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CHAPTER ONE ASKS CONCOURT TO QUASH BILL ASSENTED TO AFTER PARLIAMENT DISSOLVED

By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA

CHAPTER One Foundation Limited has petitioned the Constitutional Court to quash the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS) bill no.35 as it was assented to by President Edgar Lungu after dissolution of Parliament.

The organization which has cited Mr Lungu as respondent seeks a declaration that to the extent that the ZCS bill no.35 of 2021was assented to by the President after the dissolution of Parliament on May 13 this year.

And that ZCS Act no.37 of 2021 is not law or legislation enacted by the parliament and therefore null and void.

It also wants an order (of certiorari) that the ZCS Act no. 37 of 202 be removed forthwith into the Constitutional Court for purposes of quashing.

The bill redefines ZCS from being a prison service to a correctional facility.

According to the petition filed yesterday by State Counsel John Sangwa, Chapter One Foundation stated that on April 14 this year, ZCS bill no 35 of 2021 was published.

It however claimed that the date when the said bill was passed by the National Assembly is unknown.

It also stated that on May 19, 2021, that six days after the dissolution of Parliament, Mr Lungu ceased to be part of Parliament.

But President Lungu purportedly assented to the ZCS bill no 35, 2021.  The said bill was later published as ZCS Act no.37 of 2021.

Chapter One Foundation says with the dissolution of Parliament, Mr Lungu’s legislative authority conferred by article 63(1) of the Constitution to assent to Bill’s passed by the National Assembly expired. 

It stated that the President’s legislative powers is to perform the executive functions of the Republic, which do not include the power to assent to Bill’s passed by the National Assembly.

“ The respondent breached articles 81(8) and 92(2) of the Constitution on 19th May 2021, when the respondent purported to assent to the ZCS bill no.35 of 2021,” Mr Sangwa said.

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