Cabinet, at its 10th special meeting held at State House today, has approved the Constitution of Zambia 2015 Amendment Bill and the 2015 Constitution of Zambia Bill that seeks to increase the number of elected Members of National Assembly from 150 to 156.
Acting Chief Government Spokesperson, Ngosa Simbyakula, disclosed this at a press briefing when he gave an update.
“At the 10th Cabinet meeting held this morning, Cabinet considered 10 agenda items, among them the Referendum Amendment Bill of 2015, National Disaster Management Policy, National Youth Policy and the Financial and Monetary Affairs,” he said.
Dr Simbyakula, who is Justice Minister, said the increase of six constituencies is as a result of 30 newly created districts across the country, noting that some constituencies were belonging to more than one district.
He said the six constituencies would be in effect after the dissolution of Parliament and that there would be no by elections.
Dr Simbyakula explained that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) has been allowed to conduct the delimitation exercise and all the political parties were engaged and unanimously agreed to increase the number of constituencies.
He named some of the newly created districts as Kapoche and Sinda in Eastern Province, Nkeyema, Sioma and Sinjembela in Western Province, Ngabwe in Central, and Chirundu in Lusaka that were sharing constituencies with other districts hence the increase.
And Dr Simbyakula has further disclosed that Cabinet has approved the Referendum Amendment Bill of 2015, the Financial and Monetary Affairs which have allowed the contraction of a US$22,467,000 loan from the African Development Bank towards the implementation of the Lake Tanganyika Basin to help the quality of lives of the basin population.
Under this, there shall be contraction of a K175,310 million Asset Lease facility from Stanbic Bank Zambia Limited for the purchase of motor vehicles and other requisite equipment for government institutions to ease transport and logistical challenges.
The minister said Cabinet approved and revised the National Disaster Management Policy as a result of the emerging pro-active disaster risk and climate change issues.
Other approvals made by Cabinet are the National Resettlement Policy to protect resettlement schemes from illegal land allocation to create stable and sustainable human settlements, the National Youth Policy of 2015 to bring it in line with the African Youth Charter and other international statutes.
Under this policy, Cabinet has revised the definition of a youth from 15 to 35 from 18 to 35 years of age.
Dr Simbyakula said in order to actualise the National Youth Policy of 2015, Cabinet has approved the Action Plan for Youth Empowerment and Employment which strategises government’s vision of creating jobs and empowerment opportunities for the young people.
He added that Cabinet has approved the issuance of a Statutory Instrument to raise the minimum paid up share capital for insurance companies to enable them grow their capital base, develop by required to under-write mega risks.
The Acting Chief Government Spokesperson said Cabinet has introduced a Furniture Loan Scheme in order to reduce government expenditure on the procurement of VIP furniture at residential places for state’s Very Important Persons (VIPs).