THE Constitution Amendment Bill has been published and contains non-contentious clauses such as the majoritarian system of electing the President as well as a mixed member proportional representation system of electing members of Parliament.
The Constitution Amendment Bill has proposed the revision of the provisions relating to the executive in order to provide for the election of the Vice-President as a running-mate to the presidential candidate in a presidential election and has proposed the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.
According to the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, 2015 obtained by the Daily Nation, the rights and obligations of political parties and the establishment and management of the Political Parties Fund are set out.
The amendment Bill is also seeking to provide for defence and national security and to re-name the Zambia Police Force as the Zambia Police Service while the Prisons Service would be re-named as the Zambia Correctional Service.
The Bill is also seeking to revise the preamble of the Constitution in order to recognize the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural character of Zambia and to honour and recognize freedom fighters and ensure that all powers of the State were exercised in common interest.
It has been proposed that the provisions relating to citizenship should be revised so as to permit dual citizenship as well as provide modes of acquiring Zambian citizenship.
The provision relating to the judiciary would also be revised in order to provide for the establishment of the Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court which would see the jurisdiction of the superior courts revised.
The Bill has proposed the establishment of Provincial Assemblies with their functions, composition and procedure having been proposed.
“The objective of the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill 2015 is to amend the Constitution of Zambia so as to revise the preamble of the Constitution in order to recognize the multi-ethnic and multi-cultural character of Zambia, to honour and recognize freedom fighters and ensure that all powers of the State are exercised in common interest.
Provide for representation of the people through a majoritarian electoral system of electing the President of the Republic and a mixed member proportional representation system of electing members of Parliament.
Revise the [provisions relating to the Executive in order to, among other matters, provide for the election of the Vice-President of the Republic as a running mate to the presidential candidate in a presidential election and the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries,” the Bill reads in part.
The Constitution Amendment Bill is also proposing the revision of the provisions relating to local government in order to establish structures and principles of a devolved system of government and provide for the determination of election petitions by ad hoc local government elections tribunals.
It has been proposed that the status of Zambia as a sovereign Republic and the declaration of its national symbols and official languages should be re-asserted in the new Constitution.
The Bill has proposed the revision of the provisions relating to public finance and budget so as to establish the National Treasury Account and the Compensation Fund.
The Bill provides for the right and duty of citizens to protect the Constitution and compensation for punishment or loss arising from the defence of the Constitution.