CCMG Concurs with Chief Government Spokesperson and Calls on Government to Designate the Publication Requirement for Presidential Candidate Asset Declarations as a Non-Contentious Issue for First Phase Constitutional Reform

The Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) notes the comments of the Chief Government Spokesperson Hon. Conelius Mweetwa as reported in multiple media outlets on 29 November, disparaging the 2016 constitutional revision of Article 34 that removed the requirement to make public the asset declaration of presidential candidates. In his comments, Hon. Mweetwa indicated this revision to the Constitution removed important information from the public domain and is of the view that this is one of the constitutional revisions among others that “are plaguing and negating good governance in a way.” CCMG fully concurs with Hon. Mweetwa views on this issue.

As such, CCMG calls on Government to publicly commit to revising the Constitution to restore the requirement for presidential candidate asset declarations to be made public and to 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. CCMG also notes that the 2016 Electoral Process Act requires both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to declare assets, and so we also urge that the constitutional revision must include a clause that requires that the asset declarations of both presidential and vice-presidential candidates be made public.

As part of its work advocating for fair electoral processes and good governance in Zambia, 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. Unfortunately, the revision of Article 34 of the Constitution in 2016 was a step back in realizing those values, and it is this Government’s duty to remedy that in the anticipated constitutional reform process.