Following the approval of Parliament on October 1, 2015 of His Excellency the President’s proposal to abolish some old and establish some new Ministries, we are of the view that President Lungu has not yet created new Ministries and the status quo, in terms of the ministerial establishment, remains in place until the President invokes his powers to abolish and establish new Ministries.
After a thorough examination of this matter with our well informed members and other citizens, YALI has come to the conclusion that Ministers in the so-called split Ministries will continue to perform their duties under the same Ministries to which they were appointed and not in any of the new or “re-aligned” or “split” Ministries.
It is clear to us that:
1. the Executive through the presidency has decided to make changes to the functions of ministries,
2. that decision was taken to parliament for approval
3. Parliament has given its approval for the President to implement his executive decision to abolish and establish new Ministries.
4. Now, there remains the need for the President to finally abolish the old Ministries and establish new ones in line with the approval received from Parliament, which should include the process to be adopted by the executive and the date(s) when such changes shall take effect.
5. When the President finally invokes his powers in Article 44 (2)(e), all the Ministers in affected Ministries will have to be re-appointed, in order for them to continue serving as Ministers if indeed the President wishes to have them continue to serve as such.
Having examined the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia, especially Articles 44 (2)(e) and 61 (1), it is our view that the Zambian Constitution only grants power to the President to dissolve and establish new Ministries and the use of terms such as splitting or re-alignment of Ministries, needs to be subjected to constitutional debate on whether the President has legal powers to split Ministries, in the real sense.
Of course, the continued reference to old Ministries as shown by the Order Paper in Parliament today though undesirable, is understandable in view of the infancy of the changes. The nomeclanture should be corrected soon by the President.
We want to also encourage the President to merge the Ministry of Broadcasting with the Ministry of Communications, as is the practice in most countries, because having Information and Broadcasting as a stand-alone Ministry in this regard, amounts to duplication. The proposed Ministry of Communications and Broadcasting would help to synchronise the work around the same field.
Young African Leaders Initiative ( YALI )