First Draft constitution unveiled, Ministers to be appointed from outside parliament, Dual Citizenship included
The technical committee drafting the constitution has finally unveiled the long awaited first draft constitution. The committee has also launched the public consultation on the constitution making process and the website.
Speaking during the launch in Lusaka today, Committee Chairperson Justice Annel Silungwe urged Zambians to understand the document. Justice Silungwe said the technical committee has reviewed the reports of the previous constitution review commissions to identify and adopt provisions that are of value to the Zambian people.
He said the draft constitution has incorporated social, economic,cultural,religious and environmental right.
Some of the key point in the draft constitution is the enactment of the day of elections, which shall be the last Thursday of September after 5 years and the elction date shall be a public Holiday. The President shall be sworn in 14 days after the elections results have been declared
Minimum requirement of education for the post of the president is a Grade Twelve certificate or something equivalent. The 50+1 % is also included together with the role of a presidential running mate who will serve as a Vice President. In case of the death of the president, the Vice President will be sworn in as the President of the Republic.
The threshold of nominated members of Parliament has been increased to 21. The President shall appoint Ministers from persons who are not Members of Parliament.
A Minister shall only attend the sittings of the National Assembly where it is necessary for the performance of a particular function specified under this Constitution or any other law or when required to do so by the Speaker, and the Minister shall, while in attendance in the National Assembly, take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly but shall have no vote.
The draft constitution also aims to reduce by-elections which by using a proportional representational system where the party holds the seat in parliament. In case of a vacancy, a seat is re-allocated to the party’s next prefered candidate or the Electoral Commission shall submit to the Speaker the name of the candidate who received the next highest votes in that multi-party
constituency, from the ballot paper used in the previous election.
The draft constitution also provides for decentralisation of power from State organs. The management and administration of the affairs of the State shall be devolved from the national level to the local level while retaining, at the national level, the Executive authority, as provided for under this Constitution.
The basis for the devolution of State functions and responsibilities is to give powers of direct self-governance to the people living in the Provinces and districts of Zambia in order to enhance
their participation in the governance of the State and the making of decisions that affect them.
A citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country. A citizen who, before the commencement of this Constitution, acquired the citizenship of another country and, as a result, ceased to be a citizen shall be entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia to regain that citizenship.
There shall be established, in each Province, a provincial assembly. The Electoral Commission shall facilitate the election to a provincial assembly of representatives.Parliament shall enact legislation to provide for the procedure to be followed by a provincial assembly.
There shall be a provincial speaker and deputy provincial speaker for each provincial assembly both of whom shall be elected by the members of a provincial assembly from amongst themselves.
The declaration of Zambia as a Chritian nation has also been maintained in the Draft Constitution.
The Dual Citizenship clause has also been added to the Draft Constitution. A citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country. A citizen who, before the commencement of this Constitution, acquired the citizenship of another country and, as a result, ceased to be a citizen shall be entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia to regain
You can download the Full Draft Constitution Below