-MPs mute over provincial assemblies

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MPs mute over provincial assemblies
Lusaka, April 17, 2013, ZANIS….. Members of Parliament at the on-going
National Constitution convention failed to argue their case in a debate where
delegates wanted to prevent them from attending the newly established
Provincial Assemblies that will be in all the 10 provinces of Zambia.

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Delegates argued amongst themselves as to whether MPs and chiefs
should be allowed or not to attend the provincial assembly while MPs
were seated without contributing until the house voted in their favour.

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Delegates noted that the need to remove MPs from provincial Assemblies
composition is to allow them to concentrate on matters of the National
Assembly and other committees where they are members.


Others argued that MPs deserve to be in the provincial Assemblies in
order for them to understand what was happening in their
constituencies.


Unlike MPs who simply watched as delegates debated, Chiefs argued
against some delegates who wanted them removed from the composition of
the Provincial assemblies on account that their presence would
restrict members of the assembly from making proper resolutions in a
case where they take a contrary position on a matter.


Chief Mumena explained that chiefs were required in the provincial
assemblies in order to drive the devolution of governance and not
partisan politics which he said chiefs do not participate in.


Clause (1) of article 203 provides for the establishment of the
provincial assemblies what will consist provincial Ministers, MPs,
Mayors or council chairpersons, three chiefs representing all chiefs
in the province and three representatives of an organization
re[presenting persons with commerce and industry operation in the
province among others.


And on article 207, the house has resolved to provide that the speaker
of the provincial assembly shall be elected from persons who are not
members of the provincial assembly.


The house has amended article 207 of the First Draft Constitution so
that the speaker of the provincial assembly could be elected by
members of the assembly from among persons who are qualified to be
elected as members of the provincial assembly but are not members  in order to encourage impartiality from the speaker.

 

A  similar practice also applies to the National Assembly.

 

But in clause (b) the house has provided that the deputy speaker is elected
from among the members of the provincial assembly, taking into account
gender balance.


Meanwhile, Parliament has under the draft constitution, been given
power to repeal legislation enacted at provincial assemblies if need arises.

This follows the decision by delegates at the on-going National
Constitution Convention to adopt article 200 of the First Draft
Constitution .

The article provides that Parliament may, where provincial
legislation is void on the grounds specified under article 199, repeal
the provincial legislation to the extent of consistency.


This means that legislations made in provincial assemblies that have
been established under the draft constitution can be repealed by
parliament if there is need.

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