Delegates nod dual citizenship

dual citizenship

EXPERTS at the on-going sector groups convention have unanimously resolved to maintain the dual citizenship article in the first Draft Constitution.

The experts mandated to analyse the citizen’s clause said dual citizenship was progressive as it would allow Zambians in the Diaspora who had acquired wealth to invest in Zambia.

It was emphasised that a number of Zambians in the Diaspora were unable to invest in Zambia because the current Constitution had no provision for dual citizenship.

The sector groups also adopted Article 20(1) which states that a citizen’s board shall be established.

Article 20 (2) states that Parliament shall enact legislation which provides for the composition of, appointment of members to, tenure of office of members of, and procedures to be followed by the Citizenship Board of Zambia.

The group also unanimously adopted article 19 under the citizen’s clause which states that a citizen may renounce citizenship or shall be deprived of citizenship only if that person acquired citizenship by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of material fact.

The current Constitution states that a person shall cease to be a citizen of Zambia if that person acquired the citizenship of a country other than Zambia by a voluntary act, other than marriage, and does any act indicating that person’s intention to adopt or make use of any other citizenship.

Earlier, the experts adopted article 6 under the Republic of Zambia and Sovereign Authority of the people clause which states that the national symbols of the republic were the national flag, the national anthem, the coat of Arms, public seal and national motto.

The experts advised that the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) should not be compelled to seek permission of the court to enter a nolle prosequi as proposed in the draft Constitution.

The sector group mandated to debate Part XIV of the draft Constitution, which deals with the Public Service Commission, recommended that article 244 (4) should be removed from the Constitution as it subjected the DPP to seeking permission to enter a nolle prosequi from the court.

The group, chaired by Law Association of Zambia president James Banda, however, recommended that the powers of the DPP should be checked against abuse.

The Technical Committee Drafting the Constitution had included in the draft that the provision for the DPP to enter a nolle prosequi had been abused and, therefore, resolved that such a decision should be done with leave of the court.

The group agreed that in order to check against the abuse of the DPP, provisions should be made in subsidiary pieces of legislation to avoid such incidents from occurring.

The sector group mandated to analyse the Bill of Rights under the heading economic, social and cultural rights recommended that article 64 should be amended.

Article 64 with the heading freedom to choose trade, occupation or/and profession states that a person has the right to choose a trade and occupation or a profession.

The group recommended that the article should be amended and the heading should read as the right to work.

The group said the three clauses should be (1) the person has the right to work, (2) right to opportunities to gain their living by work which they freely choose or accept, (3) a person has a right to choose a trade, occupation or a profession.

 The group recommended that article 65 (2) (c) should not include the sentence which compels an employee to pay the pension and gratuity promptly failure to which the worker shall be retained on the payroll until the pension or benefit is paid.

The group resolved that this sentence should not be included in the Constitution but in subsidiary legislation.