- Chapter 1
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Constitution of Zambia Act, 1991
- Commenced on 30 August 1991
- [This is the version of this document as it was from 31 August 2009 to 4 January 2016.]
- [Amended by Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act, 2009 (Act 20 of 2009) on 31 August 2009]
1. Short titleThis Act may be cited as the Constitution of Zambia Act.
3. ***[Has had its effect]
4. ***[Has had its effect]
5. Printing and publication of the ConstitutionThe Constitution may be printed and published by the Government Printer separately from this Act, and the production of a copy of the Constitution purporting to be so printed shall be prima facie in all courts and for all purposes whatsoever of the Constitution as its provisions.
6. Existing laws
7. Prerogatives and privileges of PresidentWhere under the existing law any prerogatives or privileges are vested in the President those prerogatives or privileges shall, after the commencement of this Act, continue to vest in the President.
8. Continuation of office of PresidentThe person holding the office of President immediately before the commencement of this Act shall, unless he ceases to hold office by virtue of the provisions of Article 34 or 35 of the Constitution or resigns, continue in office and shall exercise the executive powers of the President under the Constitution until the person elected at the first election to the office of President under the Constitution assumes office.
9. Existing offices
10. The National Assembly
11. Succession to property and assets
12. Rights, liabilities and obligationsAll rights, liabilities and obligations of the President or any public officer on behalf of the Government of Zambia before the commencement of this Act shall, on and after the commencement of this Act, be rights, liabilities and obligations of the President or such public officer, as the case may be, on behalf of the Government of Zambia.
13. Legal proceedings
14. Transitional provisions
15. Appeals in respect of certain decisions affecting pensions and like benefits
16. Compulsory retirement of non-citizensNotwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in this Act or the Constitution, the President may, with a view to securing the appointment of citizens of Zambia to public offices, direct retirement from public office of any person who is not a citizen of Zambia:Provided that a person shall not be retired under the provisions of this section unless notice in writing is given to him specifying the date of retirement which shall not be earlier than six months from the date on which such notice is received by him.
Schedule (Section 2)
Constitution of the Republic of Zambia
Preamble[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA by our representatives, assembled in our Parliament, having solemnly resolved to maintain Zambia as a Sovereign Democratic Republic;DETERMINED to uphold and exercise our inherent and inviolable right as a people to decide, appoint and proclaim the means and style to govern ourselves;RECOGNISE the equal worth of men and women in their rights to participate, and freely determine and build a political, economic and social system of their own free choice;PLEDGE to ourselves that we shall ensure that the State shall respect the rights and dignity of the human family, uphold the laws of the State and conduct the affairs of the State in such manner as to preserve, develop, and utilise its resources for this and future generations;DECLARE the Republic a Christian nation while upholding the right of every person to enjoy that person's freedom of conscience or religion;RESOLVE to uphold the values of democracy, transparency, accountability and good governance;AND FURTHER RESOLVE that Zambia shall forever remain a unitary, indivisible, multi-party and democratic sovereign state;DO HEREBY ENACT AND GIVE TO OURSELVES THIS CONSTITUTION.
Part I – National sovereignty and the State[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 1 – Declaration of Republic, sovereignty of people, supreme law and official language
Article 2 – Public sealThe Public Seal of the Republic shall be such as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
Article 3 – National Anthem, National Flag, National Emblem and National MottoThe National Anthem, the National Flag, the National Emblem and the National Motto shall be such as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
Part II – Citizenship[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 4 – Citizens of Zambia
Article 5 – Children of citizens of ZambiaA person born in or outside Zambia after the commencement of this Constitution shall become a citizen of Zambia at the date of his birth if on that date at least one of his parents is a citizen of Zambia.
Article 6 – Persons entitled to apply to be registered as citizens
Article 7 – Powers of ParliamentParliament may make provision for—
Article 8 – Citizenship BoardParliament may make provision for the establishment of a Citizenship Board to deal with any of the matters falling under the provisions of Articles 6 or 7.
Article 9 – Cesser of citizenship
Article 10 – Interpretation
Part III – Protection of the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual
Article 11 – Fundamental rights and freedomsIt is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part, to each and all of the following, namely:
Article 12 – Protection of right to life
Article 13 – Protection of right to personal liberty
Article 14 – Protection from slavery and forced labour
Article 15 – Protection from inhuman treatmentA person shall not be subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other like treatment.
Article 16 – Protection from deprivation of property
Article 17 – Protection for privacy of home and other property
Article 18 – Provisions to secure protection of law
Article 19 – Protection of freedom of conscience
Article 20 – Protection of freedom of expression
Article 21 – Protection of freedom of assembly and association
Article 22 – Protection of freedom of movement
Article 23 – Protection from discrimination on the ground of race, etc.
Article 24 – Protection of young persons from exploitation
Article 25 – Derogation from fundamental rights and detentionNothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of Articles 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23 or 24 to the extent that it is shown that the law in question authorises the taking, during any period when the Republic is at war or when a declaration under Article 30 is in force, of measures for the purpose of dealing with any situation existing or arising during that period; and nothing done by any person under the authority of any such law shall be held to be in contravention of any of the said provisions if it is shown that the measures taken were, having due regard to the circumstances prevailing at the time, reasonably required for the purpose of dealing with the situation in question.
Article 26 – Provisions relating to restriction and detention
Article 27 – Reference of certain matters to special tribunal
Article 28 – Enforcement of protective provisions
Article 29 – Declaration of war
Article 30 – Declaration of public emergency
Article 31 – Declaration relating to threatened emergency
Article 32 – Interpretation and savings
Part IV – The Executive[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 33 – Office of President
Article 34 – Election of President
Article 35 – Tenure of office of President
Article 36 – Removal of President on grounds of incapacity
Article 37 – Impeachment of President for violation of Constitution
Article 38 – Vacancy in office of President
Article 39 – Discharge of functions of President during absence, illness etc.
Article 40 – Oaths of PresidentA person assuming the office of President shall, before entering the office, take and subscribe to such oaths as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
Article 41 – Returning Officer; questions relating to elections
Article 42 – Salary and allowances of President
Article 43 – Protection of President in respect of legal proceedings
Article 44 – Functions of President
Article 45 – Vice-President
Article 46 – Minister
Article 47 – Provincial Deputy Minister and Deputy Minister
Article 48 – Oaths of Vice-President, Minister and Deputy MinistersA Vice-President, Minister or Deputy Minister shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed to the oath of allegiance and such other oath for the due execution of his office as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
Article 49 – Cabinet
Article 50 – Functions of CabinetThe Cabinet shall formulate the policy of the government and shall be responsible for advising the President with respect to the policy of the Government and with respect to such other matters as may be referred to it by the President.
Article 51 – Accountability of Cabinet and Deputy MinistersThe Cabinet and Deputy Ministers shall be accountable collectively to the National Assembly.
Article 52 – Code of conductAll Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall conduct themselves, during their tenure of office, in accordance with a code of conduct promulgated by Parliament.
Article 53 – Secretary to the Cabinet
Article 54 – Attorney-Generals
Article 55 – Solicitor-General
Article 56 – Director of Public Prosecutions
Article 57 – Discharge of functions of Director of Public Prosecutions during absence, illness, etc.Whenever the Director of Public Prosecutions is absent from Zambia or the President considers it desirable so to do by reason of the illness of the Director of Public Prosecutions or for any other cause, he may on the advice of the Judicial Service Commission appoint any person to discharge the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions until such appointment is revoked.
Article 58 – Tenure of office of Director of Public Prosecutions
Article 59 – Prerogative of mercyThe President may—
Article 60 – Advisory committee
Article 61 – Offices for Republic
Part V – The Legislature[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996, except for Article 79]
Article 62 – Legislative power and membership of ParliamentThe legislative power of the Republic of Zambia shall vest in Parliament which shall consist of the President and the National Assembly.
Article 63 – Composition of and election to National Assembly
Article 64 – Qualifications for election to National AssemblySubject to Article 65, a person shall be qualified to be elected as a member of the National Assembly if—
Article 65 – Disqualifications for election to National Assembly
Article 66 – Nomination for election to National Assembly
Article 67 – By-election for National Assembly
Article 68 – Nominated members
Article 69 – Speaker
Article 70 – Deputy Speaker
Article 71 – Tenure of office of members of National Assembly
Article 72 – Determination of questions as to membership of National Assembly
Article 73 – Clerk and Staff of National AssemblyThere shall be a Clerk of the National Assembly and such other offices in the department of the Clerk of the National Assembly as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.
Article 74 – Removal of nominated member by PresidentThe President may, at any time, terminate the appointment of any nominated member appointed under Article 68 and appoint any other person in that member's stead.
Article 75 – The francise
Article 76 – Electoral Commission
Article 77 – Constituencies and elections
Article 78 – Exercise of legislative power of Parliament
Article 79 – Alteration of Constitution
Article 80 – Statutory instruments
Article 81 – Restrictions with regard to certain financial mattersExcept upon the recommendation of the President signified by the Vice-President or a Minister, the National Assembly shall not—
Article 82 – President may address National Assembly
Article 83 – President at National AssemblyThere shall preside at any sitting of the National Assembly—
Article 84 – Voting and quorum
Article 85 – Unqualified person, sitting or votingAny person who sits or votes in the National Assembly knowing or having reasonable grounds for knowing that he is not entitled to do so, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding one thousand penalty units or such other sum as may be prescribed by Parliament for each day on which he so sits or votes, which penalty shall be recoverable by action in the High Court at the suit of the Attorney-General
Article 86 – Procedure in National Assembly
Article 87 – Privileges and immunities of National Assembly
Article 88 – Dissolution of Parliament and related matters
Article 89 – Oaths to be taken by Speaker and membersThe Speaker of the National Assembly, before assuming the duties of his office, and every member of the National Assembly before taking his seat therein, shall take and subscribe before the National Assembly to the oath of allegiance.
Article 90 – The Investigator-General
Part VI – The Judicature[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 91 – Courts
Article 92 – Supreme Court
Article 93 – Appointment of judges of Supreme Court
Article 94 – High Court
Article 95 – Appointment of puisne judges, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Industrial Relations Court
Article 96 – Acting Judge of Supreme Court or of High Court to act or hold office until appointment expires or is revokedAny person appointed under Article 93 to act as a judge of the Supreme Court shall continue to act for the period of that person's appointment or, if no such period is specified, until such appointment is revoked by the President:Provided that the President may permit a person whose appointment to act as a judge of the Supreme Court has expired or been revoked to continue to act for such period as may be necessary to enable that person to deliver judgement or to do any other thing in relation to proceedings that were commenced before such person.
Article 97 – Qualifications for appointment as Supreme Court Judge, Puisne Judge, Chairman and Deputy Chairman of Industrial Relations Court
Article 98 – Tenure of office of Judges of Supreme Court and High Court
Article 99 – Oaths to be taken by JudgeA judge of the Supreme Court or of the High Court shall not enter upon the duties of his office unless he has taken and subscribed to the oath of allegiance and such oath for the due execution of his office as may be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament:Provided that a person who has once taken and subscribed to the said oaths may enter upon the duties of any such office without again taking and subscribing such oaths.
Part VII – Defence and national security[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 100 – The Zambia Defence Force
Article 101 – Functions of Defence ForceThe functions of the Zambia Defence Force shall be to—
Article 102 – Parliament to regulate Defence ForceParliament shall make laws regulating the Zambia Defence Force, and in particular, providing for—
Article 103 – Zambia Police Force
Article 104 – Functions of Zambia Police ForceThe functions of the Zambia Police Force shall include the following:
Article 105 – Parliament to regulate Zambia Police ForceParliament shall make laws regulating the Zambia Police Force, and in particular, providing for—
Article 106 – Prison ServiceThere shall be the Zambia Prison Service.
Article 107 – Parliament to regulate Zambia Prison ServiceParliament shall make laws regulating the Zambia Prison Service, and in particular, providing for—
Article 108 – Zambia Security Intelligence Service
Part VIII – Local government system[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 109 – Local government system
Part IX – Directive Principles of State Policy and the duties of a citizen[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 110 – Application of Directive Principles of State Policy
Article 111 – Directives not to be justiciableThe Directive Principles of State Policy set out in this Part shall not be justiciable and shall not thereby, by themselves, despite being referred to as rights in certain instances, be legally enforceable in any court, tribunal or administrative institution or entity.
Article 112 – Directive Principles of State PolicyThe following Directives shall be the Principles of State Policy for the purposes of this Part:
Article 113 – Duties of citizenIt shall be the duty of every citizen to—
Part X – Finance[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 114 – Impositon of taxation
Article 115 – Withdrawal of moneys from general revenues
Article 116 – Supplementary estimates in respect of expenditure authorised by warrantWhere in any financial year any expenditure has been authorised by a warrant issued by the President under paragraph (d) of clause (2) Article 115, the Minister responsible for finance shall cause a supplementary estimate relating to that expenditure to be laid before the National Assembly for its approval before the expiration of a period of four months from the issue of the warrant or, if the National Assembly is not sitting at the expiration of that period, at the first sitting of the National Assembly thereafter.
Article 117 – Appropriation Acts and Supplementary Appropriation Acts
Article 118 – Financial report
Article 118A – Planning and budgeting legislationParliament shall enact budgeting and planning legislation which shall provide for matters that relate to the annual Budget and to medium and long-term development plans.[Article 118A inserted by section 3 of Act 20 of 2009]
Article 119 – Remunerations of certain officers
Article 120 – Public debt
Article 121 – Auditor-General
Article 122 – Tenure of office of Auditor-General
Part XI – Service Commissions[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 123 – Commissions
Article 124 – Pension laws and protection
Part XII – Human Rights Commission[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 125 – Establishment of Human Rights Commission and its independence
Article 126 – Functions, powers, composition, procedure, etc. of Human Rights CommissionThe functions, powers, composition, funding and administrative procedures, including the employment of staff, of the Human Rights Commission shall be prescribed by or under an Act of Parliament.
Part XIII – Chiefs and House of Chiefs[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 127 – The Institution of Chief
Article 128 – Concept and principles relating to Institution of ChiefsThe following concepts and principles shall apply to Chiefs:
Article 129 – Chief not to be partisanA person shall not, while remaining a Chief, join or participate in partisan politics.
Article 130 – House of ChiefsThere shall be a House of Chiefs for the Republic which shall be an advisory body to the Government on traditional, customary and any other matters referred to it by the President.
Article 131 – Functions of House of ChiefsNotwithstanding Article 130, the House of Chiefs may—
Article 132 – Composition of House of Chiefs
Article 133 – Tenure of office and vacancy
Article 134 – Oaths of members of House of ChiefsThe Chairman and every member of the House of Chiefs shall take an oath of allegiance.
Article 135 – Staff of House of ChiefsThere shall be a Clerk of the House of Chiefs and such other staff as may be necessary for carrying out the functions under this Part.
Article 136 – President may make regulationsSubject to the provisions of this Constitution, the President may by statutory instrument, make regulations for—
Part XIV – Miscellaneous[As amended by Act No. 18 of 1996]
Article 137 – Resignations
Article 138 – Re-appointment and concurrent appointment
Article 139 – Interpretation
|Declaration of State of Public Emergency: Proclamation||Statutory Instrument 36 of 1993|
|Declaration of Threatened State of Public Emergency: Proclamation||Statutory Instrument 32 of 1993|
|House of Chiefs (Amendment) Regulations, 2005||Statutory Instrument 7 of 2005|
|Proclamation No. 1 of 1994: Summoning of Parliament||Statutory Instrument 3 of 1994|
|Proclamation No. 1 of 2002: First Session of the Ninth Parliament||Statutory Instrument 1 of 2002|
|Proclamation No. 1 of 2003: Honours and Awards for the Republic of Zambia||Statutory Instrument 3 of 2003|
|Revocation of Proclamation No. 4 of 1993||Statutory Instrument 4 of 1994|
Cited documents 0
Documents citing this one 8
- Attorney - General v The Local Government Election Commission (HP 2184 of 1992)  ZMHC 102 (14 October 1992)
- Attorney General & Another v Amedeus & Others (S.C.Z. Judgment 26 of 1995)  ZMSC 39 (29 November 1995)
- Attorney-General v Local Government Election Commission (HP 2184 of 1992)  ZMHC 8 (13 October 1992)
- Katuka and Law Association of Zambia v Attorney-General and 64 Others (10 of 2016; 11 of 2016)  ZMCC 1 (15 August 2016)
- Zambia Democratic Congress v Attorney General (SCZ 37 of 1999)  ZMSC 6 (12 January 2002)
- Zambia National Holdings Limited & Another V Attorney-General (S.C.Z. Judgment 3 of 1994)  ZMSC 30 (30 November 1994)
- Zambia National Holdings Limtied & Another v Attorney-General (S.C.Z. Judgment 3 of 1994)  ZMSC 102 (31 December 1994)
- Zambia National Holdings Ltd v United National Independence Party and Anor (SCZ Judgment 3 of 1994)  ZMSC 148 (12 May 1994)