The National Constitution Convention has introduced a new provision under article 75 to create a caveat against unnecessary by-elections.

The new provision has been effected so that a member of Parliament who resigns shall be barred from re-contesting the seat or being appointed to any public office until the end of the life span of that parliament from which the member has resigned.

And the convention has amended clause (2) of article 75 providing for a mixed member proportional representation which is a mix of First-past-the post and proportional representation with 20 percent seats assigned to proportional representation instead of the Proportional Representation (PR) as stated in the draft constitution.

The convention has also adopted the 50+1 vote clause which provides that a winning candidate in a presidential election should receive not less than fifty percent plus one vote of the valid votes cast.

In adopting the clause, the delegates noted that the new electoral system will enhance the legitimacy of the elected president and reduce regionalism and further promote interparty dialogue in the case of a re-run.

Meanwhile, amidst high levels of unemployment in Zambia, the ongoing National Constitution Convention has resolved to retain the labour relations article in the First Draft Constitution that provides rights of citizens to employment and to fair labour practices.

According to both Kasempa MMD Member of Parliament Kabinga Pande and his counterpart UPND’s Request Muntanga of Kalomo , the clause will empower unemployed citizens to sue government for not providing them with employment which they said should be avoided by amending the clause.

The two parliamentarians contended that Governments world over are facing the challenge of unemployment and therefore proposed that the clause be amended to specify the type of employment the clause was referring to.

Mr. Muntanga who earlier succeeded in having the recommendations for amendment for article 64 which read that, ‘a person has a right to work ‘deleted to maintain what is provided in the draft explained that even clause (1) of article 65 has a similar meaning.

His proposal to have the article amended was only supported by his fellow MP Kainga Pande while the rest voted for the retention of the article.

ZANIS

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Long overdue! I cant imagine how much money has been wasted holding unnecessary countless bye-elections at the expense of service delivery.

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    • At last, imwe sure. Now these guys are beginning to be thinking. by the way, Nubian Princess, where are you my electronic darling?

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    • I think its a mistake in the sense that MPs will not be answerable to the people but their greedy leaders, think about chaps like HH and Mumba, they will demand 200% loyalty and unprintable stuff from their MPs while the same MPs wont be loyal to the people they intend to serve. What they should do is find a way in which the people will have more power than party leaders and that MPs will subsiquently be protected by the people from being expelled thus, there may be rebel MPs who will still serve under the same capacity but do not belong to any party.MPs must be independent thinkers and not robots.!!

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  2. YES!
    Finally. Twanaka nenwe ba kelenka, Too many unnecessary by elections caused by stupid politics of the fat bellies, Inshonkonono shafula, Nga mwapakama mula tulaba. No more

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  3. Now we’re talking. This is shaping up like the constitution I would have preferred we had along time before.

    Was glad to hear General Miyanda standing up in the Constitution making process and challenging the status quo. Long live Zambia

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  4. This must be very elaborated otherwise i see this clause infringing on my rights as a zambian. If i resign on policy matters why barr me to re-contesting? If the ideology or policy of my party back peddles….say the party and i believed in free education and along the line the party changes the policy…..i should just toll along with the party ‘new’ policy even tho i dont believe in it….if i’m principled, i’m suppose to freely de-associate with the said party and as a zambia i’m supposed to be free to re-contest not only in my former consituency but anywhere there may b a bye election. We seem to target an MP instead of the expensive bye elections. Evn if that person is barred, the bye elections wl stl take place nishi wat have we achieved..?

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    • @Scrutinizerer
      If u got ambitions of becoming an M.P, know one thing; We the masses are tired of putting your so-called “rights” ahead of ours. So, I suggest you do all your “ideological/policy differing with your party” before you go to parliament. In other words; “Scrutinize” before you contest. Otherwise, you & your party scru each other without the tax payer paying for your so called “rights”.
      It’s time to chase “those bald heads out of our town”

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    • By elections are at the cost of the rights of the majority bear in mind that every right infringes on another’s right e.g. press rights to free speech infringes on my right to privacy etc. Press freedom is more important. I think this is a good thing because it will protect democracy as-well ruling parties can no longer porch good leaders from other parties thus rendering other parties useless like the way the MMD is being destroyed

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    • This is an infringement on the freedom of choice by MPs. If the intention is to avoid costly bye elections, the convention should have recommended that MPs that cross the floor will not lose their seats. They can continue as independents or join another party of their choosing. Furthermore, a bye election will be held only if a seating MP dies or is declared mentally unable to perform his/her functions or on a successful petition in court. As the law is being proposed, party leaders will hold MPs hostage, intimidations and threats of expulsion will become an MPs nightmare if they don’t toll the party line and also petty jealous (our PhD mentality). Our MPs have to be loyal to party /cadreism) than the people and constitutency they represent. Its a bad law and must be reviewed.

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    • At list the causer will not be allowed to contest and that will stop selfish MPs from defecting anyhow.

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  5. I don`t like it.Maybe they should have done it the same former South african way where MP`s cross over the floor to another party without by-elections.Barring is not a good way to go.Some of us can defect on principle but still willing to serve the people in the same capacity as MP.

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    • Ba Zebige, MPs who cross over are just greedy. In may cases their defection is for self-preservation rather than a reflection of a change of mandate from their voters. Our MPs also do not stand for any particular ideology other than how they will personally benefit from the political process. Hence you have Gabriel Namulambe claiming that he had to defect because his constituents have never been in the opposition. The truth is he missed the VIP treatment he had gotten used to as a minister. By-elections also drain the country of important finances.

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  6. good as it may sound, it could infringe on the right of association. i think it needs further discussion on how best it should be implemented otherwise we risk having to amend our constitution soon!

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  7. no more sebana wikute syndrome lol!!!! no more joining ruling parties to eat. Sorry Daniel Mukombwe that was your last crossover. The next crossing will be death after Sata’s regime

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  8. @Scrutinizerer
    If u got ambitions of becoming an M.P, know one thing; We the masses are tired of putting your so-called “rights” ahead of ours. So, I suggest you do all your “ideological/policy differing with your party” before you go to parliament. In other words; “Scrutinize” before you contest. Otherwise, you & your party scru each other without the tax payer paying for your so called “rights”.
    It’s time to chase “those bald heads out of our town”

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  9. the three month altmatum for bye election must only b entertained if it is a court order or natural calamity like death..or incapacitated thru sickness. bye elections due to resignation or expulsion… must hold until next national budget is done to take into account the cost of all the bye election in this category. Minister for that province shuld stand in for that consitituency during that period after all councillors and the likes will still b there and are the engines of the consitituency. Im sure my idea can b seen, it just requires intellectuals to expound. the target here must be the expensive bye election not the MP…..

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  10. Way to go. I like the way zabige has put it. I only wish those handling these issues could look at that also.

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  11. @ LUFWI NYEMBA
    U missed my point bro…….if u fall out of parliament u become an ordinally citizen..a Zambian who must enjoy all the rights if u are not in prison. Scrutiny will hv bn done before joining the party but my concerned is if say as a party we agree that we wont entertain GAYIZM then later the party says let us accomodate GAYIZM….shuld i continue associating with that party with my different belief all in the name of maintaining my parliamentaly seat..? if u are tired of the same names the propose to restrict terms to three or four…….

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  12. Lufwi Nyemba,Scrutinizerer and Zebige i think putting your three ideas together could make things work i find that all three of you have valid points in different perspectives.What Scrutinizerer is saying is very important as much as we hate by election Principle is very important now we have to look at a way in which we can uphold principle, also a way to disciple MP’s who want to cross over without proper reasons by barring them or something.The SA way might be a way to go but may also have problems others might be job seekers, may be we could say that the MP can be allowed to cross over if he/she feels they principles are infringed and no bye election but the person should not be appointed minister in the party they cross over to till the next term of office, or appointment no salary.

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  13. IT IS DICTATORIAL.SUPPOSE MY PRESIDENT IS HIM/HERSELF SHOWING DICTATORIAL TENDACIES WAT DO U THINK I SHOULD DO?Y SHOULD I B PUNISHED 4 MY FREEDOM OF CONSCIENCE?BETTER NOT 2 VE A BYE ELECTION DAN U BARRING ME FROM HOLDING ANY P/OFFICE.WAT Z YO MOTIVE?

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  14. I don’t support this suggestion! It goes against the basic principle of democracy. Democracy is a governance option that costs money and it is against the basic tenets of Democracy (i.e. Freedom of association) to bar MP from exercising their basic right solely based on that by-elections are costly. Find a cheaper way of holding bye-elections. Say for e.g. the way Given Lubinda was being hounded in the PF and he couldn’t work with the party any longer and resigned to join UPND or went independent, why should he be bar from recontesting the Kabwata seat? If comments on this blog or ZWD are to go by Lubinda is still very popular in Kabwata and people still want him despite the fact that he would have resigned/defected from PF. Bottom line DEMOCRACY IS A COSTLY VENTURE deal with it!

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  15. If this proposal becomes law, we shall be promoting “HAKAINDEISM”. In case you just got off the bus HAKAINDEISM is the action of expelling MPs who chose to serve country and the people than a political party.

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  16. This clause is a double edged knife! On one hand it may reduce the unnecessary costs of by elections and on the other hand, it will be a weapon especially for radical and sadist politicians like hakainde to expell any Mp that may have a different view in their party! This is because such a person will not re contest the seat and therefore, we shall have a situation where MPs will be loyal to their political parties instead of the electorates! Whichever way you look at this clause, it has more disadvantages than advantages! For the time being, it will work on the percievd mischief but in the long ran, people will realise that it is infringing on their democratic rights!

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  17. I support this. Too many costly bye – elections. What has happened to the retirement clause? I expected to see it under employment. A few countries retirement age:

    South Africa – 65 years
    Malawi – 65 years
    Zimbabwe – 60 years
    Namibia – 65 years
    Zambia – 55 years

    I do not want to work up to that age but consider aligning it with other countries

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    • Awe naiwe, we must be unique. You retire with some strength left in you to go become director at your own farm.

      Ifyakukopakopa pa ZED. Meanwhile we have so much unemployment. The faster they go, the faster young ones get employed. Higher turnover in times of great unemployment is what I would recommend, except for rare and exceptional skilled people. Until such a time when we shall have unemployment rate at 2%. Then we can amend.

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  18. I think its a mistake in the sense that MP will not be answerable to the people but their leaders, think about chaps like HH and Mumba, they will demand 200% loyalty from their MPs while the same MPs wont be loyal to the people. What they should do is find a way in which the people will have more power than party leaders and that MPs will subsiquently be protected by the people from being expelled thus, there may be rebel MPs who will still serve under the same capacity but do not belong to any party.MPs must be independent thinkers and not robots.!!

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