“Presidential immunity clause must be removed”

Filed under: Latest News,Politics |

File: Rupiah Banda and Edgar Lungu arrives for a press conference

A None Governmental Organisation has called for the removal of the presidential immunity clause from the republican constitution.

GEARS says doing so will promote transparency.

Zambia became the first country in Commonwealth since it was constituted to lift its former president’s immunity Frederick Chiluba in 2002 following a serious graft fight instituted by then President Levy Mwanawasa.

GEARS sounded the call in a press release below to Zambian Eye.

The immunity clauses in the republican Constitution and other National Laws must be scrapped off to promote transparency and accountability in the management and administration of public, national, private and religious affairs and further promote responsible leadership in the country.


For years now, the immunity clauses existing in our laws have acted as temporary vaccines against the pursuit of transparency and accountability on duty bearers in their discharge of national, private and religious affairs resulting in high incidents of corruption, abuse of public and private resources and facilities without being held to account.


Inversely, when time comes to account after their immunities are lifted, the money and time spent to pursue the culprits become colossal and the time passage acts as ventilations for the culprits to stash evidence from those who pursue them.


Consequently, the exercise of pursuing these suspected culprits becomes expensive and time consuming to the nation without or with very little success as was the case in the post immunity legal cases against the former presidents, Fredrick J. T Chiluba and Rupiah Bwezani Banda.


It is therefore, imperative to note that such expenditure on time and money could have been avoided if the immunity clause was not there in the first place as these presidents and other duty bearers would have been made to account during their tenure of office and live a quiet and honorable life thereafter.


It is GEARS Initiative’s hope that this demand will not face resistant because all innocents will have nothing to fear with the calls to have the immunity clause removed but only the corrupt and guilty and those who aspire to be leaders to engage in corruption and other maladministration would want to defend the continued existence of such laws in Zambia, a country faced with high levels of grand corruption and abuses suspectedly being committed by those protected by Immunity [vaccine].


To this end, GEARS Initiative joins other progressive forces in the country in demanding for the removal of the immunity clause [vaccine] from the republican Constitution and other National Laws to enhance and promote a transparent and accountable governance and democratic process.


In this regard, GEARS Initiative will partner with other likeminded organizations in taking advantage of the ongoing “Constitutional Refinement Process” to heighten its advocacy on the campaign dubbed “Immunity clause must go” to ensure that the proposed refined Constitution does not contain immunity clause [vaccine] again.


McDonald Chipenzi

Executive Director

Above is a story by Al Jazeera covered in 2002 when President Chiluba was arrested after his immunity was lifted so he could be dragged to court for allegedly theft of millions of public funds.


12 Responses to “Presidential immunity clause must be removed”

  1. Now this man is losing it. For your own information this the standard practice everywhere. The office has to be shielded from people like you who have nothing to offer apart from partisan agendas or comments with a partisan tone that simply divides instead of building the nation.

    February 7, 2018 at 7:28 pm

    • We will remove the clause and make sure bakoswe dance to the corruption

      Ken miti
      February 7, 2018 at 9:43 pm

  2. Scrap it off, no use.

    John chabe
    February 8, 2018 at 6:06 am

  3. The problem here is dat upnd thniks it will never be in power so the removal wil never affect its president. This is nt only shallow reasoning bt also myiopic thinkng and lack of fore-sight.

    February 8, 2018 at 6:57 am

  4. This Chipenzi character is a foolish man. Does he understand governance and what the immunity clause is intended to do? There are a lot of hard decisions that a President has to make in the interest of the nation without fear or favor. In the absence of immunity every President will have millions of cases in Court after leaving Office. So, do you expect in this situation and office holder can work?

    February 8, 2018 at 11:09 am

    • Does that include allegations of corruption because there are a lot of such in Zambia. Coming even from people who worked with the presidency so should we keep quite about it. From where I’m sitting corruption is never done in the interest of the rebulic but at an individual basis. The question is what is the way forward?

      February 10, 2018 at 7:34 am

  5. Leaders are elected to lead not steal from the people who elected them, this clause is not progressive.

    February 8, 2018 at 2:43 pm

  6. Those that have occupied the office of president have abused the clause. So there is enough evidence for scrapping it out.

    Colonel Uso
    February 8, 2018 at 4:03 pm

  7. South Africa has no immunity from prosecution clause. The country is richer than Zambia by far. What decision can a Zambian President make that is more important than decisions make by South African President?

    The 13th Disciple
    February 9, 2018 at 9:09 am

  8. It will heighten discipline of office bearers and send culprits to Jail before things get out of hand. Opposition and ruling MPs must propel/ pass this piece of legislation immediately parliament opens.

    February 9, 2018 at 2:49 pm

  9. If the clause remains standing,how do we make leaders accountable for their actions; before the country completely loses out as what happened in the past as referred to in the proposal above. I honestly feel that a leader should not be immune to things like accountability more so on corruption. This nation needs correct measures to redeem the Republic.

    February 10, 2018 at 7:26 am

  10. You are just wasting your time Mr self imposed “electoral expert”presidential immunity is here to stay,however,we are bringing a bill to stop from perpetually standing for presidency. Watch the space

    February 12, 2018 at 1:26 pm

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31