Minister of Justice Given Lubinda has launched consultations into the stakeholder engagement on the development of a Political Parties Bill which he says will provide for the regulation of campaign financing.

And Lubinda says preference for private training institutions by law scholars is one of the reasons why the Zambia institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) has continued to record poor figures of lawyers admitted to the bar.

At a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday, Lubinda said the Political Parties Bill would also promote dialogue among politicians.

“These efforts are being in order to promote democracy, multi-partism, dialogue and improve the management of political parties in this country. It should be noted that currently Zambia does not have a specific law that prescribes the establishment of public funding of political parties or the regulation of campaign financing. This gap calls for the need to introduce a bill in Parliament to provide for these matters and those connected to or coincidental thereto,” he said.

“Considering that the proposed Political Parties Bill, 2017 is a new law that is being introduced and will regulate the freedom to form political parties and their sources of financing, it is therefore pertinent that the draft Bill is widely and thoroughly discussed with key stakeholders, before it is finalized and introduced in Parliament for approval.”

He said consultations would also demystify the political process.

“The consultative process is very important for the promotion of dialogue among political parties and for improved understanding of the articles of the Constitution that need to be legislated. This will also demystify any uncertainties that maybe currently harboured by some stakeholders in the political process. In order to ensure wide range consultations with key stakeholders, my Ministry has already identified key stakeholders among them, registered political parties, faith based organisations, Civil Society Organisations and individual citizens to help with circulation of the draft bill,” Lubinda said.

“These consultations start now and I want to assure the public through you that there won’t be an extension for this. Following the successful completion of the consultative process with stakeholders, the Ministry of Justice intends to have the bill ready for the introduction in Parliament in the September to December of 2017. In order to ensure that stakeholders have timely access to the draft Political Parties Bill, 2017, I am pleased to inform you that the bill will be available on the websites for; the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Ministry of Home Affairs; Zambia Development Commission; and Law Association of Zambia. Stakeholders may also collect hard copies of the draft bill from the Ministry of Justice, office of the Permanent Secretary.”

And Lubinda said there were a lot of challenges that had led to the poor performance by ZIALE.

“I cannot pre-empt this yet but one of the reasons according to the submissions I have received so far that has led to the poor performance at ZIALE is the preference of private colleges and Universities as opposed to Public Universities. But I am yet to issue a full report to this effect because right now I am still receiving submissions,” said Lubinda.