They are flabbergasted that the Constitutional Court decided to hear the case of the Bukanga Lonzo agro-industrial park while the Senate plenary, The supreme body of the upper house of parliament had already expressed its unfavourable opinion during the vote on 15 June last, rejecting the request for legal action against their colleague Matata Ponyo.
They also spoke out against the president of their chamber’s bureau, Modeste Bahati Lukwebo, whose disturbing silence borders on complicity with the Constitutional Court.
They are senators, dissatisfied with the legal proceedings launched against their colleague Matata Ponyo by the Constitutional Court in violation of the resolution of the plenary. They sent a memorandum to the President of the Constitutional Court.
This group of senators reminds the President of the Constitutional Court that the Senate, through its President, has recommended to the Attorney General, the negative action reserved for its request contained in Pleadings No. 1219/RMPI/0001/PG.C.CONST/MOP/2021 of 28 April 2021; No. 1419/RMPI/0001/PG.C.CONST/MOP/2021 of 12 May 2021 and No. 1429/RMPI/0001/PG.C.CONST/MOP/2021 of 15 May 2021.
« To this end, these senators note, the Plenary Assembly, which is the supreme body of the Senate, decided not to authorize the prosecution of the two senators, at the end of its vote issued on the same day of June 15, 2021 (46 senators IN FAVOUR, 49 senators AGAINST and a null ballot) ».
They say they are surprised to see the Constitutional Court overrule this decision of the Senate.
“As they return from their parliamentary recess from June 29 to September 15, 2021, it is with great astonishment and great concern that the senators have just learned (cf incidential motion of the Honourable Senator Berthold Ulungu of September 23, 2021) that Mr.Attorney General, Although notified by the Senate of this unequivocal decision of the plenary of June 15, 2021…, decided to ignore it, by initiating legal proceedings against the Honourable Senator Matata Ponyo Mapon in this case of Bukanga-Lonzo, to disregard the texts of laws and regulations of the Republic which itself in its capacity as the body of law, is supposed to respect and enforce, without violating them,” these senators protest.
Not content with this situation, they call the attention of the President of the Constitutional Court to Articles 107 and 207, respectively, paragraph 3 of the Constitution and the Rules of Procedure of the Senate. These clauses state that no senator may be prosecuted except with leave of the Senate.
“With this memorandum, we, the undersigned, intend to draw the attention of your Authority to the contempt for a decision of one of the institutions of our country, which not only risks devoting a retreat of our democracy, but also, and above all, to trample on the foundation of the rule of law proclaimed by our Constitution, which your authority is called upon to defend in order to consolidate the esteem of our institutions,” concluded this group of senators.