The opposition Zambia Development Conference (ZADECO) has submitted to the legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission that the practice of building houses for Former Republican Presidents should immediately be stopped to allow them build their own using their retirement benefits like other civil servants.
ZADECO President, Langton Sichone, submitted that Zambia will not have enough land to build houses for Former Presidents in future as land is slowly diminishing hence the need to scrap the house scheme for former Presidents.
Mr Sichone emphasised that retired Presidents should be able to build their houses or own a farm property using their benefits accrued during their tenure of office.
“It is unfair that a retired President should have his or her house built by the state. We feel that this arrangement is totally uncalled for,” Mr Sichone submitted.
He explained that the country is set to have huge number of Presidents in the near future due to various factors hence the urgent need to do away with the housing scheme to serve the country from losing the available land and financial resources that can be used on infrastructural development and drugs for the hospitals.
“Besides, Zambia is slowly running out of land and there will not be enough land for everyone. Scraping this scheme will benefit the country as the monies saved will be directed towards infrastructural development and providing essential drugs to our hospitals. We have issues that need uttermost solutions such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola and such resources can go a long way in discovering the vaccines,” Mr Sichone stated.
Mr Sichone’s submission was echoed by a 71-year-old man of Kafue Estates, Felix Mulenga, who also noted that the provision of houses to former Heads of State is not sustainable as the country will not have land in future hence the need to stop it now.
The ZADECO leader also submitted that the building of the late Presidents Mausoleum should be done in accordance with their passing on or sequence, saying there should be a legal framework governing how the practice should be done other than relying on the goodwill of the sitting President.
Mr Sichone also recommended for the complete abolition of the Public Order Act and the Nolle Prosequi, citing gross abuse of human rights by the officers in the application of the penal code.
He noted that the two pieces of legislation be removed completely from the books of laws because they were introduced by the colonial masters in order to deal with insurgency as they had no option to suppress the rising force from the citizens fighting for independence, saying the two laws were currently being misinterpreted and misapplied by law enforcement agencies and the courts.
But when asked by Commission Chairperson, Frederick Chomba, whether he (Sichone) would not abuse the Public Order Act like other politicians if his party, ZADECO, happened to assume power in future, Mr Sichone could not give a direct answer but insisted that scarping off the provision in the penal code was the only solution instead of relying on the goodwill of the President.
Justice Chomba and Law Association of Zambia President, George Chisanga, observed that the Public Order Act is mainly in conflict with politicians who mostly are at the centre of confusions in the country and wondered how peace would be maintained with such laws.
And Mr Sichone also submitted that the Intestate Act of 1989, which was crafted to mitigate the horror and the harshness of life that families of the deceased go through after death, be amended so that the instead of the local court, the subordinate courts be mandated to preside over the matter depending on the wealth of the states involved.