Sunday, May 19, 2024

President Lungu not sure about how Ministers to appoint, says new constitution is not clear


President Lungu with PF MPs
President Lungu with PF MPs

President Edgar Lungu has said that he does not know whether he is supposed to appoint 30 Ministers or 40 Ministers.

Speaking today when he held a caucus meeting with all the 80 Patriotic Front Members of Parliament at state house in Lusaka ahead of the commencement of the First session of the 12th National Assembly, President Lungu said some clauses of the constitution provides that only 30 Ministers can be appointed while other clauses provides otherwise hence the need for proper interpretation before making appointments.

He noted that the Constitutional Court still has a lot of work to do in order to interpret the constitution on the appointment of Cabinet and province Ministers.

“I don’t know how many of you have read they constitution, that document still remains challenging for many of us, for example I don’t know whether I am supposed to appoint 30 Ministers or 40 Ministers because in one part the constitution says there shall be provincial Ministers without specifying the number and that’s a stand-alone clause, ” he pointed out.

“The other clause says I can appoint up to 30 Ministers. I will interpret the law the way I understand it, of course with support from state house staff and the chambers of the attorney General, ” addede President Lungu.

“So you can help us as you go to parliament to fine tune some of these loose constitution provisions so that we can come up with a coherent document for an ordinary man on the street. But for me I understand the constitution that I can appoint up to thirty cabinet and provincial Ministers and cabinet is defined but I am luck that there is an overlap that I can invite people to cabinet so I will be inviting provincial Ministers to come and sit in cabinet with us,” he stated.

The head of state also disclosed that he is still studying the provision of the constitution on the appointment of Ministers.

And President Lungu urged the PF MPs to read and understand the Zambian constitution before going to parliament because the amended document has a number of new articles that need comprehension.

The President said the purpose of the caucus meeting was to ensure that PF MPs blend and interact before going to parliament.

The Head of State told PF MPs that the Zambian people who elected them expect their representatives to engage in exiting and intellectual debate on policy issues in parliament because all the elected law makers are holders of a minimum of grade 12 certificate with the ability to articulate issues.

The President told his MPs that the decision to appoint any member to a ministerial position is his preserve and urged them those that will be lucky to be appointed to ensure that they discharge the duties diligently.

President Lungu disclosed that he has received application from all the MPs for consideration into his cabinet but said no one is guaranteed to be appointed into cabinet because it is his preserve to appoint those that merit the appointment.

“The President decides who he wants to give the opportunity to be in the cabinet, it is his privilege. I have to make this very clear, no one has the right to insist that he or she has to be Minister. The president in his own discretion may call upon you but if you don’t want to serve, you can decline but those who will be called to serve please, do with the best of your ability.

He said MPs who want to come back in 2021 should work very hard and deliver to the electorate while those that want to retire after their tenure of office should ensure they deliver so that they retire with dignity.

The National Assemble has since announced that Parliament will on 23 September commence the first session of the twelfth National Assembly following the election of members of Parliament in the just ended general elections.

President Lungu with PF MPs
President Lungu with PF MPs
President Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina
President Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina
President Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina
President Lungu with Vice-President Inonge Wina
President Lungu with PF MPs
President Lungu with PF MPs


  1. The confusion regarding new constitution continues. These guys are behaving like they had outsourced foreigner lawyers to draft this constitution. Kaya che mwe.

    • We thought that most of the problems regarding ministers was inherited from MCS.
      But it seems we were wrong to expect a man who said he didn’t have a vision to provide clear leadership. At a time when government needs to cut expenditure he is not sure how many ministers to appoint? Why not have a small but effective cabinet. But again this is PF they know nothing about modesty how is that for someone they call humble?

    • It helps to have a plan. Less is preferable. It’s not like they do anything aside from run up bills and have civil service support teams exasperated by the deals. Tighten their belts first. Less perks. Airport waving, clapping and sitting at meetings looking like they can’t wait for lunch. Lol.

    • Zambians, Zambians, Zambians wait a minute. If you start praying for something and you keep on pushing God for that particular thing. God will grant it to you and if it is harmful you will face the consequences. A number of Commission of Inquiry, were set up and Zambians contributed to the contents of the current Constitution through these Commission of Inquiries instituted by different Presidents. The Civil Society and they general public at looked forward to the New Constitution. If it is got holes don’t blame ECL. All he did was to give you what you wanted. If it is harmful let us face the consequences and establish the way forward rather than blaming each other. Let us accept that as a country, we are not competent to draft our own constitution.

    • He said it himself, I will sign it with my eyes closed, What a Muppet we have for a president and he calls himself a lawyer. When the opposition voiced their concerns everyone said they a are bitter, look now the mess you have created. From 90 days to 5 years and still no people driven constitution, At time i tend to think that Zambians and Africans where just meant to forever live in the bush as bushmen, we have failed to do anything of our own.

    • This is so funny. Why didn’t he raise this concern with the meaning of the phrase, “within 14 days,” too? Because that’s another ambiguous clause, whose meaning is subject to debate and various interpretations. Besides, he signed to constitution into law and, him being a lawyer, didn’t take time to review it before he signed it? Maybe as many people had pointed out, instead of him going around the country, promising people that he’ll add another ministry, the ministry of religion, maybe he should have stepped aside as the constitution required, let the Speaker take over, then retreat to a library somewhere to study the constitution. But he didn’t want to do that, and instead begins to ask for game instructions when the game has already started. If that’s not a sign of…

    • Very normal to have confusions with a new document and besides its a living document. It provide the framework on which the rest of governance issues are built. As a living document you expect things to be added and others rendered irrelevant.

      This is the more reason the US Constitution has 27 amendments over its 230 plus years. It is good that each MP now has at least a G12 education that way they can all contribute effectively. I like what I see, we are moving in the right direction.

      Good luck, Mr. President ECL ~ Zambian Lincoln

    • I like Edgar he always say publicly that he don’t know what to do.
      But why not just 15 ministers, why 40 or more, just because of wrong constitution say so?

    • He wondering whether to appoint 30 -40 ministers…the lazy Bum Edgar knows nothing about cost saving…its just recklessness and wastefulness!!

    • But Bo Edgar. Ba Gen. Miyanda begged you to study that document carefully before signing it. You ignored him. Now you are telling us you don’t understand it. We trusted that you knew what you were doing. But alas..just appoint 10 effective ministers kanshi.

    • We Zambians who participated in drafting and reading of the Constitution are all incoherent.

      No need to kill ourselves, let us just continue working on the document to iron out the oversights.

    • The haters of Lungu like @Jay Jay and @Buck Teeth etc are at it already. I think by the end of 5 years they will be suffering from serious jaundice.
      I suggest they channel their energies elsewhere like studying for degrees and stop reading and writing on social media. They are just poisoning their systems the hate.
      Meanwhile God bless them.

    • @Arm Chair Critic, 5 years is too much time for Lungu to be alive then. Trust me God is not in it. He’s not a God of deceit and confusion.

    • This is entirely expected. The KanCourt had to tell Lungu that there are no Deputy Ministers in the new Constitution. Chakolwa and Simbyakula wrote that Constitution under heavy booze. Thankfully they tied their knickers into impossible twists and they shall not have the largesse of 50 Deputy Ministers as a way of trapping opposition MPs. God has a way of using leaders’ stoopidity to save his people.

  2. Thats the problem of copying and pasting parts of the constitutions from other countries in haste. It has way too many holes in it.

    • So your Edgar didn’t see that error too, before he pronounced a public holiday to sign the unedited constitution in fully packed disaster stadium?

    • @saulosi – this is typical of what Carter G woodson termed as the “miseducation of a Negro”. Our education serves us no purpose really. If anything, it compounds and complicates our lives. We have to free ourselves from this and redefine what education should me to us. If we go on, on this path, we will always be the tail that waits for wagging instructions to function.

    • Wipapa sana – We the people, wanted him to sign that document whether he liked it or not. It was not his call. He obliged to the demands of, we the people. Had he not assented to the new Constitution, we the people would have been up in arms demanding his neck. We the people, need to now accept that the people we entrusted with privilege of drafting such an important document did a poor job – and, we the people, need to hold all of them responsible as we polish up the mess.

  3. i like the way PF looks at things, they went round claiming they had given people a new constitution (although its an amended one) they knew it had many loop holes, now the President may be in a fix to increase the number of ministers when its clear its supposed to be 30. we also want him to address the issue of the refunds to treasury and that he should not appoint any member who is owing us. he should also guide us on what happens to those owing but were not re-elected. how are they going to refund us?

  4. Of course lungu will appoint all PF MP into the cabinet roles. 40 cabinet ministers plus deputy ministers = 80 which is the number of all PF ministers.

    Another bloated cabinet on the way to consume the little money Zambia has left.

    There is no way Lungu will leave out PF MPs.

    By Wanzelu

    • There is no deputy minister position? Watch this space. Lungu will create them. Do you really think he was being serious when he swore to uphold the Constitution?

      Lungu has defied the Constitution so many times already it is a worthless piece of toilet paper to him.

  5. This is normal as it is for any legal document. Because it is the first time we are implementing some clauses, it is possible to interpret it in different ways, but with time a precedent will be set and we will know what those clauses mean. For example, there will be no deputy ministers as the constitution just mentioned ministers. So there are are some things that explicitly mentioned, which means they carry more weight than things that will be implicit from interpretation. We also have the ConCourt, so those issues that will be contested can be determined by the ConCourt and then from there precedent set. So far so good.

    • That’s not the issue. The issue is him being a lawyer should have had time to review the document before signing it. Lawyers always insist and advise that never sign a document before studying what is in it. He clearly broke that law, especially as a lawyer by profession. Whichever way you would want to spin it, it stills comes of as a sign of incompetence. What else has he not read? What’s the guarantee that he has even studied and read his party’s own manifesto, or their vision for the country for this term? If what we see today is anything to go by, then there’s absolutely no guarantee. Leading the country should not be done through trial and error. A leader needs to know what he’s doing and appear so.


  6. Our President signed the constitution that was drafted by many stakeholders. Blame the people who drafted the constitution and those who were crying for it to be enacted.


    • Another PF lie. Chakolwa was clear that he wanted to drop controversial provisions from this PF Constitution. So there was no pressure to please anybody but PF. PF cannot now try and share responsibility for this nonsensical Constitution with the rest of Zambians.

  7. Someone help me reconcile constitutional provisions 103(1) and 104 (3). Article 104 (3) states as follows: Where an election petition is filed against the incumbent, under Article 103 (1) … [end of quote]. Note that the referenced Article 103(1) provides for the petitioning of the president-elect, not the incumbent as purported by Article 104(3). Isn’t this a cross(mismatched) reference? I have struggled to wrap my mind around this, and ironically, I seem to be in the same boat as our revered prof Ndulo (refer to Ndulo’s last article on LT), particularly as it relates to the incumbent handing over power to the speaker in the initial ballot. By the way, all previous law makers are to blame for zig-zaging provisions. They all went to sleep!

    • I sympathise. That’s the problem of a Constitution written up by drunkards who do not want to follow it after they sober up.

  8. I suggest a small cabinet, say 20 Ministers plus 10 provincial Ministers. Demonstrate that you will be cutting costs. Zambians are interested in an efficient government.

  9. i thought that the president read the amended constitution when he was signing at heroes stadium. Why is he in doubt? Maybe he should not have expressed his concern before consulting the Attorney General…
    Above all this entails there was poor critique by drafters of the amended constitution.
    Personally I have read the constitution and can say it not properly done.
    Zambians needs to be serious with the manner we make or unmake laws. Individual state in America have specific national law which address their particular need and federal laws supplement them . Hence the American constitution, where the Zambia seems to copy, is a much reliable documents and the election petition is sufficiently addressed .
    Truly, Zambians, proper governance is possible if we change our attitudes…

  10. Lungu in short is telling those PF MPS to bribe their way into cabinet, that is why he is emphasizing that it is only him and him alone has the preserve to appoint ministers as if they don’t know that.

  11. Awe Mama Inonge Wina ka dressing kachita over hmmmmmmmmn as if you are putting on wet salaula. Somebody is not doing his job to look after the Veep. Maybe its typical of the lozis with their poor dressing as they are used to putting on those Scottish uniforms meant for security guards kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk. Please remove your stress

    • @Popokongo, you are right. At 75+, MaWina should be sleeping up to 11:00 in time to sun herself before napping away in the afternoons. Instead, Chakolwa’s insecurity needed a harmless kuku to be his VP so that she does not stab him in the back.

  12. As our President has indicated, the people have shown trust and confidence in these MPs and what remains is to get started, WORK & NOTHING BUT WORK FOR THE PEOPLE. When you work and deliver to the electorates and it shows, you lay a firm and solid foundation for the next general elections and the same people will be the one doing the campaign for you.
    Am certain and confident that in the next 5 years President Lungu will transform Zambia but he needs all of us.
    What a beautiful country Zambia can be if only each one of us puts in what they can! This country can be paradise on earth believe me.

  13. To echo the President’s call to make Agriculture and Industrialisation as our cornerstone for a vibrant economy, the role of ZNS must be revisited so that they play a key role in opening feeder roads and maintaining them. What good is farming when you can’t access your farm because of poor feeder roads? I believe we can do this and produce Livestock and Horticultural products all year round with opened and accessible feeder roads.
    This is what has made the Western countries look better. Also, non performing contractors needs to be deregistered and contracts terminated in preference to serious ones especially on road infrastructure and urban modernisation. We have the opportunity and so let’s work.

    • It is true wee need a better road network, and a railnetwork in Zambia. Roads have never been maintained and hence the lack of proper transportation of goods across the country. Here you mention the western countries and development – Well unlike us the west have been putting a lot of money into the infrastructure for centuries. Zambia is a baby compared to the likes of Holland, Germany, England, Scotland which started developing in the 1200s. Zambia gained independence in 1964, but existed since the 1800s.
      Now then, this doesn’t meant that Zambia cannot develop at all – For a country to develop; it requires a good startegy, good governance, good laws and policies and regulations to develop working papers that can followed continiously – without this, there will always be corruption,…

  14. I don’t believe this ‘story!’ But these last few months and the election and referendum have PROVED how irrelevant a Constution is! Ask how it came to be that we changed the old constitution! Everyone was complaining about the old constitution! Finally came the changes, which had to be passed by Parliament because of disagreements. Then came to pass Bill of Rights which was screamed for, and the critics Opposition, mainly UPND, celebrated that the ref. failed!!

    Favourite sport is bringing the gov’t down. Now that the 50+1 has proven inconvenient, for opposition I suppose we may as we’ll throw it out, scrap it and start again! What’s wrong with Zambians? Just vying for control of OP!

  15. BANE,

  16. Cabinet of less than 30 including provincial ministers is logical given the small size of our GDP. Cabinet of 25 including provincial ministers can do. Its not prudent for now to have a cabinet of more than 25 ministers even if the constitution provided for 40 or 1,000. What is our GDP going to feed them? Just like family planning of minimising number of children in our families in hard times, ministers should multi-task like others. When the initial cabinet grows the GDP, then the number of ministers can be increased even to 50. Luxury bloated cabinet & staff goes with the bloated size of GDP & vice-versa. Though the decision to appoint any minister is president’s preserve, targets should be formulated & given to these ministers otherwise they will continue receiving gratuity, salaries,…

    • Though the decision to appoint any minister is president’s preserve, targets should be formulated & given to these ministers otherwise they will continue receiving gratuity, salaries, allowances for no work & its not their faulty. There is no law without teething problems in the world which fits every body’s needs. Others have tot cry until they fine tune their behaviour to suite the needs of the law.

  17. Mr president the constitution is clear on the number of ministers. It’s 30 kants altogether. I.e. cabinet and provincial ministers. Get the intellectual ones not the kants who will just be reading speeches. We need them kants who will provide maximum leadership and hard working.

  18. Lawyers a confused profession. Even the constitution was deliberately confused so that those in power can find loop holes to abuse it. So this thing given a good name as constituition should just be trashed and start drafting it all over again. The document is supposed to be a serious one. Manupulation tight. We can not rely on precedence. Things must be clear not relying of precedence.

    • @ Justice, well said my brother!

      We can not rely on precedence. If we rely on precedence all we will be doing is repeating the same old mistakes again and again. Zambia will never develop and we will be in this same sh*t forever.

      All these stup1d mistakes and contradictions must be taken out and the Constitution be made to be crystal clear.

      But we now have the same bunch of clowns in charge that passed and signed this piece of garbage into law in the first place, and EVEN THEY DON’T UNDERSTAND IT THEMSELVES!

      So maybe after 2021 Zambians might get a real Constitutionthat PF promised in 90 days!

    • If the constitution of Zambia was a computer program controlling the launch of nuclear weapons, Zambia would be on fire. And I think its on fire, the program has crashed.

  19. BANE

    • You can only be surrounded by people of a like mind you cant appoint people beyond your understanding,as the saying goes, true character of the person is seen thru the company he keeps.
      We missed the opportunity to test and better the constitution by avoiding the concourt.Small scared thieving little twits

  20. It is laughable the President doesnt even know how many provincial ministers to appoint. 10 provinces…dah! Maybe he wants to add provincial ministers for youth, prov minister for party organisation.
    Why does this guy want to always find loopholes? Things are straight foward. You accented to what you dont understand. Gen Miyanda warned you not to si

    • Actually that is the only way Lungu will continue having Deputy Ministers – by appointing Provincial Ministers for non-Provincial activities. E. G. Provincial Minister for Mines or Agriculture or Defence.

  21. This some kind of unfunny joke. There is a country to run! Didn’t they read the constitution that they passed and he himself signed?

    What is going on in this country kanshi? Did he sign the document with his eyes closed? Oops, he did.

    Anyway, we are in reverse, right?

  22. Please PF why you recycled this woman as VP we have alot of potential women like DORA not this one awe OLD UGLY WEAK SPENT FORCE WIDOW ETC Me i will never welcome her in FRANCE my white wife will not stand her sight

    • Wina represents a spineless unambitious VP who will not stab Chakolwa in the back. Everybody remembers how Nervous Mumba was acting like the real President everytime Mwanawasa went abroad. Chakolwa does not want an enemy behind the throne.

    • Maybe because the so-called beautiful lady atunda pa bed according to x-hubby. You don’t want a scandal like that in a Paris hotel, do you?Besides the topic is about somebody who now can’t interopret the constitution after he himself signed it into law.

  23. Ba Lungu, ala mwilafisakamana ifyo ifyama constitution; just do what you did with the elections and petition. You are the Zambian Constitution boss! Do as you wish and all will be done accordingly. Ifintu ni Lungu! You and your PF are the gods and laws of Zambia. Just say it or sontapo, then it will be as your humble lordship wishes. Salute kanabesa!

  24. Lungu should have even uttered those words, it is embarrassing that he equally does not understand the document he assented. There is just too much mediocrity going with these politicians. He should know how many ministries there are and how many provinces the country has. I hope we do not end up with 40 useless ministries just to please his cronies. Good luck mr president!

  25. When lungu says he will interpreted the consitution the way he understands it he means he is going to rule in grey areas boardering on criminality.
    Like when he used illigal ministers to campain for him.

  26. The problem Lungu has is he owes a lot of people favours. There are no deputy ministers in this constitution. So he is looking for loopholes to enable to appoint more people. He was the one who was cherry picking clauses to suit himself.

  27. “And President Lungu urged the PF MPs to read and understand the Zambian constitution before going to parliament because the amended document has a number of new articles that need comprehension.”
    Really laughable…let the myopia and confusion begin…there he telling empty tins to read it; when him a lawyer can interpret a single sentence.

    • @Jay Jay and @Buck Teeth etc are at it already with their vicious hatred for Lungu. By the end of 5 years they will be suffering from serious jaundice. I suggest you channel your hatred through studies and stop writing to the social media which is poisonous.
      Meanwhile God bless you.

  28. Oh, boy. This is what you have for a president? Sure, backward countries bring forth backward “presidents”. Mr. Lungu is really lost. I feel like crying for him. And Iam so ashamed. So sad to be a Zambian at this time under a clearly incompentent “lawyer”. Was he really a lawyer? Show me his professor please, and thank you.

  29. Why the h.e.l.l should a poor country like Zambia have 30 Ministers let alone 40 Ministers? That is too much, start saving and not wasting payer tax money. Take an example of quality of constitution, so can easily interprete that for many of those ministers will not be of high caliber.

    • These ” MINISTERS” Lungu has chosen are a perfect example of how mediocre this Government already is!

      These appointments are simply rewards for loyalty to him during the campaign. They are definitely not based on MERIT!

      Expect another five years of incompetence and full scale corruption.

  30. The President signed the Constitution without reading or analysing it. And I suspect many in his government are just as lazy. Indeed the Constitution is unclear. But he should have known this before the opulent signing ceremony that took place at the Heroes stadium. Firstly, the Constitution states that he may appoint a ‘prescribed’ number of ministers. Where is that number stated? Secondly, unlike the previous Constitution, this one does not provide for deputy ministers (as if they were needed, anyway)
    But here is the legal crunch that may help this ever clueless government. The executive powers are vested in the President. Cabinet minister only assist him in exercising the same. In short, he doesn’t have to appoint ministers in every position. He can exercise the said powers himself…

  31. … (some of which were recommended for ‘clipping’ in this last Constitutional review) So he need not dwell on numbers but how many he thinks need to assist him in the execution of his executive functions. He could be minister of justice if he choose to. Unless someone points to this ‘prescribed’ number, I don’t see that there is an obligation to appoint 30, 40 or whatever number (waste of resources anyway)
    Thirdly, it is yet to be interpreted whether deputy ministers can be appointed in the guise of ‘other persons to help in some executive functions’ (in the absence of an express clause) Previously, deputy ministers were clearly not part of the cabinet or their meetings – until recently when Lungu purported to make them attend the meetings, not clear in what capacity. The same…

  32. ….Constitution you ignore for your convenience or choose not to study for ambiguities when you have the chance, may come to ‘bite you’ in other circumstances.

  33. The new consititution was crafted under Mwanawasa. I also want to know about the president ‘s two terms. Does it two x 5 years or simply two regardless whether the guy ‘s first term was like in Edgar ‘s case only one year? The process took a lot of years and a lot of meetings, but it appears the wish to bar Mr Sata took precedence ahead of clarify and accuracy.

  34. That’s why the Attorney General is there, let him interpret it for him correctly. Failing to understand the document that he signed at a huge cost!!! Ndipo tlilmuchibe!!

  35. Ba UPND cadres, it’s good that you have finally come to terms with ECL as President of the Republic of Zambia, the whole republic. This is what I gather from your comments. So now you are practising your role as opposition right?
    As for the constitution, your comments are welcome as Zambian citizens under one President and One Republic. However, if you have nothing constructive to say, seleni tubombeko, we shall perfect the constitution with or without UPND.

    • Whether Edgar Lungu was fraudulently elected or not he’s the President of Zambia. If he really stole that election only time and destiny will catch up with him and his close relations. For now let him exercise and enjoy his power to the fullest.

  36. On the issue of provincial ministers, I suggest that it should read “There shall be a provincial minister for each province of Zambia” rather than just saying “there shall be provincial ministers”. For normal people we can understand this and its logic to mean one, but where there is UPND you need to make it very clear, Grade Seven-clear actually. Look at the mess of their interpretation of a straight forward clause of 14 days. To me that is okay, just add “determine” to “hearing” but dont change tge 14 days, we dont want jokers on these matters but serious people who can present a petition and evidence within 7 days.

  37. You steal elections with 80 MPs in a 156MP Parliament? who else got higher then? Did UPND expect to rule without Parliament? You get 50 and you shout WIN WIN! like in compound football sure? Imwe, ata nikukonda State House Bwana!

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