Delegates vote to limit tenure for MPs
Lusaka, April 16, 2013, ZANIS………..Delegates at the on-going National
Constitution Convention have unanimously voted to limit the tenure of
Members of Parliament to two five-year terms only.
And delegates have also approved a clause under the article that
provides for the tenure of office and vacation of Members of
Parliament other than Independent candidates to stop them from crossing the
floor in order to prevent unnecessary by-elections.
Delegates approved the amendment by the thematic group on article 139
(1) to provide that there shall be no crossing of the house by Members
of Parliament and that the maximum number of terms in office should be
limited to two terms.
One delegate, Maxwell Luchile noted that Zambia was vast and had many
people who also want to be MPs hence the need to limit the terms of
MPs in office to allow others to serve in that capacity.
Another delegate Gerald Mutelo stated that democracy requires all people to
participate and not allow the same people to monopolize the parliamentary
Members of Parliament present at the convention seem to have been
shocked at the pace the debate had progressed to the point of passing
the motion as they remained glued to their seats instead of defending
Meanwhile, the national convention has stripped off the presidential
powers to nominate members of parliament after the house agreed to
delete article 135 of the draft constitution .
Article 135 was replaced with the provisions of article 143 of the Final Draft Constitution of the
republic of Zambia and amend the said article to provide that the
president no longer nominates MPs.
In their justification, the thematic group told the house that the
principle behind the article is to have mixed member proportional
representation to cater for Gender, Youths, and the disabled.
And in article 136 of the First Draft Constitution, the National
Assembly shall consist of two hundred representatives holding seats
for the multi-member constituencies plus the speaker, the first
and second deputy speakers.