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Thursday, 25 November 2010

The Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill 2010

The Government has published the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill 2010 which will take forward the enactment of specific clauses which are not subject to the referendum. The public has 30 days to study and engage their parliamentarians before it makes it way into the House.  

The object of this Bill is to amend the Constitution of Zambia so as to—
  • (a) revise the Preamble to the Constitution in order to recognise the multiethnic and multi cultural character of Zambia, to honour and respect freedom fighters and ensure that all powers of the State are exercised for sustainable development
  • (b) provide for the right and duty of citizens to protect the Constitution and to compensation for punishment or loss arising from the defence of the Constitution;
  • (c) repeal and replace Part II in order to re-assert the status of Zambia and declare its sovereignty, national symbols and official languages;
  • (d) revise Part IV in order provide for the determination of election petitions by the Constitutional Court;
  • (e) repeal and replace Part V in order to revise the composition of the National Assembly, establish a proportional representation system and establish the Parliamentary Service Commission;
  • (f) repeal and replace Part VI in order to provide for the establishment of the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court and revise the jurisdiction of the superior courts;
  • (h) revise the provisions relating to national values, principles and objectives and the directive principles of State policy;
  • (i) revise the provisions relating to citizenship in order to permit dual citizenship and revise the modes of acquisition of Zambian citizenship;
  • (j) revise the provisions relating to local government in order to effect structures and principles of a decentralised system of government and provide for the determination of election petitions by a Local Government Elections Tribunal;
  • (k) establish the Political Parties’ Commission and Political Parties’ Fund;
  • (l) make provision for investigative commissions, establish the Gender Equality Commission and provide for the enactment of legislation for the establishment of a National Prosecution Authority;
  • (m) introduce provisions relating to a code of ethics and conduct for public officers and declaration of assets and liabilities;
  • (n) revise the provisions relating to public finance and budget, establish the National Treasury Account and the Compensation Fund and provide for the enactment of legislation on budgeting and planning;

This is the first of two bills to be published. The second one "The Constitution Bill" will be available tomorrow.  I encourage you to read these bills and provide comments on them. If we get enough comments and I have enough time, I may collate and forward them to the Clerk and associated players, like we have done in the past. I suspect that will be around early January (since I go on "blogging leave" next week).

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