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Parley defers Constitution bill debate to today

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PARLIAMENT yesterday postponed consideration of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill to today after the United Party for National Development (UPND) asked for more time to study the bill.
And the Constitution of Zambia Bill number 16 of 2015 has passed committee stage without amendments.
The postponement followed a point of order by Mazabuka member of Parliament Garry Nkombo who said the amendments must first be tabled in the House 24 hours before debate, but that the members of Parliament (MPs) had just seen the amendments yesterday.
But Deputy Speaker of National Assembly Mkhondo Lungu ruled out Mr Mwiimbu’s point of order called on members to proceed with debate.
Mr Lungu said the amendments did not have to be laid on the table and that the amendments were given to the MPs last Friday and copies were posted in pigeon holes.
He said the Clerk of National Assembly Doris Mwiinga had informed the members about the amendments through their whips, Garry Nkombo (UPND), Yamfwa Mukanga (PF) and Mutolo Phiri (MMD).
As Mr Lungu spoke there was affirmation from PF and MMD MPs who were ready to proceed with the debate.
Mr Nkombo admitted having received the amendments on Friday but said he had no sufficient time to distribute these to UPND MPs who he said had travelled to their constituencies and were returning to Lusaka today.
He said he was of the view that the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill be deferred to give MPs time to go through it.
Mr Lungu suspended business for 10 minutes to consult on the matter, and when business resumed, he adjourned consideration of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill to today for third reading.
Later Speaker of National Assembly Patrick Matibini said the third reading of Constitution of Zambia Bill, will be done tomorrow.



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