Jul 11, 2012

Constitution Review: Part V

This Saturday, July 14  will be the conclusion of our 5-part series on the Zambian Constitution discussion. These are the following provisions on the agenda:


July 14
PART VI
REPRESENTATION OF THE PEOPLE
Electoral Systems and Process

Article 88 Legislation on political parties

88. Parliament shall enact legislation to provide for- (a) the roles and functions of political parties in a multi-party democracy;

(b) the registration and de-registration of political parties;

(c) the establishment and management of a Political Parties’ Fund which shall provide financial support to political parties with seats in the National Assembly;

(d) the limit of money to be used for campaigns during elections;

(e) the accounts and audit of political parties which are funded under the Political Parties’ Fund;

(f) the submission of audited accounts as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament;

(g) the sources of funds for political parties;

(h) restrictions on the use of public resources to promote the interests of political parties and their candidates; and

(i) any other matter necessary for the management and regulation of political parties in a multi-party democracy.

PART VII
EXECUTIVE
Executive Power

Article 97 Election of President

97. (1) A person qualifies to be nominated as candidate for election as President if that person - (a) is a citizen by birth or descent;

(b) does not have dual citizenship;

(c) has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;

(d) is not less than thirty-five years of age;

(e) has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent;

(f) is conversant with the official language;

(g) does not have a mental disability that would make the person incapable of performing the executive functions;

(h) is not an undischarged bankrupt;

(i) is not serving a sentence of imprisonment;

(j) has not, in the immediate preceding five years, served a term of imprisonment for at least three years;

(k) has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes; or

(l) declares that person’s assets and liabilities as provided by this Constitution and by or under an Act of Parliament. (2) A person is disqualified from being nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person –

(a) is a public officer, or is holding or acting in any State or other public office, including the following:

(i) the Defence Force and national security agencies;
(ii) the public service;
(iii) a commission;
(iv) a statutory body or company in which the Government has a controlling interest; or (v) any other post or office specified by or under an Act of Parliament;

(b) is a judge or judicial officer; or

(c) was removed from public office on grounds of gross misconduct.

(3) A person may be nominated as a candidate for election as President, if that person qualifies or is not disqualified under clauses (1) and (2), respectively, and-
(a) has paid the election fee specified by or under an Act of Parliament on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers; and
(b) is supported by not less than one hundred registered voters from each Province.


Article 107 Vice-President, election to office and swearing in

107. (1) There shall be a Vice-President for the Republic who shall be elected as a running mate to a presidential candidate.

(2) The qualifications and the disqualifications applying to a presidential candidate shall apply to the person selected by the presidential candidate as a running mate.

(3) An election to the office of Vice-President shall be conducted at the same time as that of an election to the office of President so that a vote cast for a presidential candidate is a vote cast for the vice-presidential candidate, and if the presidential candidate is elected, the vice-presidential candidate is also elected.

(4) A Vice-President elect shall be sworn into office by the Chief Justice and shall assume office on the same day that the President-elect assumes office.

(5) Where a vacancy occurs in the office of Vice-President through death, resignation or removal from office on the same grounds and procedures as apply to the President, the President shall appoint another person to be Vice-President and the National Assembly shall, by a resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of the Members of Parliament, approve the appointment of the Vice-President who shall serve for the unexpired term of office. (6) The Vice-President shall not hold any other office of profit or which pays emoluments.

(7) The emoluments of the Vice-President shall be as determined by the Emoluments Commission and specified in an Act of Parliament, except that a person who served as Vice-President for part of a term shall be paid emoluments on a pro rata basis.

(8) The emoluments of the Vice-President shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.


Functions of Vice President

108. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Constitution, in addition to the functions of the Vice-President specified in this Constitution or under any other law, the Vice-President shall –

(a)  perform the functions that are assigned to the Vice-President by the President;

(b) perform the executive functions when the President is unable to carry out the executive functions as provided under this Constitution;

(c) assume the office of President when the President dies or is unable to be sworn 84
into office as provided in this Constitution; or

(d) perform the executive functions as President where the President is removed or impeached from office under Articles 104 and 105, respectively.”

(2) The Vice-President shall only attend the sittings of the National Assembly where it is necessary for the performance of a particular function specified under this Constitution or any other law, or when required to do so by the Speaker, and the Vice-President shall, while in attendance in the National Assembly, take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly, but shall have no vote.
           
Article 120 Ministers

120. (1) The President shall appoint not more than twenty-one persons as Ministers who are qualified to be nominated as Members of Parliament.

(2) The President shall appoint Ministers from persons who are not Members of Parliament.

(3) A Minister shall be responsible, under the direction of the President, for the business of the Government, including the administration of a Ministry and other State institutions as assigned by the President.

(4) The office of Minister shall become vacant –
(a) if the holder of the office is removed from office by the President;
(b) if the holder of the office resigns or dies; or
(c) upon assumption by any other person of the office of President.

(5) The emoluments of a Minister shall be as determined by the Emoluments Commission and specified by an Act of Parliament.

(6) The emoluments of a Minister shall be a charge on the Consolidated Fund.

(7) A Minister shall only attend the sittings of the National Assembly where it is necessary for the performance of a particular function specified under this Constitution or any other law or when required to do so by the Speaker, and the Minister shall, while in attendance in the National Assembly, take part in the proceedings of the National Assembly but shall have no vote.


PART VIII
LEGISLATURE
Legislative Function

Article 137 Qualifications for Members of Parliament

137. (1) Subject to clause (3), a person shall be eligible to be nominated and to be listed on a party’s list for a multi-member constituency, if that person –
Qualifications and disqualifications of Members of Parliament

(a) is a citizen;

(b) is not less than twenty-one years;

(c) is registered as a voter;

(d) has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate of education or its equivalent;

(e) is an independent candidate or a member of the political party submitting the party list and has consented, in writing, to appear on the party list; and

(f) declares that person’s assets and liabilities as provided under this Constitution and by or under an Act of Parliament.

(2) Notwithstanding Article 135(3), a person who is validly nominated as a candidate in an election to the office of President may be listed as candidate number one on the party’s list for a multi-member constituency, but such person shall not take up a seat in the National Assembly if the person is elected as President.

(3) A person shall be disqualified from being nominated and listed on a party’s list for a multi-member constituency, to be the party’s representative in the National Assembly, if that person – (a) is nominated as a candidate for election as a councillor;
(b) is a public officer, or is holding or acting in any other public office including the following:
(i) the Defence Force and national security agencies;
(ii) the public service;
(iii) a commission;
(iv) a statutory body or a company in which the national Government or local government has a controlling interest; or
(v) any other post or office specified by or under an Act of Parliament;

(c) is a judge or judicial officer;

(d) has a mental disability that would make the person incapable of performing the legislative function;

(e) is an undischarged bankrupt;

(f) is serving a sentence of imprisonment for an offence under any law;
(g) has, in the immediate preceding five years, served a term of imprisonment of at least three years; or

(h) has been removed from public office on grounds of gross misconduct.

(4) In this Article, a reference to a sentence of imprisonment shall not include a sentence of imprisonment the execution of which is suspended or a sentence of imprisonment in default of payment of a fine.


Article 160 Right to petition and make comments 

160. (1) A citizen has a right to petition Parliament to enact, amend or repeal any legislation.

(2) A citizen may make comments on any deliberation, statement and decision of the National Assembly.

(3) Parliament shall enact legislation to regulate the manner of petitioning and commenting referred to in this Article.


Article 161 Public access and participation 

161. (1) The National Assembly shall –

(a) facilitate public involvement in the legislative and other processes; and

(b) conduct its business in an open manner and hold its sittings and those of its committees in public.

(2) The National Assembly or any of its committees shall not exclude the public or any public or private media from any of its sittings unless, in exceptional circumstances, the Speaker determines that there are justifiable reasons for doing so.

Jul 10, 2012

Podcast: Constitution Review pt IV


Here’s the podcast from part IV of our constitution review discussion on Zambia Blog Talk Radio. This was indeed a thoroughly enjoyable conversation with Dr Maureen Mwanawasa. She added a lot to the conversation about what frameworks are needed to ensure women are equals in Zambian society as it relates to status in the family, access to economic resources, and so forth. Please enjoy! 





Jul 3, 2012

Constitution Review: Part IV

This upcoming Saturday, July 7 our featured guest is Dr. Maureen K. Mwanawasa, founder and chair of the Maureen Mwanawasa Community Initiative (MMCI) and the Former first lady of the Republic of Zambia. The MMCI was Formed by Dr. Mwanawasa in April 2002, after her husband, the late President of Zambia Dr. Levy Patrick Mwanawasa, was elected president of Zambia. The mission of MMCI has been to uplift the living standards of Zambian children, youth, and women by promoting clean water and sanitation, health care, education, and social welfare.

This segment will be two-hours long and will air starting at 8 a.m. PST, 11 a.m. EST, 15 hrs GMT, 17 hrs CAT. 

Under discussion in our continuing series are the following provisions:

Part V BILL OF RIGHTS 
Civil and Political Rights



Equality of both Genders

51. (1) Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in cultural, political, economic and social activities.
(2) Women and men are entitled to be accorded the same dignity and respect of the person.
(3) Women and men have an equal right to inherit, have access to, own, use, administer and control land and other property.
(4) Women and men have equal rights in the marriage, during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage.
(5) Any law, culture, custom or tradition that undermines the dignity, welfare, interest or status of women or men is prohibited.

Further rights for women

52. Without limiting any right or freedom guaranteed under the Bill of Rights, women have the right to-
(a) reproductive health, including family planning and access to related information and education;
(b) acquire, change or retain their nationality, including the right to change the nationality of their children if this is in the best interest of the children;
(c) choose residence and domicile;
(d) guardianship and adoption of children;
(e) choose a family name; and
(f) non-custodial sentences if pregnant or are nursing mothers, except as a measure of last resort for those women who pose a danger to the community.

Family

54. (1) The State shall recognise and protect the family as the natural and fundamental unit of society and the necessary basis of the social order.

(2) A person who is eighteen years of age or older has the right to freely choose a spouse of the opposite sex and marry.

(3) The State shall, in recognition of the importance of children to the future of society, the maternal role of women and nurturing role of both parents –

(a) ensure the right of women to adequate maternity leave;
(b) ensure the availability of adequate paternity leave;
(c) ensure the availability of adequate maternal health care and child health care; and
(d) promote the availability of adequate child-care facilities.

Children

55. (1) It is the duty of parents and the State to nurture, protect and educate children.
(2) All children, whether born in or outside wedlock, are equal before the law and have equal rights.

(3) In all actions concerning a child, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.

(4) A child’s mother and father, whether married to each other or not, have an equal duty to protect and provide for the child.

(5) Every child has a right –

(a) to a name and a nationality from birth and to have the birth registered;
(b) to parental care, or to appropriate alternative care, where the child is separated from its parents;
(c) to free basic education;
(d) to be protected from discrimination, neglect, abuse and harmful cultural rites and practices, including female genital mutilation and body mutilation, and to be protected from marriage before attaining the age of eighteen years;
(e) to be protected from any work that is exploitative or likely to be hazardous or adverse to the child’s welfare;
(f) to adequate nutrition, shelter, basic health care services, social protection and social services;
(g) not to be subjected to corporal punishment or any other form of violence, or cruel and inhuman treatment, in the home, school and any institution responsible for the care of children;
(h) to be protected in times of armed conflict and not to be recruited and used in armed conflict;
(i) not to take part in hostilities;
(j) not to be incarcerated on account of the mother’s incarceration;
(k) to a standard of living adequate for the child’s physical, mental, spiritual, moral and social development;
(l) to protection from all forms of sexual exploitation or abuse;
(m) not to be detained or imprisoned, except as a measure of last resort, in which case that child has the right to be –
(i) detained for a period of not more than forty-eight hours;
(ii) kept separate from adults in custody;
(iii) accorded legal assistance by the State;
(iv) treated in a manner and be kept in conditions that take into account the child’s gender and age; and
(v) tried in a Juvenile Court;

(n) to diversion programmes;
(o) to know of decisions affecting that child, to express an opinion and have that opinion taken into account, having regard to the age and maturity of the child and the nature of the decision;
(p) to protection of the child’s identity from exposure by the media during criminal proceedings; and
(q) to survival and development.

(6) Children with special needs, orphans, a child whose parent is in prison, children with disability, refugee children and homeless children or children living or who spend time, on the streets, are entitled to the special protection of the State and society.

Podcast: Constitution Review pt III

Here’s the podcast from part III of our constitution review discussion on Zambia Blog Talk Radio.