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The BBC's Ishbel Matheson
"The possible impeachment of Zambia's President raises the stakes even higher in an increasingly volatile atmosphere"
 real 28k

Thursday, 3 May, 2001, 18:22 GMT 19:22 UK
Chiluba faces impeachment moves
Lusaka demonstration on 21 April
President Chiluba's hopes for a third term have split the ruling party
Two members of Zambia's ruling party have filed a motion to impeach President Frederick Chiluba for alleged misconduct. The move was supported by more than a third of the parliament's legislators.

The ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) voted on Monday to nominate Mr Chiluba for a third term as president. But the Zambian constitution currently allows a leader to stand for only two terms.

The impeachment move follows Mr Chiluba's expulsion of Vice President Christon Tembo and eight cabinet ministers on Wednesday from the MMD for not supporting his re-election bid. The void would clear the way for Mr Chiluba to get his supporters elected.

The president has engaged in acts of gross misconduct by encouraging and rewarding acts of thuggery, gangsterism, and anarchy

Legislators' motion

MMD party members Ackson Sejani and Mike Mulongoti handed House Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa the motion, signed by more than a third of the 158 legislators, late on Thursday.

"The president has engaged in acts of gross misconduct by encouraging and rewarding acts of thuggery, gangsterism, and anarchy," the notice said.

Mob violence

On Monday the ruling party held a special session where they voted to allow Chiluba to secure a third term. But 300 party members did not attend the conference, citing intimidation and violence by pro-Chiluba youths that left one cabinet minister with a broken arm.

The legislators have given the house Speaker 21 days to respond to the motion.
Frederick Chiluba
Chiluba: Wants his supporters elected in by-elections

There was no immediate reaction from the presidency.

Mr Chiluba's opponents were granted a temporary court injunction on Tuesday preventing their expulsion from the party, and they say they will fight the sackings through the courts.

"We, the leaders who oppose the amendment of the constitution, will employ every legal means to stop the president from going for another term of office," Labour Minister Edith Nawakwi told a news conference.

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See also:

30 Apr 01 | Africa
Chiluba's next moves
21 Apr 01 | Africa
Ministers tell Chiluba: Time's up
17 Aug 00 | Africa
Zambia's stylish president
31 Jul 00 | Africa
Zambia: Eyes on the prize
10 Jan 01 | Country profiles
Country profile: Zambia
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