PF Secretary General Davies Mwila making the party’s submission to the parliamentary select committee on the Constitutional Amendment Bill
PF Secretary General Davies Mwila making the party’s submission to the parliamentary select committee on the Constitutional Amendment Bill

SUBMISSION OF THE PATRIOTIC FRONT PARTY (PF) TO THE PARLIAMENTARY SELECT COMMITTEE ON THE CONSTITUTION OF ZAMBIA (AMENDMENT) BILL NO. 10 OF 2019

1.0. Introduction

This is the submission of the Patriotic Front Party (PF) to the Parliamentary Select Committee on the Constitution of Zambia
(Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019. The Party wishes to recommend the enactment of the proposed amendments to the Constitution of
Zambia as set out in the Bill, with variations, as set in our submissions hereunder.

1. Amendment No.2, 4 and 5

As Patriotic Front, however, we fully support Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation, we are alive to the fact that Zambia is a multi-religious society. Therefore, we submit that the words “multi religious” be retained.

Further, the proposal contained in Article 4 of the Amendment Bill to include the word “Christian” in the description of the Republic must be removed. We therefore submit that the Preamble, Article 4(3) and Article 8 of the Constitution must remain as they are.

The Bill of Rights still guarantees freedom of worship and conscience.

2. Amendment No.9

As Patriotic Front Party, we support the proposal to change the electoral system for election of Members of Parliament under Article 47(2) by the inclusion of a mixed member proportional representational system to include marginalised groups such as the disabled and women. This will foster greater inclusion and provide a platform for marginalized voices in our community to participate in Governance.

3. Amendment No.13

While we recognize the watchdog role that the legislature plays on the executive arm of government, we strongly believe that in a
democracy, the principal of separation of powers must be respected at all times.

The doctrine of separation of powers entails that a government is divided into three arms namely, the legislature, executive and the judiciary whose powers and responsibilities are separate and must not be conflicted.

It is therefore, our strong belief that giving the legislature authority to OVERSEE the performance of the executive functions is in fact against the fundamental principal of the doctrine of the separation of powers, which is a cornerstone of every democratic governance system.

According to the Collins dictionary, the word “oversee ‘means among other things supervise or control. The legislature has no mandate to control the executive, theirs is to provide checks and balances on the executive, and we wish to categorically state that offering “checks and balances” must not be confused with “overseeing” the functions of the government as these connote two different meanings.

We recommend therefore that the word, oversee, in article 63(2) be replaced with the words, “provide checks and balances”.

The new wording of this clause should therefore read as follows;

1. “63. (2) The National Assembly shall “provide checks and balances” in the performance of executive functions”

4. Amendment No. 30

The proposal to amend the system on voting of the President to include the possibility of forming of a coalition government is not supported. In that regard Articles 101 and 102 are to remain as they appear in the current Constitution. It is our firm belief that the President should draw his or her mandate directly from the majority of the people. Furthermore, the coalition governments world over have proven to be often unstable and chaotic, hence posing a serious risk to national unity and security.

5. Amendment No. 30

As a Party we support the proposal to amend Article 103 and in particular to increase the time for the hearing of a Presidential Election Petition from 14 to 30 days is supported. This will afford the parties ample time to present their respective cases. Equally, this will afford the courts adequate time to deal with the matters.

6. Amendment No.34 and 38

The Patriotic Front party is committed to a lean Government. Therefore, we do not support the proposals to amend Articles 112 and include a new Article 117A to create the office of Deputy Minister.

7. Amendment No. 37

The proposal to amend Article 116 by the inclusion of a new sub article 4 to entitle Ministers to continue holding office until a new Government is elected is supported. This will enable the Executive/Government to continue performing its functions without any lacuna or disruption.

8. Amendment No.43

The proposal to amend Article 127 by the inclusion of the Chief Justice as a member of the Constitutional Court is supported and by this the Party agrees that the two Courts should continue to exist as separate and independent Courts under the leadership of the Chief Justice.

9. Amendment No.66

The Patriotic Front Party proposes that the period in which a civil servant is required to cease being a civil servant before seeking election to political office be reduced from 2 years to 6 months. Therefore, the proposal to repeal Articles 69, 70, 71 and 72 are supported and by variation is supported.

CONCLUSION

I therefore, submit that the Bill has captured most of the submissions, which were directly made by all stakeholders as provided in the National Dialogue Forum Bill, and we therefore, recommend the enactment of the proposed amendments to the Constitution of Zambia as set out in the Bill, with variations as submitted.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. Quote :As Patriotic Front, however, we fully support Zambia’s declaration as a Christian nation, we are alive to the fact that Zambia is a multi-religious society. Therefore, we submit that the words “multi religious” be retained.

    Thought the Bible is categorical, you should be either be hot or cold and not lukewarm, why not just say we are secular state, how do you mix Christianity state and multi religious, what is multi religious? What if Voodooists pop up will you religious affairs ministry allow them to practice their belief or banish them and tell them we are a Christian, multi- religious state?

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    • Keep submitting Patriots.

      This exercise is not for babies, I unequivocally submit.

      Let’s fix this thing.

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    • This man was rejected in Parliament, what is he doing there? Mwila don’t get in parliament through the back door, you were rejected as MP, man! Mwila is a disgrace!

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  2. What is this foolishness? The Zambian constitution is not a party constitution but is a piece of legislation for and by every normal Zambian.Fellow countrymen & Women, here is an example and clear indication of a party that is intent at destroying everything to keep these clueless leaders in the front seat and only useless Zambians will entertain such, come 2020 moan how bad things are in Zambia. Be careful my people and see these vultures for what they are

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  3. You know what I what I would like to know, is who made the proposed amendments in Bill 10 that are now being rejected.
    I would like to see submissions from YALI and Ntewewe.

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  4. The PF Govt drafted Bill 10 and now the PF Party is making Submissions. Is the PF Govt not implementing PF Policies? This PF Govt is confused. In brief the PF Govt should just put this Bill to a Vote. PF know that they don’t have a 2/3 Majority Vote in Parliament. They are scheming on how to rig the 2/3 Majority Secret Voting and get the Bill passed by bribing some UPND MPs in Parliament. If PF fail to get the 2/3 Majority Vote thru a Secret Ballot then their devious scheme to rig the 2021 Election will be doomed. The writing is on the Wall.

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  5. I wonder why only perhaps few of the so called ammendment of bill 10 are mentioned leaving the most contentious ones such as removing retirees from pay roll until they get their benefits, government borrowing without paliament approval and many other retrogressive clauses. Then whose benefits will they be? If people are against?

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  6. Maybe am clear, is this the amendment bill tufya every day if so I haven’t anything wrong in it apart from point #7

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  7. “Sen. Blumenthal introduces Senate companion; Bills would remedy Supreme Court ruling, Restore consumers’ rights to justice through courts

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-GA) and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the FAIR Act: The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act, which would increase Americans’ rights to seek justice and accountability through the court system.

    The House bill — H.R. 1423 — would eliminate forced arbitration clauses in employment, consumer, and civil rights cases, and would allow consumers and workers to agree to arbitration after a dispute occurs. The House bill has 147 cosponsors. Sen. Blumenthal (D-CT) introduced the companion bill in the Senate, which has 34 cosponsors.”

    introduced by Democrats, 147 cosponsors across…

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  8. “Rep. Johnson announced the bill at a news conference on Capitol Hill with Sen. Blumenthal (CT), Judiciary Chairman Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY), Chairman of the House Antitrust Subcommittee Rep. David Cicilline (RI), Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor Rep. Bobby Scott (VA), Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL), former Fox News Anchor Gretchen Carlson, members of the American Association for Justice, Public Citizen and victims of arbitration rulings.” It’s not all about PF.

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  9. “There is a lot of use of the phrase ‘rigged system’ these days,” Sen. Blumenthal said. “One of the systems that is truly rigged against consumers, workers, and the American people is our current system of forced arbitration. Forced arbitration is unfair, unjust, and un-American. One of the fundamental principles of our American democracy is that everyone gets their day in court. Forced arbitration deprives Americans of that basic right. This kind of injustice has to end. The Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act is a measure whose time has come.”

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    • The Intention behind amendment Bill it’s goal, purpose, or intention It’s something you mean to do, whether you pull it off or not.
      The purpose lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure. The comment is best on the intention.

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  10. PF is of the right attitude. It is commendable. The willingness to engage is evident. However, there is no need to reinvent the wheel here. Basing arguments on Collins dictionary to define the word ‘oversee’ when Oxford and Cambridge also are readily available is a sign of lack of political will. In legal language, the term ‘oversee’ is acceptable to describe legislative function with regard to executive function. It would be scandalous for the legislature to account to the executive concerning legislature procedures and decisions. The legislature is only accountable to the judicature for the purpose interpreting the intention of legislators long gone or still living. The executive needs to eat a humble pie and implement Government programs in accordance with the intentions of the…

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    • The executive needs to eat a humble pie and implement Government programs in accordance with the intentions of the legislators (judicature) and also to the satisfaction of legislators. To cut a long story short, the professors of law must guide PF and not the other way round. Posting law professors in the USA would not solve constitutional problems. Rather, it would compound the problem. Take time to dismantle the exiting constitutional order. The argument that special interest groups were not represented under the existing constitutional order is ridiculous. There is nothing wrong with the current system of representation. Stop playing games with the existing constitutional order. Away with impunity. Down with hypocrisy.

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  11. We have seen and witnessed how power corrupt even the most patriotic people even the noble people. When PF was in its infancy with Michael and very few individuals, we the people who had known Michael as charismatic and loving individual we said this is going to be nasty and those who hate this man will have a field to character assassinate him and paint him in the most bizarre manner to the betting power that may. The reason I have pointed out above are Michael did not believe in enrich himself or thise close to him. He saw the beauty of God in those who are poor, bedridden, voiceless, handicapped and the marginalised as the people he can speak and fight for. This is where the PF manifesto emerged from.
    We saw people who worked with him left for coins of silver, chimumbwa, Edward…

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