Justice Minister Given Lubinda says his Ministry is compiling all the comments and concerns raised on the ongoing consultations on the proposed Political Parties Bill.
And Lubinda also invited submissions on the Public Order Act saying government is making efforts to address sections which infringe on people’s rights.
Meanwhile, 4TH Revolution leader Eric Chanda says it is pointless to fund political parties when majority of the citizens are suffering.
Speaking when he received the copy of submissions from Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue (ZCID) acting executive director Rosemary Phiri yesterday, Lubinda extended the deadline for submissions on the bill from September 1 to September 15 while the deadline for submissions on the Public Order Act is October 1, 2017.
“Political parties are assets that belong to all people, assets of the state because whatever is said by political parties, is bound to influence the running of the country. The Ministry of Justice is compiling all the comments and concerns on the issues to be addressed by this Bill. At this point, I would like to urge all other stakeholders to please submit their comments on this Bill quickly as that is what will inform the drafting of the political parties Bill, 2017,” Lubinda said.
Lubinda also said the Ministry would in the last week of September hold a National Stakeholders Forum to take on board final comments from stakeholders on the Bill before it is submitted to Cabinet and introduced to the National Assembly.
And Lubinda revealed that no one had made any submissions on the Public Order Act since Davies Mwila invited submissions as Minister of Home Affairs.
“I also wish to inform you that government is also making efforts to amend the Public Order Act in order to address sections in the Act that infringe on freedom of association and assembly and also frustrate the growth of democracy and good governance. This is important as it will also facilitate implementation on the political parties act when it comes into operation,” said Lubinda.
“My colleague Davies Mwila called for submissions on the Public Order Act when he was serving as Home Affairs Minister and I want to tell you that since then, nothing was submitted so I want to close this chapter and this is why I am saying that end of September is the deadline for submissions on the the Public Order Act.”
Lubinda said those who wanted personal invitations to make submissions should not frustrate the consultation process.
According to the copy of the submission by the Zambia Centre for Inter Party Dialogue, 58 members from 24 different political parties participated in the submitted copy.
Meanwhile, Chanda opposed the clause in the proposed bill which provided for funding of political parties by government.
“This is why we are saying we are against Article 60 subsection 4, it must be removed. There should be no political party funding, it is as simple as that. Whether they have representation in Parliament or not, we don’t want funding because it is retrogressive, our economy cannot sustain that,” said Chanda.