The legality of the Office of the Vice President upon dissolution of National Assembly in Zambia: An appraisal

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Hanziba, Eric M.
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The Constitution aptly provides for the office of Vice-President with a condition that the Vice-President is appointed from amongst the members of National Assembly. Without this forum, the basis of having this office considered valid becomes questionable legally. The aim of this research was to evaluate the basis of legality of the office of the Vice-President upon dissolution of National Assembly in Zambia. This research primarily involved desk research. Firstly, the essay introduced the concept of rule of law and how it fits in constitutional observance especially in a democratic state such as Zambia. This research further considered in a comparative analysis how other jurisdictions have drafted their constitutions specifically provisions pertaining to the office of Vice-President in order to have them operate effectively without having their legitimacy questioned at anytime.Additionally, the case of Wynter Kabimba v Attorney General and Another was analysed and criticized for the contribution made to the Zambian jurisprudence and shortcomings it has stemming from the reasoning of the High Court. It was found that a plethora of case law on constitutional interpretation in Zambia have employed the literal rule of interpretation unless where an absurdity or ambiguity is apparent then the purposive approach has been applied. The research concluded that there is need to adhere to the principles of rule of law when interpreting the Constitution especially when applying the rules of statutory interpretation.The research further outlined some recommendations which can prevent the office of the Vice-President being interfered with by the courts in terms of its legality. These recommendations include; the amendment of the Article 45 of the Constitution by clearly spelling out that the office holder shall not hold any other public office, that the Vice-President shall be the running mate of the President in an election so as to have him elected by the electorate and that the courts should avoid applying other rules of statutory interpretation when construing the Constitution save where there is a grave danger in result that warrants their invocation.
Zambia. Office of the Vice President , Civil procedure