should be only electing a President and then the President should appoint his vice and be able to fire them if something goes wrong,” said the Justice Minister.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :