State starts Constitution amendments

 

A process to amend the 2016 Constitution of Zambia has started to deal with lacunas following a resolution by Parliament to have some articles amended.

Justice Minister Given Lubinda told the Daily Nation on Saturday that he has written to all the ministries, government departments and agencies, and political parties with parliamentary representation for their contribution.

“I can inform the nation through you that I have already written to various government ministries and agencies and I have also written to political parties to seek their views on whether they have also experienced any lacunas or they have experienced any challenges of misinterpretation of any article in the Constitution and if they have, they will need to submit them to the Ministry of Justice,” Mr Lubinda said.

He clarified that the Member of Parliament who called for the amendment would cause for the publication of proposed articles to be amended in the government gazette and that 30 days’ notice shall be given before the question was put in Parliament.

Mr Lubinda said the 30 days would be the window period that was provided for any citizens or any organisation, NGO, private sector, media, churches, associations, unions to engage Parliament on the proposed amendments.

“The question that ought to be answered is whether or not there are articles in the Constitution which are problematic with regard to interpretation, whether there are any articles in the Constitution which are inconsistent, whether there are any articles in the Constitution which may have been overtaken by events in the country,” Mr Lubinda said.

“Those are the questions that anyone must ask as they look at whether or not there is need to amend the Constitution.”

He said listening to the debates that took place in Parliament, one gets to the conclusion that indeed there could be articles in the Constitution that might require looking at again.

“I made it very clear that the Government was in agreement with Parliament that there may be articles that require a fresh look and because of that the Government did not hinder the process. Instead, the Government will facilitate and encourage the process,” Mr Lubinda said.

 

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