Monze Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu says the Zambian parliamentary committee system is very weak because it doesn’t make any decisions which bind the executive wing of government.
On Tuesday, Government Chief Whip Brian Mundubile invited organizations and citizens to make submissions to the Constitution Amendment Bill No. 10 of 2018 which is before the Select Committee.
“Organizations should take time to consult their general membership on individual proposed amendments so as to achieve consensus and thereby avoiding having conflicting positions on the amendments,” said Mundubile.
But in an interview, Wednesday, Mwiimbu said Mundubile’s plea should be taken with a pinch of salt.
He said committees merely made recommendations which could either be accepted or rejected with a high likelihood for the latter outcome.
“The plea that was made by the Chairman of the PF legal committee Mundubile who is also the government chief whip to the members of the public and other interested parties should be taken with a pinch of salt. Please be advised that the Zambian parliament committee system is very weak. The Zambian parliament committees do not make decision that are binding on the executive wing of government. The committees merely make recommendations which can either be accepted or rejected. It has to be noted that the witnesses who will appear before the select committee that was constituted to hear submissions will be expressing their opinions to the committee. The committee is at liberty to accept the views expressed or reject them. In the unlikely event that the committee accepts the views of the witnesses, the committee shall make recommendations to Parliament. Reports on the bills by the committee are merely advisory,” said Mwiimbu.
“They are never put to the House for adoption. It’s the Bill that is debated. The executive have the discretion to accept or reject the recommendations. It has to be noted that the PF has made its position known on a number of the provisions. It’s important also to note that the President is the Chairman of the cabinet committee that endorsed the Bill number 10. It is my considered view that the witnesses that will appear before this committee will render credence to a flawed process.”