THE National Constitutional Conference legislative committee has proposed to increase seats for members of Parliament from 150 to 250.
The proposals were made during the committee’s sitting at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
MMD Chief Whip Vernon Mwaanga submitted to committee chairperson Mutale Nalumango that 200 should be elected MPs, 40 from interest groups and 10 should be nominated.
“When making this Constitution, we should be futuristic. Ten years from now Zambia’s population will not be the same, so, we should look at increasing the number of seats for MPs,” Mr Mwaanga said
He said having such a number of legislators would help to represent people adequately.
Supporting the submission, Malole Independent MP Emmanuel Munaile said some Constituencies were too vast and that increasing the number of Parliamentary seats would benefit Zambians.
“Some of our Constituencies are too vast to be covered by one MP. So, the proposed 250 seats is a welcome move,” Mr Munaile said.
Several committee members supported the proposal except four committee members who argued that increasing the number of seats would be costly.
Former UPND Luena MP Chrispine Sibetta argued that having 250 MPs would be a drain on the country’s resources and that Parliament chambers had no capacity to accommodate such a number.
After committee members failed to reach a consensus, Ms Nalumango subjected the proposal to a vote following which 31 committee members voted for the number of seats to be increased with four members voting against.
Under the current Constitution, the President has powers to nominate 8 MPs.
Zambia Daily Mail