Parliament nods key Constitutional clauses

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THE Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill 2015 was in the early hours of this morning on course for overwhelming approval with Parliament nodding some changes but maintaining key non-contentious clauses.
The House voted to remove the articles on provincial assemblies and proportional representation clauses from the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill.
Debating the clause on the provincial assemblies, Shiwang’andu member of Parliament Stephen Kampyongo wondered why some members were supporting the clause, which they opposed in their submission to the technical committee on the constitution.
He said MPs had a moral imperative to be consistent as representatives of the people.
Closing the debate after submissions from Mr Kampyongo (PF), Gabriel Namulambe (PF), Jack Mwiimbu (UPND), Garry Nkombo (UPND and Geoffrey Lungwangwa (MMD), Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula dispelled assertions that Government was going against submissions.
Dr Simbyakula said core submissions that entrench democracy and legitimacy such as the majoritarian rule, dual citizenships and running mate clauses are intact.
“The arguments are mere politicking and playing to the gallery. Let’s put in place that which is feasible economically. We don’t want our people to be meeting under trees. Let’s deal with issues that are at the heart of the Zambian people.”
“We have said that let this issue pend because we have a re-look and see how best we can effect it…we must set out priorities. Zambians have identified provisions that will entrench democracy and legitimacy…we need to do it methodically. Let’s look at it and fine-tune it,” Dr Simbyakula said.
It was put to a vote and those opposed to it were 110 while 38 were for it.
By 02:00 hours , the House was still debating various clauses of the Bill and was also expected to vote on the Constitution of Zambia Bill which was scheduled to go for third reading.