Governance Expert Macdonald Chipenzi has asked Justice Minister Given Lubinda not rush the proposed Political Parties Bill to Parliament before debates on the repulsion of the Constitution amendment bill are concluded.
In a statement, Chipenzi asked the Minister to come up with a draft bill called a consultative bill where people would be availed with comments and submissions on the proposed amendments to the Constitution before moving on to the Political Parties Bill.
“The Minister of Justice Honourable Given Lubinda is on spot not to send the proposed Constitution amendment bill to Parliament because the consultations have not been exhausted, and also that we as stakeholders have not seen even the compilation or synthesised reports of the submissions from the people. So it will be premature for him to send a document that has not been subjected to validation. However, my view will be that the Minister should produce a draft bill that would be called a consultative bill where people would now see the comments or the submissions of individuals, associations or institutions on the proposed amendments to the constitution, I think that way it will be good that after we have refined the bill then we can allow him to take that other bill [for political parties] to parliament,” Chipenzi stated.
Chipenzi noted that the political parties bill would end up as an academic exercise if the Minister took it to Parliament while the Constitution amendment bill was repelled.
“It would be very key for the Minister not to even rush the political parties bill before Parliament because if the Constitution amendment bill is not first stabled then it will be an academic exercise to take the political party bill to Parliament which might be affected by the Constitution amendment. So the best as others have already proposed is that let us first of all work on the Constitution refinement and then take the bills that we need to take so that they are not in conflict with the Constitution once it is amended,” stated Chipenzi.