7 December 2012

Zambia: Central Upholds Dual Citizenship Clause

THE on-going Central Province Constitution convention has resolved to uphold the article on dual citizenship in the first Draft Constitution.

Delegates agreed that the recommendation be retained in the Draft Constitution which states that a person would not lose Zambian nationality by acquiring citizenship of another country.

The provincial convention also resolved that the declaration of Zambia as a Christian nation as per recommendation be retained.

Delegates said the declaration should be maintained at the same time allow other religious groupings to freely conduct activities in line with their respective doctrines.

After a protracted debate, delegates said the Constitution should provide for rights of every person to enjoy freedom of conscience and religion.

On Article 11 which talks about the President's report on application of values, principles and policies, the delegates upheld that the President would once in every year report to the National Assembly.

This would enable the Head of State to report on progress made in realisation and upholding of values, principles and policies.

Under the Draft Constitution the article provides for the executive to report to parliamentannually to be held accountable to the people through representativesin constituencies on national issues.

... as chiefs want more power to dish out land without

CHIEF Chibale of Serenje has suggested that the new Constitution should allow traditional leaders to allocate land without subjecting applicants to a process at the Ministry of Lands to obtain certificate of title.

The traditional leader said the new Constitution should allow chiefs to give out land in their respective areas without subjecting applicants to the "tedious" process at the Ministry of Lands once customary land had been allocated.

Chief Chibale was contributing to a discussion on the validation of the district resolutions as contained in the first Draft Constitution during the Central Province Constitution convention in Kabwe.

"The chiefs should be allowed to give out customary land and that should be stated in this new Constitution because we have the powers to authorise such state of affairs," he said.

He observed that the current scenario was such that an applicant has to get a title deed for land allocated by chiefs.

This was in reference to Article 293 relating to principles of land, property, environment and natural resources.

The article states that land in Zambia be held, used, managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient, productive and sustainable.

But Constitution Technical Committee member Rodger Chongwe said the Government was interested in ensuring that land was preserved, and that it should have a hand in all the processes.

Dr Chongwe noted that some headmen were selling land to foreigners without the knowledge of the chiefs and that was bringing about conflicts.

He said if the situation was not checked some Zambians may not have land to settle or cultivate.

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