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Thursday, July 2, 2020

Government to publish new constitution draft bill next week

Headlines Government to publish new constitution draft bill next week

Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula
Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula

Government has disclosed that the new constitution draft bill will be published next week.

Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula said the publication will include non-contentious issues.

Dr. Simbyakula, who is also Acting President and Acting Chief Government Spokesperson, revealed this to journalists at State House in Lusaka today when he gave an update of Cabinet resolutions.

Last week, Cabinet approved the introduction of the Referendum Amendment Bill of 2015 in Parliament to amend the Referendum Act of 1967 so as to bring it in conformity with the constitution on the eligibility criterion for voting in a national referendum.

Dr. Simbyakula said whereas the constitution requires 50 percent of all persons entitled to be registered as voters to vote in a referendum, the Referendum Act provides for persons registered as voters to vote in a referendum.

Meanwhile, Cabinet at its 11th meeting held at State House today approved the seventh National Development Plan for 2017 – 2021 because the current revised Sixth National Development Plan on which the development processes for government are based is coming to an end next year.

Dr. Simbyakula added that Cabinet also approved the Income Tax (Amendment) Bill 2015 which seeks to implement the proposed changes to the Mining Tax regime, the Mines and Minerals Development Bill of 2015 where mineral loyalty tax has been set at nine percent for open cast mining operations and six percent for underground mining operations.

The two Bills will be introduced in parliament during the next sitting.

Other pieces of legislation which Cabinet has approved are the Gold Trade (Repeal) Bill of 2015 which seeks to repeal the Gold Trade Act cap 396 in order to avoid duplicity to be dealt with in the revised Mines and Minerals Development Bill 2015.

Dr. Simbyakula further announced that other approved bills are the Local Authorities Superannuation Fund (Amendment) Bill 2015 and the National Pensions Scheme (Amendment) Bill 2015 that seek to increase the retirement age to 60 years and provide for early retirement at 55 and late retirement at 65 in line with government policy.

The two Bills will be introduced in parliament during the next sitting.

He also said Government has approved the signing of a Double Taxation Agreement between Zambia and Netherlands which seeks to prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income.

He said cabinet has also approved the revised Draft National Child Policy 2015 since the last review took place in 2006 and a number of issues have emerged that were negatively impacting on the welfare of children among them early and forced marriages, poverty, infant morbidity and mortality rate, juvenile delinquency as well as malnutrition.

And Dr. Simbyakula has announced the appointment of a seven member National Prosecutions Authority board to replace the previous board which was dissolved on 13th May, 2015.

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  1. Why is Simbyakula acting president when Inonge wina is in the country?Is she another Scout awe kwena this PF party bali pena.Fimashilu fyeka fyeka.We shall go through if they have removed any article we shall crucify them.We need to do justice for future generations to come.

  2. Awesome development! If the majority of the provisions in the current draft are adopted this would be a giant leap forward towards the positive and progressive transformation of this wonderful country. Things will never be the same again as the law will deliberately require GRZ to ensure equal opportunities are available to all Zambians. I’m holding my breath & praying hard for us to have the majority of the Constitution adopted this year without giving way to those who are ‘anti-progress’ for personal reasons and don’t even know that they are really fighting themselves by challenging this noble process that has started.
    God Bless Zambia

  3. You guys have to give this PF government a break. They just lost their founding father and RB an enemy of the state has somehow gone in their fold to cause problems for them which they never quite anticipated. With the RB baggage they are in deep waters give then chance to reorganise and shake off the RB demon.
    This is not a good place to be but there we are. The VP is busy with other national issues and she has just come back. I am sure she is operating. PF this PF that, you all just want power but you will not get it. PF needs twenty years under RB to find there feet. So tighten you belts and shu,t up.

  4. I think it is a good move that this African government is trying to respond as it were but it can be seen that it is with a lot of pain. What we need to do is to nurse this will from this government and see how far we can go. What to make sure is that all the important issues are presented to the parliametarians i.e 50 +1 percent, the running mate and also the elctroral code of conduct. For me I am not interested who wins the next elections but he/she should be elected and put into power on popular vote not just by mare majority and this is very crucual for us as a country. We can not afford to have a leader who marely leads the country on assumptions that he won the elections. There must be confidence in whoever wins to bring about changes required to make the country move forward.

  5. ZNBC reported that the Acting President Inonge Wina Chaired the Cabinet meeting. Certainly it is a mistake for Lusaka Times to report that The Justice Minister is also Acting President. Unless the Vice President is under the weather or unavailable, the constitution is clear on who remains as Acting President when the President is out of the country or indisposed. Can we be accurate when reporting otherwise we will lose credibility.

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