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Update: The Law and Legal research in Zambia


By Alfred S. Magagula


Alfred S. Magagula is a graduate fellow from the University of Swaziland. He holds B.A. law and LLB degree from the same university.  He has done research with various consultancy firms in Swaziland before. He is a part-time researcher with Centre for Human rights and development and Panacea Consulting. Currently he is the Municipal AIDS Program Manager with AMICAALL.  


Published November/December 2011
See the Archive Version


Table of Contents

Foreign Relations
Bank of Zambia

Sources of law
Constitution of Zambia

Authoritative texts
International Law
The Justice System of Zambia
The Constitution and the Judiciary
Constitutional clauses analysis
National Sovereignty and the state
Protection of the right to life
Protection of the right to personal liberty
Protection of Women’s rights
The right of persons with disabilities
The Executive

The Attorney general

The Legislature  

The Judicature

Infringement on judicial independence

Judicial tenure and remuneration

Removal of judges from office

The Supreme Court

The High Court

Specialist Courts in Zambia

The Local Courts

Small Claims Courts

The Legal Aid Board

Law reports

Government Gazettes

Law schools in Zambia

Access to Information

Law Association of Zambia
Political Parties
Civil society
Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD)

Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ)
Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP)
Human Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)

Inter-African Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)

Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)

National Women's Lobby Group

Office of Social Education of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC)
Women's Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (WRC)
Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA)

National Assembly
Voting in Parliament

The Electoral Commission

2001-2008 Elections

2011 Elections

Zambian Defence Force




Zambia derives its name from the Zambezi River. The river runs across the western and southern border and then forms Victoria Falls and flows into Lake Kariba and on to the Indian Ocean. It is a landlocked country with several large freshwater lakes, including Lake Tanganyika, Lake Mweru, Lake Bangweulu, and the largest man-made lake in Africa, Lake Kariba. The terrain consists of high plateaus, large savannas, and hilly areas; the highest altitude is in the Muchinga Mountains, at 6,000 feet (1,828 meters). The Great Rift Valley cuts through the southwest and Victoria Falls, the most visited site in Zambia, is in the South. Zambia lies between the Democratic Republic of Congo to the north, Tanzania to the northeast, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. The country measures approximately 752,618 sq. km with a population of approximately 11 862 740. The country’s leadership is democratic.

Zambia's population comprises more than 70 Bantu-speaking ethnic groups. The population is comprised primarily (97 percent) of seven main tribes and a collection of seventy-five minor tribes. There is also a small percentage of citizens from other African nations. The remaining population is of Asian, Indian, and European descent. Because of conflicts in the border countries of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Angola, there has been a large influx of refugees in recent years. Some ethnic groups are small, and only two have enough people to constitute at least 10% of the population. Most Zambians are subsistence farmers. The predominant religion is a blend of traditional beliefs and Christianity; Christianity is the official national religion. Expatriates, a majority of whom are British (about 15,000) and South African, live mainly in Lusaka and in the Copper belt in northern Zambia, where they are employed in mines and related activities. Zambia also has a small but economically important Asian population, most of whom are Indians.

The indigenous hunter-gatherer occupants of Zambia began to be displaced or absorbed by more advanced migrating tribes about 2,000 years ago. The major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants began in the 15th century, with the greatest influx between the late 17th and early 19th centuries. They came primarily from the Luba and Lunda tribes of southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Angola but were joined in the 19th century by Ngoni peoples from the south. By the latter part of that century, the various peoples of Zambia were largely established in the areas they currently occupy. Except for an occasional Portuguese explorer, the area lay untouched by Europeans for centuries.


After the mid-19th century, it was penetrated by Western explorers, missionaries, and traders. David Livingstone, in 1855, was the first European to see the magnificent waterfalls on the Zambezi River. He named the falls after Queen Victoria, and the Zambian town near the falls is named after him. In 1888, Cecil Rhodes, spearheading British commercial and political interests in Central Africa, obtained mineral rights concession from local chiefs. In the same year, Northern and Southern Rhodesia (now Zambia and Zimbabwe, respectively) were proclaimed a British sphere of influence. Southern Rhodesia was annexed formally and granted self-government in 1923, and the administration of Northern Rhodesia was transferred to the British colonial office in 1924 as a protectorate. In 1953, both Rhodesias were joined with Nyasaland (now Malawi) to form the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. Northern Rhodesia was the center of much of the turmoil and crisis that characterized the federation in its last years. At the core of the controversy were insistent African demands for greater participation in government and European fears of losing political control.
A two-stage election held in October and December of 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new national assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. On December 31, 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on October 24, 1964.

At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. Abroad, three of its neighbors--Southern Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola--remained under white-dominated rule. Rhodesia's white-ruled government unilaterally declared independence in 1965. In addition, Zambia shared a border with South African-controlled South-West Africa (now Namibia). Zambia's sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial or white-dominated rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia. During the next decade, it actively supported movements such as the Union for the Total Liberation of Angola (UNITA), the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU), the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC), and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).


Conflicts with Rhodesia resulted in the closing of Zambia's borders with that country and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country's requirements for electricity. A railroad to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railroad lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola.

By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House agreement, but Zambia's problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies generated refugees and caused continuing transportation problems.


The Benguela Railroad, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia's strong support for the ANC, which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided ANC targets in Zambia. In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief, but as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. In response to growing popular demand, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in 1991 and shortly thereafter became a multi-party democracy. Kaunda's successor, Frederick Chiluba, made efforts to liberalize the economy and privatize industry, but allegations of massive corruption characterized the latter part of his administration. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.

Although poverty continues to be a significant problem in Zambia, its economy has stabilized, attaining single-digit inflation in 2006-2007, real GDP growth, decreasing interest rates, and increasing levels of trade. Much of its growth is due to foreign investment in Zambia's mining sector and higher copper prices on the world market. In 2005, Zambia qualified for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries initiative, consisting of approximately U.S. $6 billion in debt relief.


Zambia became a republic immediately upon attaining independence in October 1964. The constitution promulgated on August 25, 1973, abrogated the original 1964 constitution. The new constitution and the national elections that followed in December 1973 were the final steps in achieving what was called a "one-party participatory democracy." The 1973 constitution provided for a strong president and a unicameral National Assembly. National policy was formulated by the Central Committee of the United National Independence Party (UNIP), the sole legal party in Zambia. The cabinet executed the central committee's policy. In accordance with the intention to formalize UNIP supremacy in the new system, the constitution stipulated that the sole candidate in elections for the office of president was the person selected to be the president of UNIP by the party's general conference. The second-ranking person in the Zambian hierarchy was UNIP's secretary general.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kenneth Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991, which enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, established an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be a member of UNIP.
The first multi-party elections in November 1991 resulted in the victory of the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and the election of President Frederick Chiluba, a former trade Unionist. The present Constitution dates from June 1996. While similar to the 1991 Constitution, it contains amended provisions regarding the qualifications of presidential candidates and grants the President and the National Assembly increased powers in respect of their relationship with the judiciary. The May 1996 amendment set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two-term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambians-by birth or descent). This amendment had the direct effect of excluding former President Kaunda, whose parents were Malawian, from standing in the presidential elections. The UNIP boycotted the November 1996 elections that confirmed the government of MMD and President Chiluba. Executive power is vested in the President, who is elected directly by universal suffrage for a term of five years and may be re-elected only once. The President is the Head of State and the Commander-in-Chief.


On 2 August 1991, the adoption of a new Constitution introduced a multi-party system, thereby ending the monopoly of Kaunda’s United National Independence Party (UNIP). The President appoints the Ministers of his Cabinet from among the members of the National Assembly, and they are collectively answerable to the National Assembly. The President has the power to declare a state of emergency and to dissolve the National Assembly. Article 45 of the Constitution provides for the office of the Vice-President, who is appointed from among the members of the National Assembly and performs such functions as are assigned to him by the President of the Republic. Legislative power is vested in the Parliament, which consists of the President and the National Assembly. The National Assembly is composed of 150 members elected by universal, direct suffrage, with not more than eight members nominated by the President, and the Speaker, nominated by the members of the National Assembly. Traditional chiefs are not qualified to be elected as members of the Parliament. Legislation passed by the National Assembly must be assented to by the President in order to become law. Members of the Parliament form parliamentary committees with the mandate to consider specific matters or bills.


The Constitution also provides for a House of Chiefs, an advisory body composed of 27 chiefs from the various provinces. 401 Zambia – Attacks on Justice, eleventh edition International Commission of Jurists .The country is divided into nine provinces, including the capital of Lusaka, each of which is administered by a centrally appointed Provincial Secretary and a partially elected Provincial Council. The provinces are subdivided into 55 districts, each administered by a centrally appointed Governor and a partially elected District Council. Presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held on 27 December 2001.


At the beginning of 2001 President Chiluba had seemed eager to amend the Constitution in order to seek a third term, but on 8 May 2001, following pressure from the opposition, international donors and even by members of his own cabinet, Chiluba announced that he would not stand for an unconstitutional third term in office. In the meantime, more than 20 dissident members of the ruling MMD party including the country’s Vice-President and eight ministers have been expelled from the Parliament. In May 2001, an impeachment petition was filed against President Chiluba before the House Speaker of the National Assembly. The petitioners, mostly MMD parliamentarians, obtained 65 signatures, enough to compel the Speaker to convene parliament to hear charges of gross misconduct against President Chiluba, who had come under intense criticism for corruption in his government. On 30 May 2001, the Parliament postponed the debate on the impeachment motion.

In December 1990, at the end of a tumultuous year that included riots in the capital and a coup attempt, President Kaunda signed legislation ending UNIP's monopoly on power. In response to growing popular demand for multi-party democracy, and after lengthy, difficult negotiations between the Kaunda government and opposition groups, Zambia enacted a new constitution in August 1991. The constitution enlarged the National Assembly from 136 members to a maximum of 158 members, establishing an electoral commission, and allowed for more than one presidential candidate who no longer had to be members of UNIP. The constitution was amended again in 1996 to set new limits on the presidency (including a retroactive two-term limit, and a requirement that both parents of a candidate be Zambian-born.) The National Assembly is comprised of 150 directly elected members, up to 8 president- appointed members and a speaker. Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed governor.

Foreign Relations

Zambia is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the African Union, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), which is headquartered in Lusaka. President Kaunda was a persistent and visible advocate of change in southern Africa, supporting liberation movements in Angola, Mozambique, Namibia, Southern Rhodesia (Zimbabwe), and South Africa. Many of these liberation organizations were based in Zambia during the 1970s and 1980s. President Chiluba assumed a visible international role in the mid- and late 1990s. His government sponsored Angola’s peace talks that led to the 1994 Lusaka Protocols. Zambia provided troops to UN peacekeeping initiatives in Mozambique, Rwanda, Angola, and Sierra Leone. Zambia was the first African state to cooperate with the International Tribunal investigation of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

In 1998, Zambia took the lead in efforts to establish a cease-fire in Democratic Republic of the Congo. After the signing of a cease-fire agreement in Lusaka in July and August 1999, Zambia was active in supporting the Congolese peace effort, although activity diminished considerably after the Joint Military Commission tasked with implementing the ceasefire relocated to Kinshasa in September 2001.

During President Mwanawasa's administration, Zambia contributed troops to support UN peacekeeping operations in southern Sudan. During his tenure as SADC Chair, President Mwanawasa brought the issue of Zimbabwe to the fore in the SADC, taking a lead role in pressuring President Mugabe for reforms in his country. Zambia's history of stability and its commitment to regional peace has made it a haven for large numbers of refugees. Currently, Zambia hosts approximately 87,000 refugees (down from a high of 203,000 in 2002), including roughly 51,000 Congolese, 27,000 Angolans, and 9,000 other nationalities (mainly Rwandans, Burundians, and Somalis). In recent years, Zambia has made serious efforts to repatriate many of these refugees, including organized repatriation for 74,000 Angolan and 17,000 Congolese refugees.




Economic policies soon after independence

At independence in 1964, Zambia's economy grew the British South Africa Company (BSAC, originally setup by the British imperialist Cecil Rhodes) retained commercial assets and mineral rights that it acquired from a concession signed with the Litunga of Barotseland in 1892 (the Lochner Concession). Only by threatening to expropriate the BSAC, on the eve of independence, did the incoming Zambian government manage to get the BSAC to relinquish the mineral rights. The Federation's government assigned roles to each of the three territories: Southern Rhodesia was assigned the responsibility of providing managerial and administrative skills; Northern Rhodesia provided copper revenues; and Nyasaland provided the Black labour.

After independence, Zambia followed in the steps of the Soviet Union by instituting a program of national development plans, under the direction of a National Commission for Development Planning: the Transitional Development Plan (1964–66) was followed by the First National Development Plan (1966–71). These two plans, which provided for major investment in infrastructure and manufacturing, were largely implemented and were generally successful. This was not true for subsequent plans.

The Mulungushi Economic Reforms (1968)

A major switch in the structure of Zambia's economy came with the Mulungushi Reforms of April 1968: the government declared its intention to acquire equity holdings (usually 51% or more) in a number of key foreign-owned firms, to be controlled by a parastatal conglomerate named the Industrial Development Corporation (INDECO). By January 1970, Zambia had acquired majority holding in the Zambian operations of the two major foreign mining corporations, the Anglo American Corporation and the Rhodesia Selection Trust (RST); the two became the Nchanga Consolidated Copper Mines (NCCM) and Roan Consolidated Mines (RCM), respectively. The Zambian government then created a new parastatal body, the Mining Development Corporation (MINDECO). The Finance and Development Corporation (FINDECO) allowed the Zambian government to gain control of insurance companies and building societies. However, foreign-owned banks (such as Barclays, Standard Chartered and Grindlays) successfully resisted takeover. In 1971, INDECO, MINDECO, and FINDECO were brought together under an omnibus parastatal, the Zambia Industrial and Mining Corporation (ZIMCO), to create one of the largest companies in sub-Saharan Africa, with the country's president, Kenneth Kaunda as Chairman of the Board. The management contracts under which day-to-day operations of the mines had been carried out by Anglo American and RST were ended in 1973. In 1982 NCCM and RCM were merged into the giant Zambia Consolidated Copper Mines Ltd (ZCCM).

Unfortunately for Kaunda and Zambia, the programs of nationalization were ill-timed. Events that were beyond their control soon wrecked the country's well-laid plans for economic and national development. In 1973 a massive increase in the price of oil was followed by a slump in copper prices in 1975, resulting in a diminution of export earnings. In 1973 the price of copper accounted for 95% of all export earnings; this halved in value on the world market in 1975. By 1976 Zambia had a balance-of-payments crisis, and rapidly became massively indebted to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Third National Development Plan (1978–83) had to be abandoned as crisis management replaced long-term planning.

By the mid-1980s Zambia was one of the most indebted nations in the world, relative to its gross domestic product (GDP). The IMF was insisting that the Zambian government should introduce programs aimed at stabilizing the economy and restructuring it to reduce dependence on copper. The proposed measures included: the ending of price controls; devaluation of the kwacha (Zambia's currency); cut-backs in government expenditure; cancellation of subsidies on food and fertilizer; and increased prices for farm produce. Kaunda's removal of food subsidies caused massive increases in the prices of basic foodstuffs; the country's urbanized population rioted in protest. In desperation, Kaunda broke with the IMF in May 1987 and introduced a New Economic Recovery Programme in 1988. However, this did not help him and he eventually moved toward a new understanding with the IMF in 1989. In 1990, with the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (on which Kaunda's philosophy of Zambian Humanism had been fashioned), Kaunda was forced to make a major policy volteface: he announced the intention to partially privatize the parastatals. Time, however, was running out for him. As Mikhail Gorbachev announced perestroika and glasnost, small-time dictators who had copied Joseph Stalin's policies had no choice but to realise that their days were numbered. This included Kaunda. Kaunda called multiparty elections in 1991, and lost them to the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD). Kaunda left office with the inauguration of MMD leader Frederick Chiluba as president on 2 November 1991.

Chiluba's economic reforms

The Frederick Chiluba government (1991–2001), which came to power after democratic multi-party elections in November 1991, was committed to extensive economic reform. The government privatised many state industries, and maintained positive real interest rates. Exchange controls were eliminated and free market principles endorsed. It remains to be seen whether the Mwanawasa government will follow a similar path of implementing economic reform and undertaking further privatization. Zambia has yet to address issues such as reducing the size of the public sector, which still represents 44% of total formal employment, and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.

After the government privatized the giant parastatal mining company Zambian Consolidated Copper Mines (ZCCM), donors resumed balance-of-payment support. The final transfer of ZCCM's assets occurred on March 31, 2000. Although balance-of-payment payments are not the answer to Zambia's long-term debt problems, it will in the short term provide the government some breathing room to implement further economic reforms. The government has, however, spent much of its foreign exchange reserves to intervene in the exchange rate mechanism. To continue to do so, however, would jeopardize Zambia's debt relief. Zambia qualified for HIPC debt relief in 2000, contingent upon the country meeting certain performance criteria, and this should offer a long-term solution to Zambia's debt situation. In January 2003, the Zambian Government informed the International Monetary Fund and World Bank that it wished to renegotiate some of the agreed performance criteria calling for privatization of the Zambia National Commercial Bank and the national telephone and electricity utilities.


The Zambian economy has historically been based on the copper-mining industry. The discovery of copper is owed partly to Frederick Russell Burnham, the famous American scout who worked for Cecil Rhodes.[4] By 1998, however, output of copper had fallen to a low of 228,000 tonnes, continuing a 30-year decline in output due to lack of investment, and until recently, low copper prices and uncertainty over privatization. In 2001, the first full year of a privatized industry, Zambia recorded its first year of increased productivity since 1973. The future of the copper industry in Zambia was thrown into doubt in January 2002, when investors in Zambia are largest copper mine announced their intention to withdraw their investment. However, surging copper prices from 2004 to the present day rapidly rekindled international interest in Zambia's copper sector with a new buyer found for KCCM and massive investments in expanding capacity launched. China has become a major investor in the Zambian copper industry, and in February 2007, the two countries announced the creation of a Chinese-Zambian economic partnership zone around the Chambishi copper mine. Today copper mining is central to the economic prospects for Zambia, but concerns remain that the economy is not diversified enough to cope with a collapse in international copper prices.



Lack of balance-of-payment support meant the Zambian government did not have resources for capital investment and periodically had to issue bonds or otherwise expand the money supply to try to meet its spending and debt obligations. The government continued these activities even after balance-of-payment support resumed. This has kept interest rates at levels that are too high for local business, fuelled inflation, burdened the budget with domestic debt payments, while still falling short of meeting the public payroll and other needs, such as infrastructure rehabilitation. The government was forced to draw down foreign exchange reserves sharply in 1998 to meet foreign debt obligations, putting further pressure on the kwacha and inflation. Inflation held at 32% in 2000; consequently, the kwacha lost the same value against the dollar over the same period. In mid- to late 2001, Zambia's fiscal management became more conservative. As a result, 2001 year-end inflation was below 20%, its best result in decades. In 2002 inflation rose to 26.7%. However in 2007 inflation hit 8%, the first time in 30 years that Zambia had seen single digit inflation. On January 27, 2011, it was reported by the Central Statistical Office that inflation rose to 9%.



The agriculture sector represented 20% GDP in 2000. Agriculture accounted for 85% of total employment (formal and informal) for 2000. Maize (corn) is the principal cash crop as well as the staple food. Other important crops include soybean, cotton, sugar, sunflower seeds, wheat, sorghum, pearl millet, cassava, tobacco and various vegetable and fruit crops. Floriculture is a growth sector, and agricultural non-traditional exports now rival the mining industry in foreign exchange receipts. Zambia has the potential for significantly increasing its agricultural output; currently, less than 20% of its arable land is cultivated. In the past, the agriculture sector suffered from low producer prices, difficulties in availability and distribution of credit and inputs, and the shortage of foreign exchange.



There are, however, positive macroeconomic signs, rooted in reforms implemented in the early and mid-1990s. Zambia's floating exchange rate and open capital markets have provided useful discipline on the government, while at the same time allowing continued diversification of Zambia's export sector, growth in the tourist industry, and procurement of inputs for growing businesses. Some parts of the Copper Belt have experienced a significant revival as spin-off effects from the massive capital reinvestment are experienced.


Salaula (second-hand clothing imported from the West)

Standard economic theory and empirical data indicates that second-hand clothing import can have positive effects in a country like Zambia (one of the least developed countries in the world). The salaula market reduces the proportion of income that a family has to spend on clothing. It also helps to keep employments like repairs and alterations in business and forces tailors to proceed into more specialize production of styled garments.

There is a downside to such imports, however; the massive importation of used clothing from the developed world has resulted in a near-total collapse of the Zambian indigenous textile industry. In the face of cheap used clothing, tailors' specialized production may be irrelevant - customers will buy the least expensive clothing available, irrespective of style. Those who might otherwise work at textile mills or clothing factories are left jobless, or else make significantly less money in the salaula resale business.

About two-thirds of Zambians live in poverty. Per capita annual incomes are well below their levels at independence and, at $852, place the country among the world's poorest nations. Life expectancy at birth is about 51 years, and maternal mortality is 649 per 100,000 pregnancies. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV & AIDS-related issues (i.e., rising medical costs, decline in worker productivity) place on government resources. Zambia is also one of Sub-Saharan Africa's most highly urbanized countries. Over one-third of the country's 12.9 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. HIV & AIDS is the nation's greatest challenge, with 14.3% prevalence among the adult population.

 HIV & AIDS will continue to ravage Zambian economic, political, cultural, and social development for the foreseeable future. Once a middle-income country, Zambia began to slide into poverty in the 1970s when copper prices declined on world markets. The socialist government made up for falling revenue by increasing borrowing. After democratic multi-party elections, the Chiluba government (1991-2001) came to power in November 1991 committed to an economic reform program. The government was successful in some areas, such as privatization of most of the parastatals, maintenance of positive real interest rates, the elimination of exchange controls, and endorsement of free market principles. Corruption grew dramatically under the Chiluba government. Zambia has yet to address effectively issues such as reducing the size of the public sector and improving Zambia's social sector delivery systems.

Zambia is one of sub-saharan african 's most highly urbanized countries. About one-half of the country's 11.5 million people are concentrated in a few urban zones strung along the major transportation corridors, while rural areas are under-populated. Unemployment and underemployment are serious problems. Nationa GDP has actually doubled since independence, but due in large part to high birth rates and AIDS per capita annual incomes are currently at about two-thirds of their levels at independence. This low GDP per capita, which stands at $1400, places the country among the world’s poorest nations.  Social indicators continue to decline, particularly in measurements of life expectancy at birth (about 50 years) and maternal and infant mortality (85 per 1,000 live births). The high population growth rate of 2.3% per annum makes it difficult for per capita income to increase. The country's rate of economic growth cannot support rapid population growth or the strain which HIV/AIDS-related issues (i.e., rising medical costs, street children, and decline in worker productivity) places on government resources.

For the first time since 1989 Zambia's economic growth reached the 6%-7% mark (in 2007) needed to reduce poverty significantly. Copper output has increased steadily since 2004, due to higher copper prices and the opening of new mines. The maize harvest was again good in 2005, helping boost GDP and agricultural exports. Cooperation continues with international bodies on programs to reduce poverty, including a new lending arrangement with the IMF in the second quarter of 2004. A tighter monetary policy will help cut inflation, but Zambia still has a serious problem with high public debt.

For 30 years, copper production declined steadily from a 1973 high of 700,000 metric tons to a 2000 low of 226,192 metric tons. The decline was the result of poor management of state-owned mines and lack of investment. With the privatization of the mines in April 2000, the downward trend in production and exports was reversed as a result of investments in plant rehabilitation, expansion, increased exploration, and high copper prices on the international market. Copper production rose to 535,000 metric tons in 2007, but slumping copper prices in late 2008 put significant pressure on the mining companies and government revenue. Zambia experienced positive economic growth for the ninth consecutive year in 2007 with a GDP of U.S. $10.9 billion and a real growth rate of 6% (according to preliminary IMF estimates). The rate of inflation dropped from 30% in 2000 to single-digit inflation of 8.9% by December 2007 due to fiscal and monetary discipline and the growth of the domestic food supply.


Year-on-year inflation grew to double digits in late 2008, due to rising fuel and food prices. In April 2005, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank's International Development Association (IDA) provided Zambia significant debt service relief and debt forgiveness under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) initiative. Zambia was the 17th country to reach the HIPC completion point and has benefited from approximately U.S. $6 billion in debt relief. In July 2005, the G-8 agreed on a proposal to cancel 100% of outstanding debt of eligible HIPC countries to the IMF, African Development Fund, and IDA. Zambia is among the beneficiaries of this additional multilateral debt relief.


Zambia also completed a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement with the IMF for the period 2008-2011. The Zambian Government is pursuing an economic diversification program to reduce the economy's reliance on the copper industry. This initiative seeks to exploit other components of Zambia's rich resource base by promoting agriculture, tourism, gemstone mining, and hydropower. The government is also seeking to create an environment that encourages entrepreneurship and private-sector led growth. Zambia's economy has been affected by the global economic crisis and the fall in world copper prices. High inflation, currency volatility, rising unemployment, and restricted access to capital are likely to dampen Zambia’s economic performance in 2009.


Zambia's Economic Growth Program-Increased private sector competitiveness

Despite Zambia's potential in the agricultural and natural resources sectors, the country has been unable to register itself as a competitive market player locally, regionally and internationally. The main constraints to agricultural development and small-scale rural agribusiness competitiveness in the last decade have been:


1) Lack of capacity, clarity and consistency within Zambian Government to generate and implement liberalization policies conducive to private sector-led agricultural growth;

2) Poor market access and under-developed markets that limit production;

3) Inadequate sources of finance and capital;

4) Low farm and firm-level production and productivity due to inadequate provision of technical information, limited use of modern production and value-adding technologies, and absence of business management services.

To respond to these issues, the Economic Growth Program, as part of USAID/Zambia's Country Strategic Plan for 2004-2010, aims to contribute towards increasing competitiveness of Zambian farmers and firms, and has adopted "Increased Private Sector Competitiveness" as the theme of its program. Activities under the program focus on attaining significant improvements in Zambia's competitive position within the region and internationally, enabling Zambia to achieve trade-based rural economic growth and poverty reduction.

USAID Funded Projects


PROFIT (Production, Finance and Improved Technologies) Project - CLUSA

The project’s aim is to increase smallholder client production and productivity by reducing costs of production and, together with private and public sectors, extend services to some 100,000 small farmers in high economic potential areas in Zambia. The project focuses on value chains and on the development of support industries, such as financial services and inputs.

MATEP (Market Access, Trade and Enabling Policies) Project - DAI

MATEP focuses on increasing the level of Zambian agriculture and natural resources exports into regional and international markets through overcoming policy, tariff, non-tariff barriers to trade and forging linkages

FSRP (Food Security Research Project) - Michigan State University

FSRP builds capacity among agricultural sector planners to achieve improved policy making through applied agricultural economic research, policy analysis, outreach and dialogue.

Land O'Lakes

The Land O'Lakes dairy development program targets vulnerable small-scale farmers who are taught animal husbandry and fodder crop production, and subsequently provided with one dairy cow and veterinary services. Milk collection centers are provided with technical assistance to ensure quality and timely sale to urban-based processors.

USAID Funding To Zambian Institutions


Zambia Agribusiness Technical Assistance Center (ZATAC) - Copperbelt Economic Diversification Project

This is a public-private partnership (Global Development Alliance), providing technical assistance and equipment to farmer business groups in a traditional Copper belt mining area. These groups are engaged in adding value to primary commodities through modern farming methods such as irrigation, and small-scale processing, as well as developing market linkages.


Zambia Agricultural Commodity Agency (ZACA)

ZACA issues warehouse receipts against agricultural commodities stored in warehouses, which they certify to be safe and secure. The receipts, defining the quality and quantity of a given commodity are used as collateral (instruments of title) in obtaining commercial loans against the stored commodities.

The Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF)

The Agricultural Consultative Forum (ACF), established in 1998, is a platform for stakeholder consultation, information sharing, networking, and institutional capacity strengthening within the agricultural sector. Through ACF Advisory Notes, the government is provided with key inputs for policy decisions, representing the views of sector stakeholders.


Bank of Zambia-Before Central Bank

A semblance of central banking started in Zambia through the establishment in 1938 of the Salisbury (Harare) based Southern Rhodesia Currency Board. Its jurisdiction extended to Northern Rhodesia and Nyasaland because of a monetary agreement that existed between Southern Rhodesia and these territories. In 1954, the Southern Rhodesia Currency Board was renamed the Currency Board of Rhodesia and Nyasaland when its ownership changed from the Southern Rhodesia government to the Federal government of Rhodesia and Nyasaland.

Currency boards are not central banks and they do not offer banking services. Their sole function, in contrast to the multiple functions of central banks, is to issue currency. In the case of the Central African Currency Board, and its predecessor they issued the Central African pounds which were 100 percent backed by pound sterling reserves in London. In other words, if the territories' foreign exchange reserves rose, the Board increased its issue of local currency. If they declined, the local currency issued also had to be reduced.

With time the Currency Boards existence was hotly debated with some people saying that it needed to be replaced by a central bank. At the time, one of the popular views held by economists was that monetary policy could play a direct role in promoting economic growth primarily through credit expansion. The strict rules on monetary creation under the currency board, which made it conditional on developments in the balance of payments, did not accommodate discretionary credit expansion. In general, it was also considered more preferable to have a central bank which could conduct monetary policy and counter unfavorable cyclical developments.

Another major criticism that was made on the currency board was that the system for issuing currency under it imposed a heavy opportunity cost on the economy. Since the domestic currency on issue required 100 percent pound sterling cover, the utilisation of foreign reserves to import capital for development was restricted.

In one important aspect, there is an important lesson to be learnt from the currency board arrangement. Firstly, it was cheap to administer. This was because it was a tiny organisation. Secondly and perhaps more important, monetary restraint was much easier to establish under the currency board arrangement because government borrowing, the usual source of monetary expansion in most countries, was not allowed. Maintaining low inflation rates is therefore much simpler compared to modern central banking which permits government to print money for spending. Many central banks in the world, including the Bank of Zambia, which were forced to rapidly expand credit to their governments during the 1970s and the 1980’s discovered they could do little to stop inflation. That is why in the recent years many governments are moving away from borrowing from their central banks.

Social Stratification

Since independence came to Zambia, there has been an obvious gap between the rich and the poor. The elite have adopted a Western standard of living and in essence have created their own class. In both rural and urban societies, there are definite lines of wealth and poverty. In the village a man is considered wealthy by having a large, healthy family, as well as his material goods. In the cities, there is greater emphasis on material wealth. The white and Asian populations have traditionally owned businesses and have done well over the years.

With the loosening of trade restraints, the gap between rich and poor has only widened. At the same time, the government is working to increase foreign investment in the country, while national priorities such as education and health care declined in importance.  Concrete blocks and tin roofs—once provided by the government for palace construction within the villages—became a symbol of wealth and prestige. If a family did well financially, they would attempt to copy this construction fashion.

In small cities where electricity is available, appliances such as refrigerators, stoves and especially televisions and video cassette recorders are an indication of wealth. In all communities, a vehicle is an obvious indicator of wealth and success. In the cities, foreign imports are frequent sights on the streets.

An individual's house is also a symbol of wealth and success. In the cities, large houses with pools and manicured gardens enclosed in a large fence can be found. In the villages, a family's homestead reflects wealth through the number of structures, particularly if those structures include granaries, which hold a family's maize harvest.

The Establishment of Central Bank

As the view grew stronger that a currency board was inappropriate, the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was established in March, 1956. It was equipped with the full powers of a conventional central Bank such as conducting monetary policy, banker to government and commercial banks, manager of foreign exchange reserves and so on. The bank was also empowered to lend to the territorial and the Federal governments up to a limit based on their expected revenues in that fiscal year.

The Bank of Zambia was established to take over from the Bank of Northern Rhodesia on the 7th of August,1964 although its Act was only passed in June, 1965. The Bank of Northern Rhodesia was itself constituted from the Lusaka branch (established in September, 1961) of the Bank of Rhodesia and Nyasaland after it broke up together with the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland on the 31st of December, 1963.

The Bank started operations with about 100 staff organised around only two departments, namely the Chief Cashier's or General Manager's department and the Secretary's department. The former was responsible to the Governor for monetary policy implementation, currency issue, banking, government securities, exchange control and foreign exchange management. The Secretary was responsible for personnel, administration, internal auditing and the Board. With time, the number of departments at the Bank started to increase. One of the earliest to be established was the Research Department in 1967. The Operations Department was created in 1976, and later, especially in the 1980s, the pace accelerated when other departments such as Personnel and Administration (1977) Exchange Control. Import and Export Control, Estate and Properties (all in 1981) were created. They were followed in 1982 by Banking and Currency, Small Scale Industries, Inspection and in 1984 by National Debt, Transport, and Government Securities.

The increase in the number of departments at the Bank partly reflected the increased demand on the functions which it had to perform, most of which centred around administering government imposed regulations such as exchange controls and import and export controls. In turn there was higher demand by the Bank on support services for these core activities. In addition, however, it is also true that the Bank, like many other organisations both inside and outside Zambia then, did not make hard distinctions between core and peripheral responsibilities and, hence, utilise resources accordingly. To give a concrete example, it was an accepted practice in Zambia that employers should find accommodation for their employees and in some cases, even furnish that accommodation. Institutions therefore acquired substantial property which required manpower and organisation to manage. In some cases there were economic arguments, which were considered sound then, which led to organisational expansion.

This was an acceptable position at the time in the developing world and one of its strongest proponents among practitioners was the Reserve Bank of India. Applied to Zambia, it included the establishment of a department for Small Scale Industries and, later, a credit guarantee scheme. The expansion of the functions of the Bank saw a rise in the number of staff from 400 by 1975, to 1 226 in 1988 and to 1 400 in 1994. The Bank premises therefore had to be extended to accommodate the numbers. The new building (currently corporate head office) opened in 1975 while the Regional office in Ndola opened in 1979. Annex buildings were subsequently added to Lusaka and Ndola.

This expansion resulting from this extension of functions was unfortunately, not underpinned by a strong organizational structure. The Structure of the Bank has evolved over time more in response to staffing factors than the real needs of the Bank. One major cause for this has been the extreme rapid turnover of Governors. Since 1964, there have been ten appointments to the post (excluding the current Governor) over a period of 28 years making an average tenure of 2.8 years for each. With instability at the top, continuity and strategic planning for the future were bound to suffer.

The Changing Roles of Central Bank

The Bank of Zambia Act of 1965 and its subsequent amendments charge the institution with the usual central bank responsibilities such as being banker to government, issuer of currency, manager of foreign exchange reserves, controller of commercial banks' liquidity and with responsibilities for the formulation and implementation of monetary policy. Although maintaining price stability is referred to in the Act as one of the Bank's objectives, it was not considered with any particular emphasis in practice. This was not unique to Zambia. Many other central banks followed the received wisdom of the times regarding the possibility of a trade off between inflation and employment - the Phillips Curve idea which stipulates that higher levels of employment could be attained if higher inflation rate could be tolerated. The thinking at the Bank of Zambia - and at many other central banks - was that putting special emphasis on the central bank's objective of maintaining price stability was focusing the function of a central bank much too narrowly. Interpreting its position correctly the Bank of Zambia acquired an equity stake in the Development Bank of Zambia and in the Zambia National Commercial Bank. At one time, thought was even given to the possibility of establishing and running a commercial farm.

Meanwhile in the major central banks of the world, the idea that the main role of central banks should be the maintenance of price stability without which a stable macro-economic environment was not possible, was gaining ground. It was also increasingly being felt that there was little else that a central bank can do to promote economic prosperity and attempting to do so through easy money just led to higher inflation. As a result of this realisation, Central Banks started to re-orientate their activities accordingly. This new view on the appropriate role for central banks is only now beginning to be accepted. In 1991, the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) came to power, replacing the United National Independence Party (UNIP) which had ruled for 27 years.

The new government's priorities were the restoration of economic future growth and employment to the Zambian economy. Liberalising the economy and thereby allow market forces a greater role in the allocation of resources was to be the main means of achieving this. Price controls were abolished, as were subsidies on all consumer items.
Macroeconomic management in Zambia has not been the same since. Although the ultimate economic objective has remained the same, namely growth and employment, it is now generally accepted that investment and subsequently growth, is unlikely to take place if the economy remains characterized by macroeconomic instability such as high inflation, shortage of foreign exchange, scarcities of commodities and so on.

Consequently, from 1992 the emphasis has been on creating a stable macroeconomic environment as a prelude to sustainable economic growth. The government's focus on price stability as a key contribution to future economic growth prospects has paused a new but welcome challenge for the Bank. Hence, for example, although it reluctantly got involved in things like providing credit to parastatal organizations; it has begun to re-orient its activities towards meeting the core objective of maintaining price stability and ensuring a sound financial system

Board of  Directors

The Board of the Bank of Zambia is composed of the Governor, who is the Chairperson, and six other Directors appointed by the Minister of Finance and National Planning from among persons with professional or academic experience in business or financial matters and who are not officials or employees of the Bank. All Directors of the Board are non-executive directors. The Secretary to the Treasury is an ex-officio member of the Board and without power to vote. The Secretary to the Treasury also does not count for a quorum. The Vice Chairperson is elected by the Board from among the members of the Board. Directors of the Board are appointed for a period of three years and are eligible to be reappointed for another three years. The Board is the overall authority in which all the power of the bank are vested. It is responsible for formulation of the Bank of Zambia policy.


Since its inception the Bank of Zambia has gone through various changes in its organizational structure. Overtime, this has resulted into an organisational structure which has become more focused on the core activities of the central bank. Furthermore the Bank has shed off staff in areas where outsiders could easily be contracted to provide the same services more satisfactorily. The areas now being contracted to external bodies include: outside security, canteen services, club and maintenance. As a result of the restructuring exercise, the Bank has seen the total number of staff fall from 1,400 to well below 850. But while more such functions have been dropped, others more critical in the new liberalised environment have emerged. These new areas are mainly in the policy making arena.


Legal Tender

The Bank of Zambia is the authority by law mandated to issue Zambian Currency banknotes and coins as legal tender. This is according to section number 4[2] of the Bank of Zambia Act 1996.  Legal tender comprises of banknotes and coins issued by the Bank of Zambia for circulation in the Republic of Zambia. The Zambian currency is known as the Zambian Kwacha and Ngwee (where 100 Ngwee is equal to K1). Zambia currently has nine banknotes and five coins in circulation.

These are: K50,000, K20,000, K10,000, K5,000, K1,000, K500, K100, K50, K20 banknotes K10, K5, K1, 50N and 25N coins.



The general height of the land gives Zambia a more pleasant climate than that experienced in most tropical countries. There are three seasons - cool and dry from May to August, hot and dry from September to November, warm and wet from December to April. Only in the Valleys of the Zambezi and Luangwa is there excessive heat, particularly in October and, in the wet season, a high humidity. In the warm wet season, frequent heavy showers and thunderstorms occur, followed by spells of bright sunshine. Plants grow profusely and rivers and streams fill up almost overnight.


During the cool dry season, night frosts may occur in places sheltered from the wind. The countryside dries up gradually and grass fires, fanned by high winds are a feature of this time of the year. In depressions, radiation occurs on cloudless nights. Temperatures rise high during the hot, dry season but new leaves appear on the trees before the start of the rains and new grass brightens the countryside. The main growing period of woody vegetation is between August and November.


Although Zambia lies within the tropics, much of it has a pleasant climate because of the altitude. Temperatures are highest in the valleys of the Zambezi, Luangwa, and Kafue and by the shores of Lakes Tanganyika, Mweru, and Bangweulu. There are wide seasonal variations in temperature and rainfall. October is the hottest month. The main rainy season starts in mid-November, with heavy tropical storms lasting well into April.

The northern and north-western provinces have an annual rainfall of about 125 cm (50 in), while areas in the far south have as little as 75 cm (30 in). May to mid-August is the cool season, after which temperatures rise rapidly. September is very dry. Daytime temperatures may range from 23° to 31° C (73–88° F ), dropping at night to as low as 5° C (41° F ) in June and July. Lusaka, at 1,250 m (4,100 ft), has an average minimum of 9° C (48° F ) and an average maximum of 23° C (73° F ) in July, with averages of 17° C (63° F ) and 26° C (79°  F)



While the rainfall pattern over the whole country is similar - between November and March, the amount of rain varies considerably. The climate is affected most by the movement of the inter-tropical convergence zone, which is the meeting place of the sub-tropical high-pressure areas of the northern and southern hemispheres. Over the sea, this zone approximates to the equator, and when the sun is overhead at the equator, heavy rains may fall in the equatorial regions of Africa. The zone moves southward with the apparent movement of the sun in the southern summer and brings rain to the greater part of Zambia.

In the north of the country rainfall is 1250mm/ (50 inches) or more a year, decreasing southwards to Lusaka where it is about 750mm/ 30 inches annually. South of Lusaka rainfall is dictated more by the east and Southeast trade winds, which have lost much of their humidity by the time they have reached so far inland. Rainfall in this area is between 500 and 75omm / 20 and 30 inches. In exceptional years the influence of the inter tropical zone is felt much farther to the south, resulting in excessive rain in the Southern Province and partial drought in the north. Except for very rare falls in August, rainfall is confined to the wet season, which sometimes starts as early as October and finishes as early as March. At the height of the wet season, it rains on seven or eight days out of ten.

Average temperatures are moderated by the height of the plateau. Maxima vary from 15oC to 27o C in the cool season with morning and evening temperatures as low as 6oC to 10oC and occasional frost on calm nights in valleys and hollows, which are sheltered from the wind. In the cool season the prevailing wind, dry south easterlies come from the southern hemisphere belt of high pressure. Invasions of cold air from the southeast bring cloudy to overcast conditions. During the hot season, maximum temperatures may range from 27o C to 35o C.

The table below shows annual rainfall and representative maximum and minimum temperatures during the hottest and coldest months of the year respectively. It can be seen that annual temperature variation is greatest at Livingstone, the most southerly town, and the smallest at Mbala, the town nearest the equator. Zambia’s vegetation is of the savanna type and over half the country is covered by trees, varying from the more open conditions in the drier south to tall dense woodlands in the north and north-west. These woodlands contain only hardwoods. The trees are bare for a brief period only and the spring leaves appear before the start of the rains. Grass fires spread rapidly in the dry season but new blades of grass soon push through the blackened earth. Zambia’s climate makes possible the cultivation of a wide range of crops; maize, tobacco, cotton, rice, wheat and groundnuts. All kinds of vegetables can be grown, together with citrus fruit, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, avocados and even grapes. Lichis are also a high potential export crop. Tea and coffee are also grown successfully in fact the coffee produced is of a very high quality. Sugar cane is grown both by villagers and commercially.


Electricity is relatively cheap due to the abundance of hydroelectric power sources as well as reasonably large coal reserves. Most of the electricity is supplied from major hydropower stations located in the Kafue Gorge, Lake Kariba north bank and the Victoria Falls as well as from the mini-hydro power stations in Lusiwashi, Musonda Falls, Chishimba Falls and Luzua. The domestic electricity supply is 240 volt, 50-hertz alternating current, with 415-volt single and three-phase supply available for industrial use.


Natural Resources

Apart from its abundant wildlife, rivers, and lakes, Zambia holds 6% of the worlds copper reserves and is the fourth largest copper producing nation in the world. Zambia is internationally recognised as a major producer of emeralds, aquamarines, amethyst and tourmalines and the quality of the gems are highly competitive with world markets. Water is provided principally by the civic authorities in all cities and towns. Many residential properties are served by borehole systems.



Zambia's education is generally regarded as a basic human right and is vital to the development of a nation. Education empowers people, enabling them to be proactive, to control their lives and broaden economic and social opportunities. A long-standing educational goal in Zambia has been that every child who enters Grade 1 should be able to complete Grade 9. This aspiration goes back to the time of the struggle for independence when the nationalist movement established the goal that every Zambian should be able to complete at least a junior secondary education. In later years, this crystallized as ten years of compulsory schooling for every child, but the 1977 Educational Reforms reduced this to nine years. The structure proposed in 1977 was that eventually every primary school would extend its offerings up to Grade 9, so that there would be a continuous programme from Grade 1 to Grade 9, with the curriculum organized on the basis of six years of primary and three years of junior secondary education. The education to be provided during these nine years was referred to in the 1977 and subsequent documents as "basic education".

The rationale for proposing this extended period of education was twofold. Basic education was to provide general education in basic subjects, skills training and productive work. Thereby, it was seen as enabling pupils to achieve a standard of functional education, which would equip them to live productively in society, and to possess occupational competence in a skill or group of skills. In other words, its aim was to provide general education, including some practical skills and a sound preparation for further education (full-time or part-time). Secondly, it was seen that nine years of compulsory education would allow pupils to grow two years older before they would have to fend for themselves in the world of work, if they did not continue with full-time education or training. It was believed that on completion of nine years of schooling the learner would be more mature when facing career or educational choices, and would base these on a fuller realization and understanding of his or her abilities, talents and interests.

It was recognized in 1977 and subsequently that the achievement of nine years of full-time education for all would take a long time. Financial constraints did not allow the government to proceed vigorously with the provision of additional facilities to make this goal a reality. Ongoing efforts to expand secondary provision brought about some increase in the number proceeding from Grade 7 to Grade 8, but because of the rapid growth in Grade 7 enrollments, the numbers leaving the school system on completion of Grade 7 increased very rapidly.

This situation prompted communities to adapt or provide facilities in primary schools for the commencement of Grade 8 and Grade 9 classes. Thus began the "basic schools movement" which has gathered momentum over the years. The number of basic schools rose from 51 in 1986 to 399 in 1994, and their number continues to grow. Their contribution to educational provision can be gauged from the fact that they now account for more than half the Grade 8 entry. In two respects, this popular movement has set the stage for the future development of education in Zambia: it sets down a major parameter for the structure of the education system, and it points to the all-important role of the community in educational provision.

The Current Structure of the Education System:

Primary Education

The Zambian education system has a 7-5-4 structure, namely 7 years at primary school, 2 and 3 years at junior and higher secondary school respectively, and 4 years at university for undergraduate degrees. While the intention is that school education should be mandatory for all, sadly many poorer children drop out along the way. Important steps were taken to make the primary education available to all the children between three to ten years. At present, there are almost 4,000 government schools and basic schools opened up in Zambia, where large numbers of students are being enrolled. Today even the girl child is not lagging behind in education. Literacy rate among the girl students are also going up in Zambia. English along with the native languages are being taught in the schools. Even the rural schools have started teaching the students English and the native languages.


Middle Education

Those who elect to study on at higher secondary school, must first write a transitional selection examination. Thereafter, they may spend 4 years in an academic environment, where they hope to reach the standard required for their further university education. The first 2 years of secondary school are spent at middle schools. Many students go off to work after this, because the prevailing culture is that they have completed a decent education. The valid age to get entry in secondary level is fourteen years. Sometimes students are enrolled on the basis of quota systems.


Higher Zambia Education

Educational opportunities beyond high school are rather limited in Zambia. There are few schools offering higher education and most Zambians cannot afford the fees. The University of Zambia is the primary institution of higher learning. Several teacher-training colleges offer two-year programmes beyond high school, and there are several Christian schools, which offer seminary-level training.

Higher education is also available to the people of Zambia, where the entrance age is twenty to twenty four years. Copperbelt University and Azzalia University are the two popular University college of Zambia. Over the years, important and meaningful expansion has taken place in the educational sector of Zambia. However, the majority of the Zambia population are very poor and cannot afford the education for their children. Thus, Usaid is an US based financial agency that is working hard to improve the condition of Zambia education. Both government and private schools exist in Zambia. The private school system began largely as a result of Christian mission efforts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. One of the most famous private schools is the Roman Catholic run St Mary's Seminary located in Eastern Province. Private schools operate under either the British or American way of schooling. The education system in Zambia has suffered a decline over the past two decades as a result of a drop in national revenue, linked to the low copper prices and substantial increase in fuel costs.

Despite this set, back the Zambian government has made serious effort to recover and reform the education sector. The Zambian government is committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and Education for All (EFA) objectives. The Ministry of Education is supportive of free primary education that has resulted in a massive increase in enrolment. The Government has recognized in the newly created Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP) the role of education in poverty reduction and the need for early childhood education. In addition, the Ministry of Education is fully aware of the needs of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC). Though a great deal needs to be done for orphaned children, there is a sound platform to work from.

The HIV/AIDS pandemic remains one of the most formidable challenges within the country. Unfortunately, there remains a lack of HIV/AIDS education and support services for students and teachers. Teachers are just beginning to come forward for HIV/AIDS counselling and testing. Decentralization of the education sector has slowly progressed since 1990. Education Boards for basic schools, high schools and teacher-training institutions have been established. These boards, however, do not yet have the full authority to be effective. Zambia despite its reforms in education is still not adequately investing in education. The National Development Plans targets a 4% of the GDP but depends on external sources to reach this target. USAID's objective is to improve the quality of education by closely collaborating with the Ministry of Education to bring about positive reforms. USAID has been supporting the Ministry of Education for nine years. During this period, more USAID has provided more than 70 million dollars for the support of education. Currently, USAID is funding four (4) separate education initiatives in Zambia: Education Quality Improvement Program (EQUIP2); Quality Education Services through Technology (QUESTT); Community Health and Nutrition, Gender and Education support (CHANGES2); and the Textbook and Learning Materials Project (TLMP).

All USAID's education programs are designed to compliment and contribute to enhancing the quality of education. USAID supported EQUIP2 program is embedded in the MOE headquarters and is considered part of the MOE structure. This program assists the MOE with collecting information on the schools, supports implementation of the annual school census and preparation of the Education Statistical Bulletin, and contributes to national policy development, institutional management and organization of an information technology network. The EQUIP2 program also implements a unique HIV/AIDS workplace service for teachers and their families. The overall purpose of the workplace program is to encourage MOE personnel to join counseling and take advantage of HIV testing opportunities. In addition, the EQUIP2 program is assisting the MOE design and monitor regular classroom based student assessment techniques and is introducing a global learning portal that will allow teachers and administrators to access a wide range of new topics through the internet.

USAID also supports The Quality Education Services through Technology (QUESTT) Program. The core strategy of the QUESTT is to continue to expand basic education through Interactive Radio Instruction (IRI).The radio program Learning at Taonga Market is created for children that are not in a conventional schools. The children sing and complete class lessons in consent with the teacher on the radio. The Learning at Taonga Market radio program reaches more than 80,000 children. The QUESTT program also assists the Department of Open and Distance Education (DODE) in the development of radio programs and materials for grades 1-9 ensuring a full cycle of basic education is available to the children. QUESTT also uses radio instruction and other technologies to support the pre-service and in-service teacher training in order to ensure the quality of teaching.

The CHANGES2 program designed to support schools directly is also funded by USAID and is an expansion and enhancement of the successful CHANGES program, implemented from 2001 - 2005. The current program is strengthening basic education teachers' professional skills, with a special focus on HIV/AIDS prevention and mitigation. In addition, CHANGES2 supports the Ministry of Education's school health and nutrition activities, and empowers students, teachers and community members to improve education, gender equity and health in schools and communities. CHANGES2 works in four provinces and in 400 schools per year and trains at least 800 teachers annually. .In addition CHANGES2, provides small grants for schools to begin income-generating activities, produces learning materials on HIV/AIDS, school health and nutrition, to support effective teaching in schools and communities. The CHANGES2 program provides 4,000 scholarships a year to orphans and vulnerable children in secondary school to allow them to continue their studies. CHANGES2 also works in partnership with the Ministry of Education to improve curriculum and teaching methods in the Teacher Education colleges.

Finally, USAID is supporting through Mississippi Consortium for International Development the production of 600,000 new maths books for students in grades four and five.

Vocational Education

The Zambian government regards the development of the nation’s skill base as fundamental to its economic growth. With this in mind, the technical education, vocational and entrepreneurship, training program is being redeveloped, to realize the full potential of the nation's people.


Tertiary Education

There are just 5 universities in the whole of Zambia, namely the Copperbelt University in Kitwe, the Zambia Adventist University in Monze, the Northwest University in Ndola, and the Cavendish University and the University of Zambia in Lusaka. The last-mentioned is the oldest having been established in 1964, and is illustrated here. It has schools of agricultural sciences, education, engineering, humanities & social sciences, law, mines, medicine, natural sciences, and veterinary medicine. English is the official language of instruction in schools from preschool to tertiary education.



English is the official language as the country was once an English colony (1924–1964). While many people speak English, in rural areas tribal languages are spoken, in addition to a few other vernacular languages. Each of the seventy-five tribes living in the country has its own dialects and language. The main vernacular languages are Bemba, Lozi, Luanda, Luvale, Nyanja, Tonga, and Tumbuka.



Zambia has recently articulated an ambitious national health program designed to meeting health-related MDGs. Public expectations are high and Zambia continues to receive significant resources from global and bilateral donors to support its health agenda. Although the lack of adequate resources presents the most important constraint, the efficiency with which available resources are being utilised is another challenge that cannot be overlooked. Inefficiency in producing health care undermines the service coverage potential of the health system. This paper estimates the technical efficiency of a sample of hospitals in Zambia.

Zambia's health system is poised for a major challenge of executing an ambitious health programme designed towards improving health service delivery and meeting its health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2006, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced an ambitious national plan to scale-up a range of interventions for fighting the Zambia's leading health problems. Public expectations are high and Zambia continues to receive significant resources from various donors and development agencies to support its health programme. By 2006, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (GFATM) alone had given about US$120 million. More resources are likely to be available through the Highly-Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative. These resources will continue to enhance Zambia's capacity to extend coverage of a range of key interventions to its citizens. With total health expenditure currently estimated to be only around US$ 25–30 per capita, there is no doubt that Zambia will need external support in order to further its health agenda.

The Ministry aims to address and share ideas with the public on various topics in the health field and related services under the vision of providing the people of Zambia with equity of access to cost effective, quality healthcare as close to the family as possible. The public health sector has taken significant steps towards meeting the objectives of the health reforms, particularly in improving access to health care, afford-ability of health services and health systems strengthening. The country is also under significant pressure to reduce the disease burden, improve the health status of Zambians as well as accelerate the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The Ministry of Health has health facilities that aim at delivering health care to the community classified as either hospitals, Health Centres or Health Posts.


In Zambia, hospitals are at the centre of implementing interventions and policies, which are crucial to the attainment of the recently articulated health targets. In particular, hospitals provide the largest share of services in antiretroviral therapy (ART), prevention of mother to child transmission of Human Immune-deficiency virus (PMTC), Tuberculosis treatment, safe deliveries and many other services. Besides their political clout, hospitals are consumers of a substantial proportion of health sector resources. When hospitals consume excess resources in producing their services this invariably results in misallocation and loss of potential care to other beneficiaries. This in turn raises important sustainability and equity implications. Thus, improving efficiency would increase the service potential of existing health infrastructure and provide opportunities for re-allocating resources to other areas.

The hospitals are divided into three categories namely; Level 1hospitals at District level also known as the primary level hospital, Level 2 hospitals at Provincial level also referred to as secondary hospitals and Level 3 hospitals also referred to tertiary hospitals at the central level. The intensity of care also differs as the hospital level changes. The referral system also comes in as soon as these levels of care are adhered to. Health Centres too are divided into either Urban Health Centres or Rural Health Centres. For Health Posts, the health sector aims at taking the most basic health care as close to the family as possible as stated in the Basic Health Care Package. The construction of these facilities targets a certain radius in given catchment population area.

Prevention, Care & Treatment Partnership program is managed by Family Health International. The Prevention, Care & Treatment Partnership (ZPCT) works in concert with the Ministry of Health to strengthen and expand comprehensive HIV/AIDS services in the central, copper belt, luapula, northwestern, and Northern Provinces. This partnership focuses on services provided at health facilities, supports referral linkages between communities and the health system, and assists the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Council to develop strategies, guidelines, and standard operating procedures. It covers prevention of mother-to-child transmission, HIV counselling and testing, anti-retroviral therapy and other treatment and care, TB/HIV, health worker and counsellor training, and lab and pharmacy support. ZPCT partners are Management Sciences for Health, Churches Health Association of Zambia, Kara Counselling & Training Trust, and Expanded Church Response.

The Health Services & Systems Program (HSSP), led by Abt Associates, works in partnership with the Ministry of Health at all levels to support increased access to quality health services and to strengthen health systems. HSSP assists the Ministry of Health to strengthen antenatal, post-abortion, and emergency obstetric care; address childhood immunization and micronutrient needs; integrate management of childhood illnesses; and, expand long-term family planning methods. HSSP also provides significant assistance to the National Malaria Control Center in rolling out the national indoor residual spraying program and in strengthening case management of malaria in children and presumptive treatment for pregnant women. HSSP also supports the underlying systems that are required to make a public health service function. This includes the health management information system and health sector planning. Lastly, HSSP provides support for human resources: pre-service training, human resource planning and management, and the rural retention scheme. HSSP partners include Abt Associates, JHPIEGO, International Science & Technology Institute and Save the Children.

USAID's health program supports Zambia's National Health Strategic Plan to combat malaria and tuberculosis; improve maternal and child health; promote family planning and reproductive health; and, prevent HIV and provide care and treatment for those already infected with the virus. USAID supports capacity development to promote behaviour change, increase demand for and access to quality health services, strengthen the health system, and procure key commodities. USAID works through partners that provide direct assistance to the public and private sectors throughout Zambia.

With a national prevalence of 15.6 percent among Zambians aged 15-49 (women 18 percent; men 13 percent), according to the 2001/2 Demographic & Health Survey (DHS), the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Zambia overwhelms the health system. USAID, under the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), supports comprehensive activities under the Ministry of Health and National AIDS Council national plans. In five provinces, USAID partners work directly with the Ministry of Health to expand quality services for prevention of mother-to-child HIV transmission, HIV counselling and testing, anti-retroviral therapy, and other treatment and care. USAID also supports private sector HIV counselling and testing through the New Start network of clinics. At the national level, USAID invests in the supply chain system for HIV/AIDS-related commodities. USAID procures anti-retroviral drugs, HIV test kits, and HIV-related lab equipment and supplies for the public sector.

Malaria is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in Zambia, with nearly 4.3 million cases and 50,000 deaths per year. It is responsible for one quarter of childhood deaths and accounts for almost 50 percent of hospitalizations nationwide. USAID support to the National Malaria Control Program focuses on the most vulnerable: pregnant women and children under age five. USAID helps expand availability and use of proven preventive measures, including long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (LLINs) and targeted indoor residual spraying. Activities also address the dangers of malaria in pregnancy by reaching pregnant women with preventive treatment, and strengthening diagnosis and treatment of malaria-especially for children. USAID procures LLINs, insecticides for indoor residual spraying, diagnostic equipment, and other commodities for the national malaria program.

The incidence of tuberculosis in Zambia is on the rise, with new infections fuelled by a 70 percent HIV co-infection rate. USAID helps the Ministry of Health strengthen Zambia's capacity to deliver proven, cost-effective interventions. USAID's partners work in three provinces to expand and enhance Directly Observed Treatment Short-course (DOTS) and improve the co-management of tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Zambia's maternal mortality ratio (729 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births) is one of the highest in the world, and only 43 percent of deliveries are attended by a medically trained provider. As for child health, although under-five mortality has been decreasing, it still remains at an unacceptably high level (168 deaths per 1000 live births), with malaria and HIV being the principal causes of death in this age group. USAID supports priority activities under Zambia's National Health Strategic Plan via technical assistance and training that strengthen antenatal, post-abortion, and emergency obstetric care; address childhood immunization and micronutrient needs; expand an integrated approach to managing childhood illnesses; and, make clean drinking water more available.

Investing in family planning and other reproductive health services is vital in mitigating the economic and environmental impact of population growth, and in improving maternal and child health-especially with Zambia's high HIV prevalence. Family planning and reproductive health services are not uniformly available around the country and are not always well linked to HIV/AIDS interventions. Only 25 percent of married women currently use a modern method of family planning, with total fertility at 5.9. USAID helps achieve Zambian family planning and reproductive health goals by providing technical assistance and training to expand access to family planning services in the public sector, and through social marketing and support of communication for behavior change.

Health Communication Partnership uses community mobilization and communication tools to promote better health-seeking behavior. The program strengthens community organizations and leadership around key health issues in 22 districts. It also supports national health information, education and communication campaigns by developing job aids, radio programs, health talk lines and video- and poster-based media. Two HIV/AIDS-related videos produced by HCP, Tikambe and Road to Hope, have won international awards. HCP partners are the Johns Hopkins University Center for Communication Programs, Save the Children, and International HIV/AIDS Alliance.

Marriage, Family, and Kinship

Traditionally, people would marry within their tribe, rarely going outside that circle to find a mate, but marriage within a clan group is considered taboo. Tribal customs vary but there usually is a mediator who serves as a go-between for a man and his desired bride. The man and his negotiator will meet with a prospective bride's family and in addition to getting to know each other, start negotiations for a lobola (dowry). This lobola traditionally involves cattle or other livestock, but in modern times, money settlements have been accepted. The lobola is considered compensation to the family for the lost services of the woman.

Christian weddings are very common even in villages, although traditional religious customs are still practiced in both cities and rural areas, with variations from tribe to tribe. A Bemba custom calls for the man to live with his bride's parents for a period, to prove his ability to take care of his wife.  The main domestic structure is the extended family, common throughout Africa. The system grew out of a need to help family members in times of trouble. For example, if a family had a year of bad crops, their relatives would be expected to provide assistance. If a mother and father died, their children would be cared for by relatives.

The issue of inheritance is handled differently throughout the country, reflecting the different customs of the numerous tribes. Traditional methods call for disputes to be settled within the clan or at the next level, which is the chief. In disputes involving men and women, the clans traditionally favour the male's position. In urban areas, the courts resolve these disputes. The Goba tribe has what is called dihwe, a council to settle problems of succession and inheritance if a prominent member of the household dies. Many Zambians, especially in cities, now create a will and last testament.


The influence of Christian missionaries is evident. An estimated 53 percent of the population considers themselves Catholic. The country's official religion has been Catholicism since 1993 when President Chiluba officially declared it so. There are other religions, including a large Muslim population primarily in Eastern Province. This is a result of the immigration of Arabs from Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, largely due to the slave trade. There are Hindus, Jews, and Pentecostals, who, combined, comprise only 1 percent of the population. Animism is practiced by a large amount of the population, even if they are Catholic, Seventh Day Adventists, or practitioners of another religion. Animism beliefs vary from tribe to tribe, but most are based on beliefs in the power of ancestors and in nature. Some people call this witchcraft and indeed such terms as "wizards" and "witches" are used. Many areas believe that crocodiles have strong powers.

Missionaries have a long history in the country although for many years there have been Zambian priests, especially in cities. A mission will periodically send a priest into the bush country for services and other religious duties. There is recognition of witch doctors, which use traditional medicines made from roots or plants. The major holy places are the many waterfalls, where people believe certain spirits live. Traditional healers will often go into the woods or bush to contact spirits. The various tribes have many rituals. For example, the Litunga tribe performs a ceremony that is called Kuomboka. This signifies the tribe's movement in the rainy season from the floodplains to higher ground. Hundreds of canoes travel down the river with the chief leading the way. Umutomboko is performed once a year by the Kazembe Bemba and is a ceremonial reenactment of a migration that took place in the early 1800s. Much dancing culminates with the chief's dance.

Death and the after-life

Funerals are a major event, with family members coming from great distances to attend. A funeral may last for many days, with the men outside drinking and talking, and women inside, wailing. The delay gives people traveling from long distances time to arrive. After a period, the group will proceed to a graveyard where services, usually Christian, will be held. Unfortunately, funerals have become an everyday occurrence due to the high death rate associated with AIDS and other illnesses.

There are separate ceremonies for the burial of village chiefs, along with their ancestors. A Bemba tradition is that if a paramount chief dies, his body will not be buried for a week but is protected because a clipping of his hair or a fingernail could be a very powerful item in traditional religions. Traditional religions also have their specific beliefs on death and afterlife.


The background of the national flag is green, symbolic of the country's natural beauty, with three vertical stripes in the lower right corner. The three stripes are: red, symbolic of the country's struggle for freedom; black, representing the racial makeup of the majority population; and orange, symbolic of the country's copper riches and other mineral wealth. A copper-coloured eagle in the upper right corner symbolizes the country's ability to rise above its problems.


Sources of law

Zambia does not have a single code containing its laws. These are drawn from a variety of sources. The following are sources of law in Zambia:

  • Constitution
  • Legislation
  • Common Law
  • Judicial precedent
  • Customary Law
  • Authoritative texts


Constitution of Zambia

The constitution was adopted in 1991 and was amended in 1996. It abrogates the 1973 constitution, which allowed, as stated above, only one political party. More political parties were allowed to participate as enshrined by the new constitution.



Legislation in Zambia is contained in statute books that are available in most libraries. The Ministry of Justice Law library offer legislation. The government website is also helpful in as far as legislation is concerned. Constitutionally, legislation refers to laws that have been passed by parliament and have been assented to by the President. Subsidiary legislation refers to laws passed by other bodies to which parliament have validly delegated such legislative powers. These include government gazettes and municipal byelaws, inter alia.


In Zambia the legislative vests in the National assembly and is assented to by the President. Parliament can confer power on any authority to create binding laws. Currently parliament consists of one House; the National assembly. In terms of the constitution, legislation brought through parliament has to be scrutinized by the National assembly before it goes for assent to the President (article 78(2)). A bill shall not become law unless the President has assented to it and signed it in token of that assent (article 78). By virtue of Article 54(2) (a), the Attorney General is charged with drafting and signing all bills presented before parliament. The Attorney General may delegate functions to the Solicitor General (article 55(5) (b)). Laws made by the National Assembly and assented to by the president shall be styled “Acts” and the words of enactment shall be “Enacted by the Parliament of Zambia” (article 78(8)).



Precedent forms part of the law of Zambia. Decisions of superior courts of record are therefore binding to lower courts. Decisions from South African courts are only persuasive, and courts refer to them in formulating their decisions. Decisions from similar jurisdiction can also be cited for their persuasive value. Magistrates' courts decisions do not become precedent since these are lower courts. They are however bound by decisions of the High Court and the Supreme Court of Appeal. Precedent assists in consistency in legal interpretation and application of the law. It has also been justified for bringing certainty and uniformity to the law. However, precedent has been blamed for causing rigidity of legal systems, preventing development of the law.


Authoritative texts

Written works of eminent authors have persuasive value in the courts of Zambia. These include writings of the old authorities as well as contemporary writers from similar jurisdictions.

International Law

Zambia is signatory to many international instruments. Although the country is quick to ratify, implementation is often slow or never materialises. Zambia belongs to the dualist tradition, thus views international law and domestic law as two separate legal systems. Hence, domestication of international law by an Act of Parliament is necessary before international law can be applied. This of course excludes customary international law, which is binding on all states. The Attorney General is mandated by article 54(2) (b) to draft and peruse treaties and agreements the government of Zambia is party to.


The Justice System of Zambia

At the apex of the Zambian justice, system is the Supreme Court, which is the final court of appeal on all matters. It has a supervisory and review jurisdiction over all courts of Zambia. The Supreme Court has appellate jurisdiction for all legal and constitutional disputes. The High Court, which holds regular sessions in all nine provincial capitals, has authority to hear criminal and civil cases and appeals from lower courts. The Industrial Relations court deals exclusively with industrial and labour matters. There is also a Land Tribunal and Revenues Appeals Tribunal. Magistrate courts have original jurisdiction in some criminal and civil cases; local, or customary, courts handle most civil and petty criminal cases in rural areas.

Local courts employ the principles of customary law, which vary widely throughout the country. Lawyers are barred from participating in proceedings in such courts, and there are few formal rules of procedure. Presiding judges, who usually are prominent local citizens, have substantial power to invoke customary law, render judgments regarding marriages, divorces, inheritances, other civil proceedings, and rule on minor criminal matters. Judgments often are not in accordance with the Penal Code. For example, they tend to discriminate against women in matters of inheritance.

The Constitution and the Judiciary

Judicial power exclusively vests in the judiciary in terms of Article 91(2) of the Constitution. Article 91 (3) of the Constitution further provides that justice shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of an Act of Parliament which shall be independent and subject on. Article 91(1) provides that the judiciary shall consist of the Supreme Court of Judicature comprising:

(a)         The Supreme Court, and

(b)         The High Court

(c)          Such other courts as may be prescribed by an Act of Parliament.


Chapter outline of the constitution

The constitution of Zambia is the supreme law and if any other law inconsistent with the constitution that other law shall, to the extent of its inconsistency, be void ( article1(3)). Therefore, Zambia has a constitutional supremacy.

The constitution was adopted in 1991 after consultations with the citizens of Zambia. It was amended in 1996. It repealed the constitution of Zambia Act, 1973. It purports to be an autochthonous document. The constitution set out clearly the state structure, bill of rights, the separate arms of government as well as other administrative organs such as the public service commission.


Constitutional clauses analysis:

Fundamental rights and freedoms                                                                 Article11

Protection of right to life                                                                               Article 11(a), Article 12

Protection of right to personal liberty                                                        Article13            

Protection from slavery                                                                                 Article 14

Protection from inhuman or degrading treatment                                  Article 15

Protection from deprivation of property                                                    Article16

Right to a fair hearing                                                                                    Article 18(1)

Protection against arbitrary search or entry                                             Article 17(1)

Protection of freedom of conscience and religion                                   Article 19

Protection of freedom of expression                                                          Article 20

Protection of freedom of assembly and association                                Article 21

Rights of child                                                                                                 Article 24

Enforcement of protective provisions                                                       Article 28


National Sovereignty and the state

Zambia is defined as a unitary sovereign, multiparty and democratic state. (This part sets out that all power resides in the people who shall exercise their sovereignty through the democratic institutions of the state). This part also establishes the Public Seal. The supremacy of the constitution is set out in this part. The constitution also sets out the anthem and the National Emblem.



Citizenship is the state of belonging. Citizenship guarantees rights of nationality and all other rights from being a national of a particular country. Amongst other inherent rights is the ability to pass on to natural and adopted children since they cannot obtain their independent citizens at that stage. This part talks about acquisition and loss of acquisition. Citizenship in Zambia can be by way of descent, operation of the law or birth, marriage or by registration.


Most notable is the fact that either the mother or the father or both can confer citizenship on children (Article 5). Article 9 provides for the establishment of the Citizenship Board, which deals with any matters pertaining registration as citizens and powers of parliament in making provisions for acquisition of citizenship of Zambia by persons who are not eligible to become citizens of Zambia.


Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedom of the Individual

Part three is concerned with the promotion and protection of fundamental human rights and freedom of the individual.


Protection of the right to life

Zambia still retains the death penalty, whilst Article 12(1) states that no person shall be deprived of life, it permits the use of death penalty in the execution of the sentence of a curt in respect of criminal offence which that person has been convicted. This is not enough to ensure the full guarantee of the right to life. The right to life, as guaranteed by the second protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and political Rights aiming at the abolition of the death penalty, and the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights. Imposition of the death penalty itself is not only a violation of the right to life, but also the ultimate form of cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment or treatment.


Protection of the right to personal liberty

The protection guaranteed in the international standards is missing or not fully recognized and entrenched in this constitution. For example, International standards of fair trial provide that anyone arrested or detained must be notified at the time of the arrest of the reasons of their arrest or detention and their right, including their right to counsel. This information is essential to allow detained persons to challenge the lawfulness of their arrest or detention and, if they are charged, to start the preparation of their defense. It is essential against arbitrary arrest and detention, to ensure that no detainee is held incommunicado detention, or in a place other than an official detention centre or prison or held in any manner intended to frustrate proper and prompt access to the detainee by legal representatives, doctors or next of kin. Finally, it is not clear why this part on the protection of the right to personal liberty should include exceptions allowing for orders requiring a person to remain within a specific area or prohibiting that person from being within such an area as envisaged by article 16(1)(i).


Protection of Women’s rights

The Zambian Constitution is silent on the issue of women’s equal participation in electoral politics.  Moreover, no provision of the Zambian Constitution ensures substantive equality between women and men, though Article 11 does include a blanket non-discrimination clause that guarantees everyone the enjoyment of fundamental rights and freedoms regardless of “race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status” (emphasis added).  Article 23 of the Constitution further guarantees that, except for certain limitations, “A law shall not make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.”


Article 23(4) of the Zambian Constitution allows discrimination in the area of customary Law, family law and other areas such as adoption, marriage, divorce and inheritance. Article 11(1) recognizes and declares every person in Zambia to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, whatever “his sex”. However, the same article states that the entitlement of these rights and freedoms are subject to limitations contained in this related to Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. Linked to Article 23(4), this means that discrimination against women in areas related to property and inheritance rights is allowed. Article 16 provides for protection against deprivation of property, which may only be carried out under an Act of Parliament providing for payment of adequate compensation.


The right of persons of with disabilities

There is no specific provision in the Zambian constitution that stipulates the rights of persons with disabilities. Article 23 proscribes discrimination in any form against any person and could be used to govern the rights of the disabled. Persons with disabilities should have their rights protected and guaranteed. However, Zambia has a specific legislation on the rights of disabled persons. It is contained in the Handicapped Persons Act of 1968 as amended. The Zambian statute establishes a Council of the disabled, which provides for voluntary registration of disabled persons and of associations that maintain their welfare. A commissioner of the disabled is responsible for the administration of the Act.


The Executive

Article 33(1) states that there shall be a president of the Republic of Zambia who shall be the head of state and of the government and the Commander-in-chief of the defense force. Article 33(2) clearly states that the executive power of the Republic of Zambia shall vest in the president and, subject to the other provisions of this constitution; shall be exercised by him either directly or through officers subordinates to him. In line with the doctrine of separation of powers Article 33(2) emphasizes that exercise of executive power by the president shall be in accordance with the constitution. This serves to curtail any excess on the use of such power. The constitution further provides for the appointment of the Vice-President, ministers and their deputies.


The Attorney general

The attorney General (AG) plays the role of the legal advisor to the government, hence the relationship between the office of the AG and the ministry of justice. The AG is not part of the cabinet per se but works closely with the executive. Article 54(1) of the constitution which is the provision creating this office provides that the AG shall be appointed by the president. It further spells out the qualifications of the persons to be appointed. The AG is the Principal legal advisor to the government and an ex-officio member of cabinet. The AG represents the government in courts or any other legal proceedings to which government is a party.


Government also makes use of the office of the Solicitor General (SL) who shall be appointed by the president as per Article 55(1). The SL may exercise any power or duty imposed on the AG when the AG is unable to act owing to illness or absence and in any case where the AG has authorized the AG.


Apart from the AG’s office and the SL’s office government also makes use of the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), mainly in criminal matters. Article 56(1) set up this office and provides for the appointment of the DPP. The DPP is appointed by the President subject to ratification by the National Assembly, and qualification for appointment to this office is the same as that for a judge of the High Court with experience biased on criminal law, (Article 56(2)).


Article 56(3) provides that the DPP shall have power in any case which he considers it proper to do so, to;

(a)  Institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person in any court, other than a court martial, in respect of any offence alleged to have been committed by that person;

(b)  Take over and continue any such criminal proceedings as have been instituted or undertaken by any other person or authority;

(c)   To discontinue, at any stage before judgment is delivered, any such criminal proceedings instituted or undertaken by himself or any other person or authority.


The DPP in person or by delegation to subordinate officers has the power to institute and undertake criminal proceedings against any person before any court. This office can take over and continue or discontinue any criminal proceedings instituted by any person or authority, at any stage before judgment is delivered. Although individuals can prosecute (that is institute criminal proceedings) at the private instance. The drawback of provisions allowing for prosecution at the private instance is that the DPP’s office never really gets to totally relinquish its powers to prosecute. Article 56(3) (b) of the constitution acts as a drawback clause that can easily be open to abuse, to frustrate any attempts at private prosecutions. Notwithstanding the issue of a nolle prosequi, the DPP’s office can still intercept private prosecution proceedings and take over in its capacity as a public prosecutor: thus effectively excluding the person or authority that initiated the proceedings. The DPP’s office need not give reasons for such move, save that it is proper to do so.


Further, after re-joining the fray, the DPP’s office may then exercise its powers under paragraph (c) to terminate any criminal proceedings, whether started by the office at the public instance or any person at private instance. It is submitted that this vicious cycle is open to abuse. In effect, it means that prosecution can only be undertaken by the DPP and no other individual or authority.


The Legislature

The constitution portrays the government in Zambia as a multi-party and democratic Sovereign State. The constitution further provides that parliament shall consist of the President and the National Assembly. In terms of Article 63(2), membership to the National Assembly is through ordinary elections and being voted into parliament. The elected members shall not exceed one hundred and fifty members (150), not more than eight (8) nominated members and the speaker of the national assembly. Since Zambia is a multi-party democracy members of parliament represent their respective political parties. The constitution is silent on the issue of Women’s equal participation in electoral politics.


The Judicature

The constitution provides that the judicature shall be autonomous and shall be administered in accordance with the provisions of an Act of parliament. The judicature shall be independent and subject to only the constitution. The judiciary shall consist of superior court of judicature comprising of;

ü  Supreme Court

ü  High Court

ü  Industrial Court

ü  Subordinate Courts

ü  The Local Courts

ü  Such other courts as may be prescribed by act of parliament.


The judiciary has jurisdiction in all matters civil and criminal, including matters relating to the constitution, and such other jurisdiction as by law conferred on it. The superior courts are courts of record and have power to commit for contempt to themselves and all such powers as were vested in a superior court of record immediately before the commencement of the constitution.


Infringement on judicial independence

The constitution gives very wide powers to the head of state to appoint judicial officers. The president appoints the chief justice and the deputy chief justice. According to article 93(1) the chief justice and deputy chief justice shall subject to ratification by the national assembly, be appointed by the president. Article 93(2) gives the president the power to appoint judges of the Supreme Court. Article 95(1) states that puisne judges shall subject to ratification by national assembly be appointed by the president on the advice of judicial services commission. Furthermore, the president with the advice of the JSC appoints the chairman and deputy chairman of the industrial court. Section 96(1) states that any position 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 is marked by the president.


Judges and other judicial officers ought to be hired on full time basis to ensure that they enjoy security of the tenure to enable them to carry out their duties in a competence fashion without fear or favour. Judges on contract are under pressure particularly when their contracts are about to end. This is contrary article 91(2) which promotes judicial independence and frowns upon infringement on this independence by other organs of government. Appointment of judges on acting or contract basis is detrimental to judicial independence since such judges are put in a state of suspense regarding whether they would be confirmed or not. In such a situation, the judge may find himself / herself trying to please those with power to confirm him/ her by deciding cases in their favour. The involvement of the head of state in the process of appointing judges intimidates against an independent judiciary. Due to this fact, such appointment cannot be free of political considerations. The constitution still rests arguably judicial powers on the president. In a situation where the appointing body is politically, influenced one cannot hope for independent judiciary. People seeking judicial appointments might be lobby appointed. Thus, such people would feel a sense of obligation to the executive and be inclined to favour the executive in the adjudicatory process.


Judicial tenure and remuneration

Article 98(1) provides a position holding the offices of a judge of the Supreme Court or the office of a judge of the high court shall vacate that office on attaining the age of 65 years. Provided that the president –(a) may appoint a judge of the supreme court, who has attained that age to continue in office for such further period, not exceeding seven years as the president may determine. Judges along with other specified officers such as attorney general, investigators- general solicitor- general director of public prosecutions are paid from the general revenues of the republic. Such salaries and or allowances may be presented by or under an act of parliament. Article 119(3) provides that the salary payable to the holder of any holder of office shall not be uttered to his disadvantage after his appointment. Note article 96.


Removal of judges from office

According to Article 98(2) a judge of the Supreme Court, high court chairman of deputy chairman of the industrial relations court may be removed from office only for inability to perform the functions of his office whether arising from infirmity of body or mind, incompetence or misbehavior and shall not be so removed except in accordance with the provisions of this article. Article 98(3) provides for the establishment of a tribunal which will investigate the case of a judge before removal in which the tribunal consists of a chairman and not less than the other members who hold or have held high judicial office. This tribunal can be biased in the sense that the judge whose perpetual removal has been influenced by the political motives can collude to remove him from offices in order to gain favour from the executive. The tribunal after a proper inquiry represents the matter to the president and advices the president whether the judge ought to be removed from office for inability or incompetence or for misbehavior for which the president has an obligation to remove such judge from office. Article 98 gives so much power on the president to remove and suspend judge and this compromises the independence of judiciary as narrated by article 91(2).


The Supreme Court

Article 92 establishes the supreme court of Zambia, which shall consist of: the chief justice, the deputy chief justice, seven Supreme Court judges or such greater number as may be prescribed by an act of parliament. The Supreme Court is a superior court of record.


The High Court

Article 97 establishes the high court of Zambia which shall have, except as to the proceedings in which the industrial relations court has exclusive jurisdiction under the industrial relations (act no.27 of 1993), unlimited or original jurisdiction to hear and determine any civil or criminal proceedings under any law and such jurisdiction and powers as may be conferred on it by this constitution or any other law. The high court shall be divided into such divisions as may be determined by an act of parliament 94(2). The chief justice shall be such an ex-offices judge of the high court (3). The other judges of the high court shall be such number of puisne judges as maybe prescribed by parliament.


Article 94(6) provides that the high court shall be a superior court of record. The high court has jurisdiction to supervise any civil or criminal proceedings before any subordinate court or any court martial and may such order issues such as writs and give such direction as it may consider appropriate for the purposes of ensuring that question as is duly administered by such court.


Specialist courts in Zambia

Apart from the Supreme Court and the High Court which are ordinary courts, Zambia also has specialist courts set up to deal with particular matters. These are creatures of statute, with limited jurisdiction as set out in the legislation establishing them. The Industrial Court and Local courts are examples of specialist courts in Zambia.


The Local Courts

The local courts play an important part in the settlement of disputes of the majority of the majority of the population the customary law itself is in a state of flux. The main thrust of the law governing the operation of the Local Courts, contained in Chapter 29 o the Laws of Zambia, is the administration of customary law. In reality, the Local Courts are the focal point of varied societal claims. Customary law is the ambiguous expression in which are hidden many legal claims. It can be safely asserted that Local Courts are the clearing grounds for simple torts, contracts, and petty crimes. However, the main workload of the courts is the law relating to non-statutory marriages. Divorce, reconciliation, custody of children, payment of mabolo or lobola, persons who die without a will-these are areas which affect the legal rights of the majority of the population. The effective handling of these disputes and their fair and just resolution assure stability in the community.


There is no uniform formal educational qualification for adjudicators of local courts. They bring important innovation in the administration of community justice derived in part from their practical understanding of the workings of a post-traditional society. These justices are often fluent in more than four local languages.


Small Claims Courts

There is on the Zambian statute books the Small Claims Court Act. The objective of the Act is to provide for the establishment, of Small Claims Courts to be situated in areas to be designated by the Chief Justice. The Small Claims Courts adopt arbitration as a mode of resolving disputes. The choice of this mode of dispute resolution is questionable because arbitration is typically adjudicative and is quite formal. Mediation would probably have been a more apt mode of resolving disputes in the Small Claims Courts. The tragedy of the Small Claims Court legislation is that although the legislation has been on the statute books for over a decade, the Small Claims Courts have not yet been operationalized. However, the idea of Small Claim Courts is a very good one. It depends on involvement of legal practitioners of 5 year standing with more personnel allocated to them. The Small Claims Court could utilize existing infrastructure such as school buildings, community halls and several others. If the existing mechanisms of resolving disputes in both rural and urban areas are adopted but also adapted to suit the needs of the poor the small claims court could work most effectively. Rules that normally apply to formalized courts should be more flexible to enable the poor.


The Legal Aid Board

The Legal Aid Act 70 was enacted on 20th November 1967. The objective of the Act is to provide for legal aid in civil and criminal matters and causes to persons whose means are inadequate to enable them to engage practitioners to represent them. The Directorate of Legal Aid Board operated as a department within the Ministry of Legal Affairs and consequently enjoyed limited autonomy. However, by the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act the Legal Aid department was transformed into a Legal Aid Board. The Legal Aid Board comprised the following part-time members appointed by the Minister:


(a) A person qualified to be a Judge of the High Court who shall be the Chairperson;

(b) A representative of the Law Association of Zambia;

(c) The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry responsible for legal affairs;

(d) A representative of the Ministry responsible for Home Affairs;

(e) The Director who shall be an ex officio member;

(f) A representative of a non-governmental organization active in the promotion of human rights; and

g) One other person


Furthermore, the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act defined the functions of the Board as being to:

(a) Manage and administer the Legal Aid Fund; and

(b) To carry out any other activities relating to the provision for legal aid which are necessary or conducive to the performance of its functions under the Act. There was however, a proviso placed on this function, namely, that the Board would not be responsible for the supervision and administration of the Directorate. It is difficult to fathom the intention of the legislature in this respect because it is usual for boards of corporate bodies to superintend secretariats or directorates. A further amendment was made to Legal Aid legislation in 2005. By the Legal Aid (Amendment) Act, the Legal Aid Board was re-constituted as a body corporate, with perpetual succession and legal capacity to sue and to be sued. The composition of the Board was enlarged to include representatives from the Ministries responsible for finance and national planning; community development and social welfare; labour and sport and child development.


Furthermore, the functions of the board were reformulated and enlarged. The functions of the Board are to:

(a) Administer and manage the Legal Aid Fund;

(b) Facilitate the representation of persons granted legal aid under the Act;

(c) Assign practitioners to persons granted legal aid under the Act;

(d) Advise the Minister on policies relating to the provision of legal aid and implement

Government policies relating to the same; and

(e) Undertake such other activities relating to the provision of legal aid and which are conducive or incidental to the performance of its functions under the Act.


Although the Legal Aid Board has been established as a body corporate, it has not been delinked from the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry still recruits, disciplines and determines the conditions of service for legal aid personnel. The Ministry is also still responsible for mobilizing and disbursing resources to the Board. The de-linkage is important in order to establish an independent body that can effectively plan for expansion, hiring and retention of staff as well as mobilize resources from either Government or cooperating partners. The formality surrounding the Legal Aid Board still makes it difficult for the ordinary person to easily approach the Board.


The Legal Aid Board has offices in Lusaka, Kitwe, Ndola, Kabwe and Livingstone. It has on its establishment a total of twenty-one lawyers, out of an establishment of thirty four. 79 the lawyers for the Board are faced with crashing case loads. Apart from facing a critical shortage of staff, the Board has inadequate transport and operational tend to suffer. In view of the preceding constraints, the Board tends to limit the grant of legal aid to accused persons facing serious criminal cases mostly in the High Court. The Board therefore handles a very limited number of civil cases. The woes of the Board are also worsened by the fact that the Board is unable to attract and retain lawyers due to the poor conditions of service. The failure to decentralize the Board and its myriad of administrative and logistical problems has resulted in denying many indigent persons especially in rural areas legal aid.


Law reports

Zambia has a law report series known as the Zambia Law Reports (ZLR). These Law reports are available online and they are obtainable at the high court. The statutes of Zambia are available online and are listed by name. Supreme Court, High Court, Industrial Relations Court, Land Tribunal, Revenue Tribunal rulings are also found online. The Zambian Law Journal’ is found at the school of Law in the University of Zambia. The Laws of Zambia’ is a 1996 compilation of 26 Volumes containing all the laws and the entire respective various Republican Constitutions since independence. Volume 1 Contains the Index of the Laws of Zambia. The Laws are in read only PDF format. Zambia law Reports can also be obtained at the University of Pretoria. There is also ‘Zambia Law Reports Consolidated Indexcontaining the cumulative indexes of cases reported, cases referred to, legislation referred to, and subject matter from 1963 to 1978 Published in 1984, Council of Law Reporting, and High Court for Zambia (Lusaka, Zambia).

The Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZamLII) was established by the Law School of the University of Zambia in 1996, in partnership with Zamnet. It has received important start-up assistance from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School. The Institute's aim is to improve access to judgments, statutes and other legal materials of the Republic of Zambia within both Zambia and elsewhere and to connect lawyers, judges, academics, students and others within Zambia with the growing collection of legal information available around the globe via the Internet. ZamLII provides on-line research of Zambian and foreign legal information and general information about Zambia. Our collection of legal information in Zambia includes The Constitution of the Greater Republic of Zambia, rules and selected decisions of the courts, selected acts, legal commentary, a legal directory, and finally, information about the University of Zambia School of Law. ZamLII also provides links to foreign legal information in and outside of Africa. You can also find general information about Zambia through our link with Zamnet.

Government Gazettes

The government of Zambia publishes a gazette that contains all relevant announcements and enactment or amendments of laws and regulations. It incorporates various government decisions, and once they feature in the Gazette, government decisions are deemed and laws and regulations are deemed to have been published and validly promulgated.


Gazettes are used by both the government and ordinary citizens to convey information to the public. The following are some of the normal uses of gazettes:


  • Notices to creditors and debtors in administration of estates.
  • Publication of amendments to existing laws, regulations and rules.
  • Publications of newly enacted laws, regulations and rules.
  • Invitation for tenders from government departments.
  • Insurance of trading licenses for companies.
  • Publication of title deeds and deed of transfer in respect of property.


Law schools in Zambia

There is a school of law in the University of Zambia. It has a law department within the faculty of law that offers Bachelor of Laws degree. The law school in collaborations with Zamnet established The Zambia Legal Information Institute (ZamLII). It has received important start-up assistance from the Legal Information Institute of Cornell Law School.


Access to information

Access to information is impeded by a number of factors such as limited and uneven distribution of libraries and information materials, restrictive library regulations and lack of awareness among members of the general public of their rights of access to information. These limitations inhibit citizens from effectively participating in national affairs. Having said that legal information is available at the School of law and the internet as discussed above.


The Law Association of Zambia

The Law Association of Zambia is a professional organization bringing together more than 600 legal practitioners. The Association was founded in 1973 and brings together all practicing members of the legal profession. Prior to this, the Association was called the Law Society of Zambia. As in most other jurisdiction, the Law Association of Zambia regulates the legal profession. The Law Association of Zambia is a professional organization bringing together more than 600 legal practitioners. The Association was founded in 1973 and brings together all practicing members of the legal profession. Prior to this, the Association was called the Law Society of Zambia. Members of the association are Individual advocates practicing in Zambia and students enrolled in the University of Zambia Law School. Amongst others, the law association seeks to further the development of law as an instrument of social order and justice and as an essential element in the growth of society, To provide a means by which lawyers, whatever their particular field of activity, can participate together fully and effectively in the development of society and its institutions and To encourage lawyers as individuals to join actively in the life of, and identify themselves with people and to utilize their skills and training in their service .

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) is a body corporate established by the Law Association of Zambia Act, Chapter 31 of the Laws of Zambia. Being a body corporate, the Association can sue and be sued and is competent to enter into any contractual obligation of its choice. The Association’s main policy-making body is the Annual General Meeting, comprising all registered members of the Association, which membership presently stands at five hundred. In between the Annual General Meetings, the Association elects an Executive, comprising the Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Hon. Secretary, Hon. Treasurer and eleven Council Members to run the day-to-day affairs of the Association. The Association has various committees of duly appointed Advocates responsible for various activities of the Association. Membership is open to individual advocates practicing in Zambia and students enrolled in the University of Zambia Law School.

Political Parties

Significant political developments have occurred in Zambia since the 2001 tripartite elections. After having had two previous elections in 1991 and 1996, the 2001 elections produced a multiparty Parliament for the first time since Zambia’s independence in 1964. These elections seem to signal that the country has moved from a dominant one party political system to a competitive multi-party system. Despite these positive political developments, political parties and the party system in Zambia still remain relatively undeveloped. This trend in Zambian political culture may be partly due to the short time period in which political parties have had to organize, a lack of organizational funds, and a host of legal and political obstacles that have exacerbated political party fragmentation. Political parties play a vital and indispensable role in modern political systems and are the raison d’être of a multiparty system.


To its credit, Zambia has been deemed an “oasis of peace” in Africa since its independence. Although the country experienced one-party rule for 27 years, there was not the degree of repression and social anarchy that characterized many other African countries. Because of this unique attribute, Zambia’s political transition in 1991 was peaceful; Zambia successfully held presidential and parliamentary elections in 1996 and 2001. Despite disputes over the election results in 1996 and 2001, the country has been able to utilize constitutional provisions to resolve political differences.

The MMD government was elected in 1991 and within six months of assuming office; fragmentation began to surface within the ruling party. Several MPs resigned in the fracas. In 1993, several former cabinet ministers and notable MPs left MMD to form the National Party. Although several MPs successfully won their seats on the NP ticket, the party atrophied and failed to offer a serious challenge to the MMD government. Due to continued dissatisfaction with MMD, two other parties, the Zambia Democratic Congress (ZDC) and the Agenda for Zambia (AZ) were formed in 1995 and 1996 respectively.


Faced by a perceived threat from the political opposition, by 1996 the MMD government orchestrated a constitutional amendment to preclude the strongest challenger, UNIP’s Kenneth Kaunda, from competing in the 1996 elections. Traditional tribal chiefs were also barred from standing as candidates. In a backlash attempt by supporters of UNIP, the 1996 elections were widely boycotted by civil society representatives, and supporters of UNIP, resulting in a consolidation of MMD’s dominance in Parliament. That year, the MMD increased its parliamentary seats from 125 to 131, while the political opposition remained largely fragmented. Both parties were led by individuals who held senior positions in the first MMD National Executive Committee and were ministers in Chiluba’s first cabinet.


With the combined opposition parties winning only nine seats and the independent candidates having won ten seats, this parliamentary result followed serious irregularities in the electoral process. The alleged irregularities included poor management of the voter registration process, resulting in a massive reduction in voters eligible to participate in the elections. The overwhelming evidence of widespread vote rigging and other forms of electoral fraud in the 1996 elections led to the elections result being challenged in the Courts.

Amid popular contestation, Chiluba announced in May 2001 that he would not seek a third presidential term on the MMD ticket. In late August 2001, Levy Mwanawasa emerged as the party’s choice for its presidential candidate. The election date was announced at the end of November, in the middle of the rainy season and well after the MMD had commenced its election campaign. At the dissolution of Parliament, prior to the election, MMD held 89 seats as compared to 131 when elected in 1991. The opposition UPND, NP and UNIP held twenty seats in sum. Forty seats in Parliament were vacant. After a split within the MMD, forty seats that were occupied by that party were left vacant, as several MP’s who left the government either joined the opposition or formed other parties.

The 2001 tripartite elections were also widely regarded as flawed by both domestic and international observers. There were serious doubts as to whether the results reflected the will of the people. The final results released by the Electoral Commission of Zambia indicated that about 70% of the registered electorate cast their votes for president. Of these votes, the MMD party received 28.69%, while the UPND receiving 26.76%, a difference of 30,000 votes. Expressed as a percentage of registered voters, the MMD received less than 20% of the vote, which makes it the only party to win the government with such a narrow margin of victory since independence, in spite of allegations against the party over vote rigging and other alleged abuses of electoral fraud.

The 2001 elections seem to highlight the risks associated with transitioning from a dominant single party system to a non-authoritarian competitive party system. Of the seven political parties in Parliament, no party had an absolute majority. The MMD won less than 50 % of the seats (46%), while the UPND had just about a third (33%). Combined, MMD and UPND shared about 80% of seats in Parliament. Together, UNIP and FDD accounted for 17% of the seats while the remaining three opposition parties shared 5% of the seats. At the local government level, opposition parties controlled key city and municipal councils in about six provinces.


Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD)

The MMD originally formed during a planned referendum in July 1991 as a pressure group to campaign for the restoration of a multiparty system to contest the ruling party UNIP. In January 1991, MMD transformed itself into a political party with diverse representation, including trade unions, commercial farmers, the clergy, students, academics, businesspersons and former UNIP politicians. Under the leadership of the former Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) chairman-general, Frederick Chiluba, the party united around a cohesive platform to remove UNIP from power. As MMD consolidated power in 1991 and 1996 elections, with the party leadership garnering the majority vote, there were fears that the country was regressing back to a one-party state. As Although legislation severed the formal links between the party and government, MMD’s priority position in government allowed it to use the incumbency to access state resources, especially during election campaigns. As a result of discord within the party over governance issues, between 1993 and 1996 the party experienced several defections and resignations leading to the formation of rival political parties.

In 2001, the MMD had an organizational presence in every province within the country. Consequently, the party could boast of national structures and coverage and it held regular elections for its national leaders. However, as the 2001 elections drew nearer, the party was faced with the prospect of defeat, triggered by the desire of
President Chiluba to run for a third term in office. As public pressure against the third term mounted and senior party leaders began denouncing the action, the party began to lose its popularity. Eventually, the president declared he would not seek a third term and the MMD went on to win its third mandate. However, MMD’s electoral performance was very poor -having gained less than 30% of the national vote and winning less than three seats in four provinces. This was perhaps the lowest mandate won by any ruling party in Zambia since independence and posed serious challenges to the new leadership.


The MMD manifesto is based on the promotion of a free market economy and good governance. Since 1991, the party has implemented a very ambitious economic reform program. It has liberalized the economy and removed most of the controls that characterized the Zambian economy in the Second Republic. These policies have
produced a serious social impact, which has contributed to deterioration in living standards and a high incidence of poverty. The party faces a number of challenges, as has been reflected in the party’s declining representation in Parliament, considering that since the 2001 elections the MMD no longer commands an absolute majority.

The United Party for National Development

United Party for National Development (UPND) was formed the UPND in 1998. The party was established on a social democratic platform of providing free health and educational services to the Zambian people. It also articulated a commitment to providing agricultural subsidies to rural farmers to increase agricultural production. The UPND’s performance in local government and parliamentary elections between 1998 and 2000 made it the main opposition party to the MMD.


The party won more than 60 local council seats in the 1998 local government elections and six parliamentary by-elections in Southern, Western and Central provinces. It also controlled one council in north-western province. Although the party claimed an organizational presence in almost all of Zambia’s nine provinces, it was better
organized in Central, north-western, Southern and Western provinces.


UPND finished second to the MMD presidential candidate in the 2001 elections. The party won the majority of local government seats in Western, Central, north-western, Southern and Lusaka provinces. With these 49 seats, UPND was the second largest party in Parliament. Historically, UPND has strong ties to other opposition parties, with which it contested the results of the 2001 election in the Supreme Court. The party has encountered serious leadership and organizational challenges, including its level of dependency on the patronage of its party president.


Although the party’s national leadership is representative of all the ethnic groups, the electorate perceives it as a regional or ethnic party. Additionally, the party has had difficulty asserting itself as the main opposition party in the country. Without recognition as the official opposition, on account of falling short of the threshold of 53 seats, the party has been unable to systematically challenge government policy in Parliament and to initiate legislation. Notwithstanding these shortcomings, UPND has been internally cohesive and self-confident, as evidenced by very few defections among the senior leadership. Additionally, it is the only political party that successfully expelled its MP for accepting a ministerial appointment in the MMD government.


United National Independence Party (UNIP)

UNIP is the oldest African political party in Zambia. It was established in 1959. It was briefly involved governmentwiththeANCbetween1962-1964and it was the governing party in Zambia from 1964-1991.The leader of the party until 1992 was former President Kenneth Kaunda, who was the first president of the independent country of Zambia. He voluntarily stepped down in favour of Kebby Musokotwane, but returned to the party in 1995 to increase the party’s chances of defeating the MMD in 1996. Kaunda was excluded from running on the party’s ticket in 1996 due to a controversial constitutional amendment passed by the ruling MMD, which barred persons whose parents were not born in Zambia from contesting the presidency.

Between 1992 and 1998, UNIP suffered harassment under the government’s rule, including arrests and detentions over allegations that the party conspired to overthrow the Government. The most controversial of these alleged conspiracy acts were the “Zero Option” and “Black Mamba” “plots” that resulted in a number of UNIP leaders being detained, including the party’s vice president Chief Inyambo Yeta. Additionally, UNIP president Kenneth Kaunda was detained in connection with an alleged coup attempt to overthrow the MMD government in December 1997.

Although the party can legitimately claim to have countrywide organizational structures, the party has experienced serious organizational problems since leaving office in 1991. During the one-party era prior to 1991, UNIP benefited from the use of public funds because there was no distinction between the ruling party’s purse and the government as evidenced by the fact that party officials were paid from the public treasury, the party used government vehicles and the State financed party offices. Since leaving office, UNIP has had to rely upon its own resources and properties, which has translated into a diminution of the party’s organizational capacity. The Central Committee that was formerly full-time is now part-time and a number of staff have been laid off or have not been paid for a significant period of time. Due to financial problems, the party has not been able to hold important party meetings.

In addition to organizational problems, the party has also experienced serious leadership problems since 1992. Internal bickering and factionalism has led to frequent leadership turnover, suspensions and sometimes expulsions. The influence of the party’s founder and former president Kenneth Kaunda may have had a negative
impact on party organization and membership morale, as the party seems to be divided between two camps between supporters of the former president, and those who want fresh leadership without formal ties to Kaunda.

A leadership crisis in 2000 led to the ouster of party president Francis Nkhoma and his replacement by Kaunda’s son and UNIP’s secretary general, Tilyenji Kaunda, who later contested the 2001 presidential elections. There are concerns within the party over Tilyenji Kaunda’s leadership ability, as he is perceived to be directing the affairs of the party from outside the country and lacking necessary organizational experience. UNIP espouses a distinct social-democratic ideology that calls for more state- involvement in the economy and the provision of state resources for social services. However, the perceived failure of its past policies, coupled with its serious leadership problems have contributed to the party’s failure to offer a formidable opposition to the ruling MMD.


Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD)

This party was formed in July 2001 by senior party and government officials who were expelled from the MMD for opposing a third term of the country’s president. The original founders included the former Vice President of Zambia, Christon Tembo, cabinet ministers, deputy ministers and MPs. In September 2001, Tembo was elected as the party’s first president, with a similar manifesto as the MMD. In the 2001 elections, the FDD won 12 MP seats in Lusaka and Eastern provinces. It also gained control of the Lusaka City Council. Additionally, its candidate in presidential elections finished third, managing to win 13% of the national vote. Additionally, the party fielded the largest number of councilors and MPs and won the mayoral ticket. Unsatisfied with the results, however, the FDD have joined in collaboration with other parties to contest the 2001 elections results in the Supreme Court. The party has an organizational presence in all nine provinces of the country. Although relatively well organized, lately a significant number of FDD party members have defected to the MMD government. Recently three of its MPs were appointed to governmental ministerial positions without party consultation. While the party supports a Government of National Unity (GNU), as it has sought to negotiate its involvement in the MMD government with the President to date it has been unable to reach a workable partnership.

Heritage Party (HP)

Godfrey Miyanda, former Zambian Vice President from 1994 to 1997 founded the HP. Like other opposition parties, the HP was formed in protest of the government’s bid for a third presidential term. HP is committed to promoting integrity in public office, transparency and greater public accountability. The party’s leader is a
central force in the party’s operation. Although the party contested the 2001 elections and finished fifth with about 8% of the national vote, it obtained only four MPs in the most recent elections. Since those elections, two of these MPs have defected to the ruling party, while the remaining two HP MPs have both been appointed to Deputy Ministerial positions in the MMD government party approval. The party views this action as “poaching” and because there is no expulsion clause in the HP constitution, it has not challenged with the “erring” MPs. Currently HP is one of the parties challenging the election of the country’s president in the Supreme Court


Zambia Republican Party (ZRP)

Many former MMD members claim that their only quarrel with the MMD was Chiluba’s desire to run for a third term. This explains why a number of FDD members and officials have gravitated back to the MMD after Levy Mwanasa was elected President. The ZRP was formed in early 2001 through an alliance of four parties including the Republican Party. The ZRP presidential candidate in the 2001 elections did not perform well finishing sixth with less than five percent (4.8%) of the national vote. Although the party did win one Parliamentary seat in Lusaka Province, the MP has since been appointed by the government as Cabinet Minister. The party’s policy direction does not differ fundamentally from the MMD. ZRP supports a free-market economy based on private entrepreneurship, good incentives to the private sector and a Government that is responsive and responsible to the citizens.


Patriotic Front (PF)

 In September 2001 Michael Sata, a former Cabinet Minister and the MMD National Secretary, formed the PF. It was the last of the parties to be formed as a result of MMD succession problems. The party was organized quickly to contest the 2001 elections and consequently it did not perform well. The PF secured under 4% (3.3%) of the national vote and won only one MP seat. The party’s main policy platform is the reduction in taxes and prudence in the management of public resources. The party’s leader is a central force in the party’s operation. However, the main problem the party faces is a public perception that its leader supported Chiluba’s third term bid and was at the forefront of prosecuting those opposed to it through suspensions and expulsions. The are other political parties which have contested parliamentary seats and they include National Citizens Coalition (NCC), Social Democratic Party (SDP), Zambia Alliance for Progress (ZAP), National Leadership for Development (NLD) and the NCC (National Citizens Coalition).


Civil society

Zambia has a variety of non-governmental organizations working on issues of human rights and related fields. Despite the euphoria over the defeat of President-since-independence, Kenneth Kaunda's, United National Independence Party (UNIP) in Zambia's first ever multi-party elections, it has become clear that elections did not herald an end to the prominence of human rights issues in the political life of the country. The then ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD has been beset by political scandal, defection, corruption and allegations of involvement in the traffic of illegal drugs. The new government has also demonstrated a certain degree of intolerance by declaring a state of emergency and detaining several opponents, following claims of a coup plot hatched by members of UNIP. At the same time, law enforcement agencies for the most part remain fixated on their erstwhile methods of operation, which were, to say the least, not human rights-sensitive. The press is often targeted for harassment.


Human rights organizations (HROs) in Zambia are, in the main, faced with extending the experience they gained in the monitoring of elections and civic education to other areas of human rights work. While the elections were an issue around which it was fairly easy to galvanize interest and attention, there is a need to aggressively promote knowledge of human rights among the general populace--broadly described as "apathetic". Some prominent cases from the past regime, such as the detention-without-trial of Katiza Cebekhulu (the key witness in the trial of Winnie Mandela, who was spirited away from South Africa in order not to give testimony expected to be potentially damaging), have been passed over to the new government, but the government has done little to address the concerns expressed by human rights groups about them. Torture is reported to take place on a regular basis. In addition, there have been reports of a number of incidents where police have detained the relatives of their intended victims, in order to flush them out of hiding--the case of opposition UNIP member, William Banda, being the most prominent. The new HROs that have come into existence are largely believed to be "elitist", and need to cooperate more effectively with the press and others involved in the human rights struggle.


Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD)

The Centre for Human Rights and Democracy (CHRD) has yet to make a significant impact on the human rights scene in Zambia, although it runs an office for pro bono counseling on legal and human rights matters. The Centre faced initial problems with registration, as the authorities suspected their motives. Although the registration matters were overcome, it continues to encounter problems with government obstruction of receipt of external funding granted to the organization. The Centre is nevertheless looking around for alternatives, and intends to organize a paralegal training course to be conducted in June 1994.


Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ)

The Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ) was part of the group that was active in the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP), but it has, in general, adopted a low profile with respect to advocacy on human rights issues in Zambia. Instead, it deals with questions such as refugees and relief, some gender questions, ethics, development and unemployment. This activity is all conducted under the auspices of the Social Justice Committee of the CCZ.


Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP)

Initially begun as a monitoring group prior to the 1991 general elections, FODEP is an umbrella organization comprised of several church groups, women's organizations, the Law Association and the Press Association. Today, FODEP has broadened its mandate to cover civic education for the purposes of enhancing the general awareness of the population. Drawing on its experience in the elections, FODEP intends to focus on civil and political rights at the local level, and to involve parliamentary and other elected representatives in the dissemination of knowledge and information about these rights.


Human Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ)

The Law Association of Zambia (LAZ), a statutory body recognized by law in 1973, established a Human Rights Committee to function under its auspices. The Committee was heavily involved in civic education around the elections and produced a number of programs for the broadcast media on elections and civic rights. The Committee transcribed the notes from these seminars and circulated them as a further mechanism of sensitization. In conjunction with the Catholic Secretariat, it has also designed a program for the conduct of simultaneous seminars on human rights in all the provincial centres of the country, as a starting-point for the sensitization of the broad populace on general human rights issues. A series of seminars for the police force have also been designed, the first to commence in Lusaka. As a major human rights actor, the Committee has received several reports on police violence and prison conditions, and attempts to ensure that these issues are expeditiously addressed.


Inter-African Network for Human Rights (AFRONET)

AFRONET is billed as an organization designed to promote coordination and networking among African HROs. As yet, it has only begun to meet with various organizations within Zambia and to publicize its operations outside the country. Although it has observer status at the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, it still has a long way to go, both in the conceptualization of its precise goals and programs, and in raising the consciousness of HROs throughout the continent on the need for coordination and networking. Its programs focus on communication, the promotion of good governance and sustainable development, human rights, and the interaction of law and society.


Legal Resources Foundation (LRF)

The Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) was established as a company limited by guarantee, in order to obviate the possibility of the authorities' exercising their powers to ban a society under the provisions of the Societies Act. The idea of the LRF was conceived in 1991 prior to the meeting of the Commonwealth Heads of Government (CHOGUM) in Harare. LRF has several objectives, including the promotion of an interest in human rights; the development of law (through the publication of cases, law reports and a monthly newsletter); and reform of the law. So far, however, LRF has not commenced operations and has yet to formulate specific programs to actualize its objectives.


National Women's Lobby Group

Established on July 20, 1991, the National Women's Lobby Group (WLG) is a pressure group established to pursue the rights of women, children and minorities, especially in relation to the policy-making bodies in the country. It is headed by a Secretary General, who is presently assisted only by a secretary. WLG is composed of a number of women's NGOs and its approach is broad in ambit. It is involved in networking and is a resource base for information and policies about women. It also lobbies the President and informs the electorate about issues of women's rights. WLG has developed a three-year plan by which it will work towards a core budget to cover training in human rights and, especially, in lobbying and outreach.


Office of Social Education of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC)

Often working in collaboration with the other church groups in Zambia (the Christian Council and the Evangelical Fellowship); the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC) has been more public and active in the arena of human rights, especially in the issuance of public statements or pastoral letters, than have its counterparts. ZEC statements have covered issues such as structural adjustment and its impact on human rights, a review of the Constitution, and problems with the transition to the third (present) republic. The ZEC has embarked on an active program of encouraging the formation of Justice and Peace Committees at the local level, building on the model of the Zimbabwean experience. To this end, it has conducted a total of five seminars over the past two years in order to sensitize its members on the spirituality of justice and peace, and the need for respect for human rights. The attendees at these seminars have then proceeded out into the countryside, and sought to disseminate the information they have culled to the broader populace. The results have varied, but are a significant beginning for a process that will invariably take some time to gel. Individual Justice and Peace Committees also identify areas of specific concern to their local communities. Among the issues that have been addressed are: the treatment of prisoners on remand, the payment and condition of domestic workers at large and within church institutions, the issue of allocation of places in schools, and the effect of the structural adjustment program. A national Justice and Peace Committee/Commission is yet to be established.


Women's Rights Committee of the Law Association of Zambia (WRC)

Established in 1988 as part of the LAZ, the Women's Rights Committee (WRC) gained impetus after the passing of the Intestate Succession Act. Following this, WRC established a National Legal Aid Clinic for Women in November 1990, which has been run in the main by volunteer lawyers. A full-time Coordinator for the Clinic was appointed in 1991, and continues to be assisted by volunteers. The clinic still has problems of recognition and has not been formally registered, but utilizes the framework of the Citizen's Advice Bureau of the LAZ in order to appear in court. The WRC functions like a private law firm and the majority of its cases are on inheritance, divorce, and custody and maintenance matters. The clientele are mainly the unemployed who are charged only a nominal fee.


Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA)

The Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA) initially commenced as a program of UNIP--the former ruling political party--as a mechanism in its "revival campaign" to meet the challenges following the general election, but the party was not extremely responsive to its overtures. Consequently, the group has attempted to distance itself from any direct political affiliation and claims to be wholly independent. The ZCEA is under the organizational control of a Chair, who is the only full-time worker, while all its programs are implemented by volunteers. One of its first actions was to inaugurate what it calls "clinics", which are held every Saturday and Sunday, where ZCEA holds public information sessions, discussing the role of public officers, human rights education and issues such as health, hygiene and the environment, as the most "basic needs" of the community. The group has also targeted the police and attempted to implement a community-policing scheme in at least one area of peri-urban Lusaka. This has been approached as a pilot project, and an attempt has been made to deal with common problems in the relationship between police and the community. The scheme has also addressed conditions at the stations, related to the cells, women prisoners, and so on. The ZCEA has also designed a "right to shelter" project in Mapoloto Township.




The President’s Office
The Office of the President of the Republic of Zambia is the highest executive position in Government.  The President is the Head of Government and the National Assembly, and also serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Forces of Zambia. The Office is attended to by the Chief of State House Staff, Principal Private Secretary, Three Senior Private Secretaries and Five Special Assistants (Press, Economics, Politics, Legal, Projects Monitoring and Implementation).  Two Chief Personal Secretaries serve directly in the Office where the President works, supported by his Aide De Camp.


National Assembly

The National Assembly is comprised of 150 directly elected members, up to eight presidentially-appointed members, and a speaker. Zambia is divided into nine provinces, each administered by an appointed deputy minister who essentially performs the duties of a governor. The Supreme Court is the highest court and the court of appeal; below it are the high court, magistrate's court, and local courts.


Voting in Parliament

Voting is done through simple majority. There are no reserved seats or quotas for women, ethnic minorities or other categories. Vacancies arising between general elections are filled through by-elections. Voting is not compulsory.


Voting is open to all people above 18 years and eligibility to stand for parliamentary is 21 years, of Zambian citizenship (including naturalized citizens), and resident in the country at the time of election. Also eligible are people who are able to speak and read in the official language of Zambia, as well as citizens overseas, who are not civil servants.


Disqualified are people who pay allegiance to a foreign State, insanity, sentence of death or imprisonment, conviction of a corrupt or illegal practice within five years preceding the elections, persons found guilty of such practice upon the trial of an election petition, lawful custody, persons who are not in possession of a national registration card, insanity, undischarged bankrupts, sentence of death or imprisonment, restriction in movement or detention pursuant to certain laws, etc.


The office of the Speaker

The Office of the Speaker in the Parliament of Zambia is established under Article 69(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. The election of the Speaker is the first business that a new Assembly transacts at its first meeting. This is so because Article 69(3) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia states. No business shall be transacted in the National Assembly (other than the election to the Office of Speaker) – at any time when the Office of the Speaker is vacant (The Constitution of Zambia, 1996).

The Functions of the Speaker

The Speaker is the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly and his authority is recognised and respected by all Hon. Members of Parliament. He regulates debates and enforces strict observance of rules which govern orderly conduct in the House. He calls upon Members who wish to speak to do so. He preserves the order and dignity of proceedings in the Assembly. He is the spokesman and the representative in its pows, proceedings and dignity of the institution’s external relations with other authorities and persons outside Parliament.

The Speaker is the custodian of parliamentary procedure, bills and all parliamentary papers and publications. All Members of Parliament look to him for guidance in matters of procedure, and he decides on points of order. He may give his rulings immediately or defer his decision to a later date or time. His rulings constitute precedents by which the subsequent Speakers of the Assembly will be guided. The Speaker’s ruling or, indeed, that of the Deputy Speaker and the Deputy Chairman of Committees of the whole House may not be criticised or questioned except by a substantive motion of which notice has been given. An affront to the Speaker or the Chair is an affront to the entire House.

The Speaker is the guardian of the dignity and privileges of the House; and it is only through him that Members of the National Assembly claim and enjoy their rights of access to the Head of State, the President. The Speaker has wide powers in the House. He can call Members to order for the use of non-parliamentary language; for any unbecoming behaviour; for irrelevance; and for tedious repetition. He can order Members to resume their seats or to withdraw a word or a phrase or order a Member to apologise in accordance with the Standing Orders; and he can order a Member to leave the Chamber. If a Member disregards the authority of the Chair or contravenes the rules of the Assembly by persistent and wilful obstruction or otherwise, the Speaker or the Chairman of Committees has the authority to ‘name’ that Member, after which the Leader of Government Business in the House (the Vice-President) or any Cabinet Minister present would move a motion for the appropriate punishment to be meted out, which may include a suspension from the House. If the Member does not leave the House, the Speaker orders the Sergeant-at-Arms to remove him by force.

In addition to presiding over the debates of the House, the Speaker is the Chairman of all Sessional and Select Committees, but physically chairs the Standing Orders Committee. The Speaker is also the President of both the Zambia Branch of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and the Zambia National Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU). In this capacity, he presides at their Annual General Meetings. Together with the Executive Committees of both organisations, he appoints Hon. Members of Parliament to attend Commonwealth Parliamentary Association and Inter-Parliamentary Union seminars, regional and parliamentary conferences as delegates. He also appoints members of staff of the National Assembly to serve as Secretaries to such delegations.

Deputy Speaker

The Office of the Deputy Speaker in the National Assembly of Zambia is an honourable office established under Article 70(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia. The election of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly is the second business after the election of the Speaker that the new Assembly transacts at its first meeting in accordance with Article 70(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Zambia which states that the members of the National Assembly elect a person to the Office of the Deputy Speaker when the Assembly first sits after any dissolution of the National Assembly and, if the Office becomes vacant otherwise than by reason of the dissolution of the National  Assembly, at the first sitting of the Assembly after the office becomes vacant (The Constitution of Zambia, 1996).

Duties of the Deputy Speaker

The duties of the Deputy Speaker are those enumerated for the Speaker, in the absence of the latter.  The Deputy Speaker is also the Chairman of Committees of the whole House.  As Chairman of Committee of the whole House, the Deputy Speaker has the following responsibilities when the House resolves into Committee; that is, to guide the House in its deliberations of:

a)  The committee stages of all bills under consideration in the House;

b) The estimates of expenditure, in the Committee of Supply, after the budget address by the Minister of Finance and Economic Development and when the House considers Supplementary Estimates; and

c) The revenue measures, in the Committee of Ways and Means.  This Committee considers taxation measures and bills dealing with taxation or raising of funds, which only comes before the House after the Committee of Ways and Means has agreed to the measures.

The Sergeant-At-Arms

The Sergeant-At-Arms is an officer of the House whose duty is to assist the Speaker in maintaining law and order in the Chamber. The Sergeant-At-Arms also provides security to the Hon. Mr. Speaker and the Chamber when the House is in Session. The officer is the custodian of the Mace.  The Mace of the Parliament of Zambia is made of copper with an ivory shaft and natural amethyst set in the head and end.  The cone of the Mace bears three copper eagles and engraved on the collars of the shaft are the words; ‘Republic of Zambia’ and ‘One Zambia, One Nation’. The Mace is the symbol of authority of the Speaker.  It is brought into and taken out of the Chamber by the Sergeant-At-Arms, who leads the Speaker’s procession and also announces the procession’s entry into the Chamber.  When the Speaker is presiding over business of the House, the Mace is laid on the Table of the House.  During the Committees of the Whole House, which are presided over by the Deputy Speaker, the Mace is placed in the lower brackets at the front of the Table.  During the Ceremonial Opening of Parliament by the President, the Mace is placed on the Table of the House and covered with a green cloth. Under the Sergeant-At-Arms fall the House Messengers. The House Messengers service the House and the Committees when these are sitting.

The Deputy Chairman of the Committee

The Deputy Speaker, who is the Chairman of Committee of the whole House is deputised by the Deputy Chairman of Committee of the whole House. His functions are those of the Chairman of Committee of the whole House. He sits in for the Deputy Speaker whenever circumstances necessitate this.

The Electoral Commission

Electoral Commission Act 24 of 1996 provides for the formation and composition of Electoral Commission and its operations. The Commission consist of a Chairperson and not more than four other members appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly (Section 4 (1) (b)), for a term not exceeding Seven years. In addition, it sets out the circumstances under which the President may remove a member of the Commission. The Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) is the autonomous electoral management body for the Republic of Zambia. The ECZ was established in 1996 under article 76 of the Constitution of Zambia.


The Chairperson of the Commission shall be a person who has held, or qualified to hold high judicial office or any other suitably qualified person. Whereas the Chairman and members of the Commission constitute the policy making body, the Electoral Commission Act 24 provides for the Commission to appoint a Director who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Commission and is responsible for management and Administration of the Commission, and

implementation of the decisions of the Commission. The Director is assisted by such staff as the Commission appoints by statutory instrument on such terms and conditions as the Commission determines.


Legislation governing the electoral commission

The Electoral Commission of Zambia is an independent and autonomous Electoral Management Body (EMB) that is governed and regulated by the following pieces of legislation:

ü  The Constitution of Zambia, 1991;

ü  The Electoral Commission Act No.24 of 1996;

ü  The Electoral Act No.12 of 2006;

ü  The Local Government Elections Act, Cap 282 of the laws of Zambia;

ü  The Local Government Elections (Amendment) Act, 1997; and

ü  Various statutory instruments made to regulate the electoral process, such as the Electoral (code of conduct) regulations, the Electoral (General) regulations and the Electoral (registration of Voters) regulations.


The Electoral Commission of Zambia is responsible for the delimitation of constituency, ward and polling district boundaries; (see Article 76 of the Constitution, Section 9 of the Local Government Elections Act and Section 37 of the Electoral Act, 2006 , respectively); the registration of eligible citizens as voters and the update and maintenance of a register of voters (Article 76 and Section 4 of the Electoral Act); the conduct and the supervision of the Zambia’s presidential, National Assembly(parliamentary) and Local Government elections (see Article 76 of the Constitution and Section 2 the Local Government Elections (Amendment) Act No 17, 1997).


The Electoral Commission is also responsible to provide electoral information and voter education to members of the public and the electorate on the various phases/stages of the electoral process and elections, in particular. (See Section 77 of the electoral Act, 2006); It also has powers to facilitate the establishment of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms for the management of electoral disputes (Section 111 of the Electoral Act, 2006); and powers to make regulations deemed pertinent to the electoral process (see Section 129 of the Electoral Act, 2006).


The Electoral Commission as established under Article 76 of the Constitution consists of a chairperson and four other members appointed by the President, subject to ratification by the National Assembly for a term not exceeding seven years (See section 4 of the Electoral Commission Act). The Act also provides the provisions for the removal of Commission members and all matters incidental to the internal operation of the Electoral Commission.


1991 - 2001 - MMD and Frederick Chiluba

By the end of Chiluba's first term as president (1996), the MMD's commitment to political reform had faded in the face of re-election demands. A number of prominent supporters founded opposing parties. Relying on the MMD's overwhelming majority in parliament, President Chiluba in May 1996 pushed through constitutional amendments that eliminated former President Kaunda and other prominent opposition leaders from the 1996 presidential elections.

In the presidential and parliamentary elections held in November 1996, Chiluba was re-elected, and the MMD won 131 of the 150 seats in the National Assembly. Kaunda's UNIP party boycotted the parliamentary polls to protest the exclusion of its leader from the presidential race, alleging in addition that the outcome of the election had been predetermined due to a faulty voter registration exercise. Despite the UNIP boycott, the elections took place peacefully, and five presidential and more than 600 parliamentary candidates from 11 parties participated. Afterward, however, several opposition parties and non-governmental organizations declared the elections neither free nor fair. As President Chiluba began his second term in 1997, the opposition continued to reject the results of the election amid international efforts to encourage the MMD and the opposition to resolve their differences through dialogue.

Early in 2001, supporters of President Chiluba mounted a campaign to amend the constitution to enable Chiluba to seek a third term of office. Civil society, opposition parties, and many members of the ruling party complimented widespread popular opposition to exert sufficient pressure on Chiluba to force him to back away from any attempt at a third term. Presidential, parliamentary, and local government elections were held on December 27, 2001. Eleven parties contested the elections. The elections encountered numerous administrative problems. Opposition parties alleged that serious irregularities occurred. Nevertheless, MMD presidential candidate Levy Mwanawasa was declared the victor by a narrow margin, and he was sworn into office on January 2, 2002. Three parties submitted petitions to the High Court, challenging the presidential election results. The courts decided that there had been irregularities but that they were not serious enough to have affected the overall result, thus the election result was upheld. Opposition parties won a majority of parliamentary seats in the December, 2001 election, but subsequent by-elections gave the ruling MMD a slim majority in Parliament.

2001-2008 elections


2001 election

In August 2000, the National Executive Committee of MMD elected Mwanawasa as its presidential candidate for the 2001 election. He won the election, held on 27 December 2001, with 29% due to Zambia's first past the post system, beating 10 other candidates including two other former vice presidents (Godfrey Miyanda and Gen. Christon Tembo); Anderson Mazoka came in a close second with 27%, according to official results. Mwanawasa took office on 2 January 2002. However, the results of the elections were disputed by main opposition parties, including Mazoka's United Party for National Development, which many observers claim had actually won the elections.[2] Both domestic and international election monitors cited serious irregularities with the campaign and election, including vote rigging, flawed voter registration, unequal and biased media coverage, and the MMD's improper use of state resources. In January 2002, three opposition candidates petitioned the Supreme Court to overturn Mwanawasa's victory. While the court agreed that the poll was flawed, it ruled in February 2005 that the irregularities did not affect the results and declined the petition.[3]

The 2006 presidential election was hotly contested. Mwanawasa ran for a second term in the presidential election held on 28 September 2006. His re-election was confirmed on 2 October; according to official results, he received 42.98% of the vote. Mwanawasa was re-elected by a clear margin over principle challengers Michael Sata of the Patriotic Front and Hakainde Hichilema of the United Party for National Development. The parliamentary election that same year awarded MMD with 72 seats, the remaining 84 seats split among other parties with the majority of those seats going to the Patriotic Front. He was sworn in for another term on 3 October [7] and a few days later, he named a new cabinet and appointed Rupiah Banda as Vice-President.[8]

The presidency of Levy Mwanawasa until his death in office in mid-2008 was different than the flamboyant expenditure and increasingly apparent corruption of the later years of Frederick Chiluba's terms in office. Indeed, the former president was arrested and charged with several counts of embezzlement and corruption, firmly quashing initial fears that President Mwanawasa would turn a blind eye to the allegations of his predecessor's improprieties. Mwanawasa was accused by some observers of demonstrating an authoritarian streak in early 2004 when his Minister of Home Affairs issued a deportation order to a British citizen and long-time Zambian resident Roy Clarke, who had published a series of satirical attacks on the President in the independent Post newspaper. However, when Clarke appealed to the High Court against the order, the judge ruled that the order was arbitrary and unjustified and quashed the order. President Mwanawasa, true to his mantra of heading a government of laws, respected the court decision and Clarke was allowed to resume his column of satirical critique. Mwanawasa's early zeal to root out corruption also waned somewhat, with key witnesses in the Chiluba trial leaving the country. The Constitutional Review Commission set up by Mwanawasa also hit some turbulence, with arguments as to where its findings should be submitted leading to suspicions that he has been trying to manipulate the outcome. Generally, the Zambian electorate viewed Mwanawasa's rule as a great improvement over Chiluba's.

The 2008 presidential by-election

In August 2008, President Mwanawasa tragically died of a stroke and a presidential by-election was constitutionally required to establish his successor. Then Zambian vice president Rupiah Banda succeeded him to the office of president, to be held as a temporary position until the emergency election on October 30, 2008. In this election, Sata trailed the MMD candidate Rupiah Banda by only two percentage points, raising public suspicions of a last-minute “rig” by the powers that be. Banda won by a narrow margin over opposition leader Michael Sata, to complete the remainder of Mwanawasa's term. Unrest was averted however by Sata going on radio and television to order his followers to abstain from violence.  

2011 Elections

A general election was held in Zambia in September 2011[1] to elect a President and representatives to the National Assembly.[2] The 20 September 2011 elections in Zambia were the country’s 5th multi-party elections and despite some shortcomings represent further progress for the country in strengthening its democratic processes. Up to this point, and with some aspects of the process continuing, many of the benchmarks for democratic elections have been met, even though some shortcomings do remain to be addressed for the future.

The elections were highly competitive, in terms of the number of parties as well as the number of candidates. There were 10 presidential candidates and 769 candidates from 20 political parties for the National Assembly elections. The democratic principles of participation and representation as well as the basic freedoms of association, assembly and movement were largely met. However, there was a noted decrease in the number of women candidates for the National Assembly elections even though women account for more than 50 per cent of the electorate and the population.

It was a rare example in Africa of an opposition candidate’s cruising to victory and, perhaps more important, the incumbent’s graciously admitting defeat. Rupiah Banda, who was elected president in 2008, tearfully acknowledged that he had lost and called for his supporters to recognize Mr Sata as president, paving the way for a smooth transition of power. Zambia, a sparsely populated, copper-rich country in southern Africa, had been ruled by the same party for 20 years. A smooth transition of power is nothing to be taken for granted in this part of the world. Former Ivory Coast president Laurent Gbagbo’s refusal to acknowledge that he had been roundly defeated by opposition leader Alassane Ouattara plunged the country into months of suspense, turmoil and ultimately violence before he was finally captured. Kenya exploded in violence in 2007 after a deeply flawed election kept the president in power, and Robert Mugabe’s refusal to give up the reins in Zimbabwe in 2008 set off nationwide bloodshed. In Ethiopia in 2005, government forces gunned down hundreds of opposition supporters after a contested election.


Changes since he assumed office

President Michael Sata has with dissolved boards of three parastatal institutions which include the Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), Zambia Electricity Supply Corporation (ZESCO), National Pensions Scheme Authority (NAPSA) and Bank of Zambia (BoZ) board.

Further, the President has reversed the sale of Finance Bank-Zambia and directed the Ministry of Finance to give it back to the owners. The Zambia Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) has also welcomed the directive by President Michael Sata that the Ministry of Labour, Sport, Youth and Gender to revise the minimum wage from the current K419,000.

Road contracts

On-going road construction projects will be reviewed as part of the new Government’s roadmap to track the levels of corruption and promote transparency in the governance of the country. Contractors working on the roads should not be jittery if they did not engage in questionable contracts. Earlier it had been reported that there were reports that some contractors were given jobs worth K2 billion per kilometre, which is irregular. The government would not cancel any contract if there was no corruption involved in the process of awarding tenders. 


Food Reserve Agency

The Food Reserve Agency (FRA) is also on the list of institutions to be audited to determine the levels of transparency in paying farmers. The FRA would be audited to determine the levels of transparency in paying farmers.


Central Bank Governor

Zambia’s central bank Governor who helped curb inflation to below 10 percent for the first time in 30 years, was fired by President Michael Sata in a sign the government may seek looser monetary policy. The central bank governor was head of the Bank of Zambia since 2002, winning awards for his fight against inflation. His removal may signal the government wants lower interest rates and a weaker currency in Africa’s biggest copper producer.


Army Generals

The government has ordered thirteen (13) Security and Defence Brigadier-Generals and sixteen (16) Colonels who have reached retirement age but were still occupying public offices following the illegal amendment of section 38 of the Defence and Security Act Cap 106 which allowed them to continue serving in the army to vacate their offices by December this year. The President said the previous Government contravened the law when it amended the section of the Defence law outside Parliament allowing retired senior defence personnel to continue occupying public offices contrary to what is outlined in the Defence Act.

The president made the order when he swore in eleven police commissioners, and one Permanent Secretary in the new Ministry of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs at State House in Lusaka. He said the previous Government had no mandate to amend the statutory Instrument section 38 without the approval of Parliament. He said the decision was done arbitrary and as such, needed to go back to Parliament for a final decision over the matter.

Zambian Defence Force

The Zambian Defence Force (ZDF) consists of the army, the air force, and Zambian National Service (ZNS). The ZNS, while operating under the Ministry of Defence, is responsible primarily for public works projects. The ZDF is designed primarily for internal defence in Zambia. Being a landlocked country, Zambia has no navy.

Air Force

The Zambian Air Force is a small air force equipped with Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-21MFs and Mikoyan-Gurevich MiG-19S in addition to a range of transport aircraft and helicopters. The Zambian Air Force (ZAF) is the air force of Zambia. Following the creation of the Republic of Zambia in 1964, Zambian military aviation was organized as the Zambia Air Wing which lasted until 1968. The Zambian Air Force was then established.

The primary missions of the Air Force are to defend Zambia's borders and protect its airspace. In addition, it provides various forms of air support to other government departments. Thus, it also flies reconnaissance, trooping and transport missions for the police and airlifts medical supplies and personnel to inaccessible areas. Finally, the organisation provides emergency transport whenever needed. One of the more recent relief operations mounted by the Air Arm occurred in early 2007, when it came to the aid of flood victims in the North-Western Province. Few details are available on force deployment, but combat elements are understood to be located at Lusaka (K-8), Mbala (MB-326) and Mumbwa (MiG-21), with the small fleet of transport aircraft and utility helicopters also reportedly stationed at Lusaka.







http://www.standardandpoors.com/ratings/sovereigns/ratings-list/en/eu/?subSectorCode=39. http://www.euromoneycountryrisk.com/.





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Access to Justice and the Rule of Law; Dr Patrick Matibini-An Issue Paper Presented for the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor.