THE National Constitutional Conference (NCC) on Wednesday unanimously rejected a clause that sought to make acquisition of a Zambian passport a right to every citizen.
The commissioners agreed that making acquisition of a passport every citizen’s right might put the security of the nation at risk.
Article 63 clause 4 of the Mun’gomba draft constitution and the recommendations of the human rights committee state that every citizen has a right to a passport.
Contributing to the debate, commissioner Ronnie Shikapwasha said the clause can be a danger to the country.
Lieutenant General Shikapwasha said acquisition of passports should be controlled.
He said a passport is an important document that can tarnish or build the image of the nation.
“Citizens use Zambian passports to represent the image of Zambia when they travel abroad,” Lt. Gen Shikapwasha said.
Commissioner Peter Machungwa said although freedom to have a national document such as a passport is important, there is need for Government to regulate it.
Dr Machungwa said the State should have powers to ensure that the document is not given to people with ill motives.
“Most of the people who have been arrested for drug trafficking in other countries are not Zambians, but they masquerade as Zambians by obtaining passports,” Dr Machungwa said.
He said it is important for commissioners to maintain articles that have worked well for the country, adding that not everything that is in the current constitution is bad.
Commissioner Robby Chizyuka said adopting the article is a danger to the security of the country.
Major Chizyuka urged delegates not to entertain articles that will bring anarchy and deter national development.
Commissioner Sally Chiwama said it is cardinal that issuance of passports is regulated.
[Zambia Daily Mail]