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Constitution Bill goes through

Filed under: Breaking News,Politics |

Constutition draft 1The Zambian Constitution Bill number 16 and Constitutional Amendment Bill number 17 of 2015 have passed Third Reading stage.


Members of parliament that supported the Zambian Constitution Bill number 16 garnered one Hundred and 11 votes against 37 votes of their counterparts who did not endorse the bill.


Meanwhile, Members of Parliament that endorsed the Constitutional Amendment Bill obtained one hundred and 10 votes against 35 votes.


Earlier the Constitutional Amendment Bill number 17 of 2015 went through committee stage, with amendments.


Among the outstanding amendments constituted the removal of the Clause that recommended the selection of a cabinet outside parliament.


Parliament also amended article 211 in the constitutional amendment bill to ensure passing of a national budget by a simple majority.


Members of parliament deliberated on the constitutional amendment bill 2015- at committee stage from Thursday until Friday morning.


Contributing to the debates this morning, Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula said Cabinet Ministers can only be accountable to the people if they are selected from members of parliament.


Dr Simbyakula also said most of the commonwealth countries have a traditional practice of picking a cabinet from Members of Parliament.


He cited Britain and India as examples of common wealth countries where a cabinet is selected from members of parliament.


But Monze Central Member of Parliament JACK MWIIMBU said the selection of a cabinet from outside parliament is workable and cited AMERICA as a reference.


The Constitutional Amendment Bill number 17 of 2015 seeks to amend non -contentious issues in the Republican Constitution such as 50 percent plus one Presidential Electoral Threshold and Vice-Presidential Running mate.


And President Lungu says the gesture by Members Parliament to support the constitutional bills that have passed third reading is a fulfillment of Peoples’ desires.


President Lungu says with the latest development the constitution has been substantially passed.


Speaking in an interview with ZNBC news on departure for Ndola at the Kenneth Kaunda International Airport, the Head of State said government will look at other issues that require correcting.


And Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo says the PF government has finally honored its promise of delivering a people driven constitution to the masses.


Mr. Kampyongo says the adoption of clauses such as the 50 plus 1 percent clause, running mate and dual citizenship is critical for the country’s good governance.


He has told ZNBC News that while the process faced a lot of challenges including doubts and suspicions on government and the President, the PF remained steadfast and engaged MPs from the opposition MMD and some from UPND as it does not meet the two-thirds majority votes required.


Mr. Kampyongo has since thanked the MMD MPs and leadership for having looked at the document beyond partisan lines.


He has also thanked the opposition UPND for having stayed throughout the night from 14hrs yesterday to almost 10hrs today when parliament adjourned.


The Minister says while the UPND was not in favour, their participation throughout the night is also a sign of being a part of the process.


And MMD National Secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima says his party is not ashamed to have supported the move taken by parliament contrary to what some people may think.


Mr Mbulakulima says the MMD has been consistent on the constitution making process.


He said the adoption of the 50 plus 1 percent clause will bring a totally different landscape to politics in the country.


Meanwhile, a Lusaka Clergyman Jevan Kamanga has hailed government for supporting the constitution making process to its logical conclusion.


Reverend Kamanga has also thanked MMD parliamentarians for supporting the process in Parliament.


He has appealed to citizens to remain calm as they await Presidential assent.


Parliament has since adjourned sine die – ZNBC


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