The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) has called on government to designate the publication requirement for presidential candidate asset declarations as a non-contentious issue in the first phase of Constitutional reform.
Government Spokesperson, Conelius Mweetwa, recently revealed that the 2016 Constitutional revision of Article 34, removed the requirement to make public the asset declaration of presidential candidates.
Peter Mwanangombe, the CCMG Programme Manager, made the call in a statement issued in Lusaka on Thursday.
The group argued that the move was one of the constitutional revisions among others that “are plaguing and negating good governance in a way.”
It demanded that government publicly commit to revising the Constitution to restore the requirement for presidential candidate asset declarations to be made public.
“The Constitutional reforms must designate restoration of this important provision as one of the non-contentious issues to be included in government’s planned first phase of constitutional reform,” the group stated.
It also noted that the 2016 Electoral Process Act required both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to declare assets.
The group urged that the Constitutional revision should include a clause that requires that the asset declarations of both presidential and vice presidential candidates be made public.
“CCMG believes that publication of the asset declarations of presidential and vice-presidential candidates is critical to upholding the values of transparency and integrity in our elections for the benefit of all Zambians,” the group said.
The statement stressed that this was part of CCMG’s work advocating for fair electoral processes and good governance in Zambia.
The group insisted that the revision of Article 34 of the Constitution in 2016 was a step back in realising those values.
“It is this government’s duty to remedy that in the anticipated constitutional reform process,” CCMG submitted.
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