Constitution of the Republic of Zambia 1991, as amended to 2016


Affirmative Action (Broadly)

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

e. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
… (Art. 23)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

1. Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure—

b. that fifty percent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so; ... (Art. 259)

Citizenship and Nationality

A person who was a citizen of Zambia, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, shall continue to be a citizen of Zambia and shall retain the same citizenship category from the date the citizenship was acquired. (Art. 33)

Citizenship and Nationality

Citizenship may be acquired by birth, descent, registration or adoption in accordance with this Part2. (Art. 34)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. A person born in Zambia is a citizen by birth if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least one parent of that person is or was a citizen.
2. A child found in Zambia who is, or appears to be, of not more than eight years of age and whose nationality and parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen by birth.
... (Art. 35)

Citizenship and Nationality

A person born outside Zambia is a citizen by descent if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least one parent of that person is or was a citizen by birth or descent. (Art. 36)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. Subject to clause (2), a person is entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia to be registered as a citizen if that person has attained the age of eighteen years and—
a. was born in Zambia and has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a period of at least five years;
b. was born outside Zambia, has or had an ancestor who is, or was, a citizen and has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a period of at least five years; or
c. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a continuous period of at least ten years; immediately preceding that person’s application for registration, as prescribed.
2. Notwithstanding clause (1), a person who is, or was married to a citizen, for a period of at least five years, is entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia, to be registered as a citizen, as prescribed. (Art. 37)

Citizenship and Nationality

A child who is not a citizen and who is adopted by a citizen shall be a citizen on the date of the adoption. (Art. 38)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. A citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.
2. A citizen who ceased to be a citizen, before the commencement of this Constitution as a result of acquiring the citizenship of another country, shall be entitled to apply, as prescribed, to the Citizenship Board of Zambia, for citizenship and the Citizenship Board of Zambia shall bestow citizenship on that person. (Art. 39)

Citizenship and Nationality

1. A citizen—
a. may renounce citizenship as prescribed; or
b. shall be deprived of citizenship if that citizenship was acquired by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact.
2. The process and procedures to be followed by the Citizenship Board of Zambia when granting or depriving a person of citizenship shall be prescribed. (Art. 40)

Jurisdiction and Access


5. A matter relating to this Constitution shall be heard by the Constitutional Court. (Art. 1)

Jurisdiction and Access

1. Judicial authority vests in the courts and shall be exercised by the courts in accordance with this Constitution and other laws.
2. The courts shall perform the following judicial functions:
a. hear civil and criminal matters; and
b. hear matters relating to, and in respect of, this Constitution.
… (Art. 119)

Jurisdiction and Access

1. Subject to Article 28, the Constitutional Court has original and final jurisdiction to hear—
a. a matter relating to the interpretation of this Constitution;
b. a matter relating to a violation or contravention of this Constitution;

2. Subject to Article 28 (2), where a question relating to this Constitution arises in a court, the person presiding in that court shall refer the question to the Constitutional Court.
3. Subject to Article 28, a person who alleges that—
a. an Act of Parliament or statutory instrument;
b. an action, measure or decision taken under law; or
c. an act, omission, measure or decision by a person or an authority; contravenes this Constitution, may petition the Constitutional Court for redress.
4. A decision of the Constitutional Court is not appealable to the Supreme Court. (Art. 128)

Employment Rights and Protection

1. The Government shall create an economic environment which encourages individual initiative and self-reliance among the people, so as to promote investment, employment and wealth.
… (Art. 10)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

The national values and principles are—
...
d. human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination;
… (Art. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part3, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 11)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
2. Subject to clauses (6), (7) and (8), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
d. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe, of customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons; or
e. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that it makes reasonable provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law.
6. Clause (2) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision or law as is referred to in clause (4) or (5).
7. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that it is shown that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Articles 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22, being such a restriction as is authorised by clause (2) of Article 17, clause (5) of Article 19, clause (2) of Article 20, clause (2) of Article 21 or clause (3) of Article 22, as the case may be.
8. Nothing in clause (2) shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 23)

Equality and Non-Discrimination


13. In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, words and expressions importing the masculine gender includes females.
… (Art. 139)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “discrimination” means directly or indirectly treating a person differently on the basis of that person’s birth, race, sex, origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, tribe, pregnancy, health, or marital, ethnic, social or economic status;
... (Art. 266)

Gender Equality Machineries

1. There is established the Gender Equity and Equality Commission which shall have offices in the Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Gender Equity and Equality Commission shall promote the attainment and mainstreaming of gender equality.
3. The Gender Equity and Equality Commission shall—
a. monitor, investigate, research, educate, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality;
b. ensure institutions comply with legal requirements and other standards relating to gender equality;
c. take steps to secure appropriate redress to complaints relating to gender inequality, as prescribed; and
d. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 231)

Obligations of the State

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

UPHOLD the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, ...
and the provisions of this Part4 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Obligations of Private Parties

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, ...
and the provisions of this Part5 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Judicial Protection

1. Subject to clause (5), if any person alleges that any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 266 inclusive has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply for redress to the High Court which shall—
a. hear and determine any such application;
b. determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of clause (2);
and which may, make such order, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing, or securing the enforcement of, any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 inclusive.
2.
a. If in any proceedings in any subordinate court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 inclusive, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
b. Any person aggrieved by any determination of the High Court under this Article may appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court:
Provided that no appeal shall lie from a determination of the High Court under this Article dismissing an application on the ground that it is frivolous and vexatious.
3. No application shall be brought under clause (1) on the grounds that the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 (inclusive) are likely to be contravened by reason of proposals contained in any bill which, at the date of the application, has not become a law.
4. Parliament may confer upon the Supreme Court or High Court such jurisdiction or powers in addition to those conferred by this Article as may appear to be necessary or desirable of the purpose of enabling that Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Article or of enabling any application for redress to be more speedily determined. (Art. 28)

National Human Rights Bodies

1. There is established the Human Rights Commission which shall have offices in the Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Human Rights Commission shall ensure that the Bill of Rights is upheld and protected.
3. The Human Rights Commission shall—
a. investigate and report on the observance of rights and freedoms;
b. take necessary steps to secure appropriate redress where rights and freedoms are violated;
c. endeavour to resolve a dispute through negotiation, mediation or conciliation;
d. carry out research on rights and freedoms and related matters;
e. conduct civic education on rights and freedoms; and
f. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 230)

Indigenous Peoples

The State shall, in the utilisation of natural resources and management of the environment—

e. protect and enhance the intellectual property in, and indigenous knowledge of, biodiversity and genetic resources of local communities;
… (Art. 257)

Limitations and/or Derogations

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part7, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, movement and association;
c. protection of young persons from exploitation;
d. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
and the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Limitations and/or Derogations

Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of Articles 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, or 24 to the extent that it is shown that the law in question authorises the taking, during any period when the Republic is at war or when a declaration under Article 30 is in force, of measures for the purpose of dealing with any situation existing or arising during that period; and nothing done by any person under the authority of any such law shall be held to be in contravention of any of the said provisions if it is shown that the measures taken were, having due regard to the circumstances prevailing at the time, reasonably required for the purpose of dealing with the situation in question. (Art. 25)

Marriage and Family Life

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

RESOLVE to ensure that our values relating to family, morality, patriotism and justice are maintained and all functions of the State are performed in our common interest; … (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 23)

Minorities

1. The guiding values and principles of the public service include the following—

j. adequate and equal opportunities for appointments, training and advancement of members of both gender and members of all ethnic groups; … (Art. 173)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that it makes reasonable provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law.
… (Art. 23)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

1. The guiding values and principles of the public service include the following—

j. adequate and equal opportunities for appointments, training and advancement of members of both gender and members of all ethnic groups; … (Art. 173)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

1. Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure—

b. that fifty percent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so; ... (Art. 259)

Political Rights and Association

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Political Rights and Association

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part8, to each and all of the following, namely:

b. freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, movement and association;
… (Art. 11)

Political Rights and Association

1. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to any political party, trade union or other association for the protection of his interests.
… (Art. 21)

Political Rights and Association

A citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years is entitled to be registered as a voter and vote in an election by secret ballot. (Art. 46)

National level

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—

d. gender equity in the National Assembly or council.
… (Art. 45)

National level

1. The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 68 (2) (b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly.
… (Art. 69)

National level


3. There shall be two Deputy Speakers of the National Assembly who are not members of the same political party and of the same gender.
… (Art. 82)

Political Parties

1. A political party has the right to—
a. disseminate information on social and economic programmes of a national character and of its political ideology;
b. sponsor candidates for election or nomination to a State office in respect of which elections are required to be held; and
c. conduct primary elections for the selection of candidates.
2. A political party shall—
a. promote the values and principles specified in this Constitution;
b. have a national character;
c. promote and uphold national unity;
d. promote and practice democracy through regular, free and fair elections within the party;
e. respect the right of its members to participate in the affairs of the political party;
f. respect the right of its members to seek redress from a court or tribunal when aggrieved by a decision of the political party; and
g. subscribe to and observe the code of conduct for political parties, as prescribed.
3. A political party shall not—
a. be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sectoral or provincial basis or engage in propaganda based on any of these factors;
b. engage in or encourage violence or intimidate its members, supporters, opponents or other persons;
c. engage in corrupt practices; and
d. except as prescribed, use public resources to promote its interest or that of its members.
4. The following shall be prescribed with regard to political parties:
a. the establishment and management of a Political Parties’ Fund to provide financial support to political parties with seats in the National Assembly;
b. the accounts of political parties which are funded under the Political Parties’ Fund and the submission of audited accounts by political parties;
c. the sources of funds for political parties;
d. the maximum amount of money to be used for campaigns during elections; and
e. matters incidental to matters specified in this clause. (Art. 60)

Electoral Bodies

1. There is established the Electoral Commission of Zambia which shall have offices in Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Electoral Commission shall—
a. implement the electoral process;
b. conduct elections and referenda;
c. register voters;
d. settle minor electoral disputes, as prescribed;
e. regulate the conduct of voters and candidates;
f. accredit observers and election agents, as prescribed;
g. delimit electoral boundaries; and
h. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 229)

Head of State

1. There shall be a President of the Republic who shall be the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force.
2. The executive authority of the State vests in the President and, subject to this Constitution, shall be exercised directly by the President or through public officers or other persons appointed by the President.
3. The President shall, in exercise of the executive authority of the State—
a. respect, uphold and safeguard this Constitution;
...
e. promote and protect the rights and freedoms of a person; and
f. uphold the rule of law. (Art. 91)

Head of State

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—
a. that citizens are free to exercise their political rights;
b. universal adult suffrage based on the equality of a vote;
c. fair representation of the various interest groups in society;
... (Art. 45)

Head of State

1. A person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person—
a. is a citizen by birth or descent;
b. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;
c. is at least thirty-five years old;
d. is a registered voter;
e. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent;
f. is fluent in the official language;
g. has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;
h. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed;
i. pays the prescribed election fee on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers; and
j. is supported by at least one hundred registered voters from each Province.
... (Art. 100)

Head of State

1. A President shall be elected by registered voters in accordance with Article 47 (1) and this Article.
2. The Returning Officer shall declare the presidential candidate who receives more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast during the election as President-elect.
3. If at the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held within thirty-seven days of the initial ballot, where the only candidates shall be the presidential candidates who obtained—
a. the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot; or
b. an equal number of the valid votes cast in the initial ballot, being the highest votes amongst the presidential candidates that stood for election to the office of President.
... (Art. 101)

Vice-President

1. The President shall appoint the Vice-President to be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly.
… (Art. 74)

Vice-President

1. A person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person—
a. is a citizen by birth or descent;
b. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;
c. is at least thirty-five years old;
d. is a registered voter;
e. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent;
f. is fluent in the official language;
g. has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;
h. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed;
i. pays the prescribed election fee on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers; and
j. is supported by at least one hundred registered voters from each Province.
... (Art. 100)

Vice-President

1. There shall be a Vice-President for the Republic who shall be the running mate to a presidential candidate in a presidential election.
2. The qualifications and disqualifications applying to a presidential candidate apply to the person selected by the presidential candidate to be the running mate.
3. An election to the office of Vice-President shall be conducted at the same time as that of an election to the office of President so that a vote cast for a presidential candidate is a vote cast for the running mate, and if the presidential candidate is elected, the running mate shall be considered to have been elected.
... (Art. 110)

Government

There shall be a Cabinet consisting of the—
a. President;
b. Vice-President;
c. Ministers; and
d. Attorney-General, as ex-officio member. (Art. 113)

Government

1. The functions of Cabinet are as follows:
a. approve and cause to be implemented Government policy;
… (Art. 114)

Government

1. The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers.
… (Art. 116)

Legislature

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—
a. that citizens are free to exercise their political rights;
b. universal adult suffrage based on the equality of a vote;
c. fair representation of the various interest groups in society; ... (Art. 45)

Legislature

The legislative authority of the Republic derives from the people of Zambia and shall be exercised in a manner that protects this Constitution and promotes the democratic governance of the Republic. (Art. 61)

Legislature

1. There is established the Parliament of Zambia which consists of the President and the National Assembly.
2. The legislative authority of the Republic is vested in and exercised by Parliament.
3. A person or body, other than Parliament, shall not have power to enact legislation, except as conferred by this Constitution.
... (Art. 62)

Legislature

1. Parliament shall enact legislation through Bills passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.
… (Art. 63)

Legislature

1. A Member of Parliament shall be elected in accordance with Article 47 (2) and this Article.
2. The National Assembly shall consist of—
a. one hundred and fifty-six members directly elected on the basis of a simple majority vote under the first-past-the-post system;
b. not more than eight nominated members;
c. the Vice-President;
... (Art. 68)

Legislature

1. The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 68 (2) (b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly.
2. A person may be nominated as a Member of Parliament if the person qualifies to be elected as such under Article 70.
... (Art. 69)

Legislature

1. Subject to clause (2), a person is eligible to be elected as a Member of Parliament, if that person—
a. is a citizen;
b. is at least twenty-one years old;
c. is a registered voter;
d. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent; and
e. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed.
... (Art. 70)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part9, to each and all of the following, namely:

d. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
… (Art. 11)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

1. Except as provided in this Article, no property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, unless by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament which provides for payment of adequate compensation for the property or interest or right to be taken possession of or acquired.
2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that such law provides for the taking possession or acquisition of any property or interest therein or right thereover—

y. for the purpose of the administration or disposition of such property or interest or right by the President in implementation of a comprehensive land policy or of a policy designed to ensure that the statute law, the Common Law and the doctrines of equity relating to or affecting the interest in or rights over land, or any other interests or right enjoyed by Chiefs and persons claiming through and under them, shall apply with substantial uniformity throughout Zambia;
z. in terms of any law providing for the conversion of titles to land from freehold to leasehold and the imposition of any restriction on subdivision, assignment or sub-letting;
… (Art. 16)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 23)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

The institution of chieftaincy—

b. has capacity to hold property in trust for its subjects. (Art. 166)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

1. Land shall be held, used and managed in accordance with the following principles:
a. equitable access to land and associated resources;
b. security of tenure for lawful land holders;
c. recognition of indigenous cultural rites;
d. sustainable use of land;
e. transparent, effective and efficient administration of land;
f. effective and efficient settlement of land disputes;
g. river frontages, islands, lakeshores and ecologically and culturally sensitive areas—
i. to be accessible to the public;
ii. not to be leased, fenced or sold; and
iii. to be maintained and used for conservation and preservation activities;
h. investments in land to also benefit local communities and their economy; and
i. plans for land use to be done in a consultative and participatory manner. (Art. 253)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “property” includes a vested or contingent right to, or interest in, or arising from—
a. land, permanent fixtures on, or improvements to, land;
b. goods or personal property;
… (Art. 266)

Protection from Violence

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part10, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;

c. protection of young persons from exploitation;
… (Art. 11)

Protection from Violence

1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 14)

Protection from Violence

No person shall be subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other like treatment. (Art. 15)

Protection from Violence

1. No young person shall be employed and shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development:
Provided that an Act of Parliament may provide for the employment of a young person for a wage under certain conditions.
2. All young persons shall be protected against physical or mental ill-treatment, all forms of neglect, cruelty or exploitation.
3. No young person shall be the subject of traffic in any form.
... (Art. 24)

Protection from Violence


2. The electoral process and system of administering elections shall ensure—

b. that elections are free from violence, intimidation and corruption;
… (Art. 45)

Protection from Violence


3. A political party shall not—
a. be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sectoral or provincial basis or engage in propaganda based on any of these factors;
b. engage in or encourage violence or intimidate its members, supporters, opponents or other persons;
... (Art. 60)

Public Institutions and Services

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

RESOLVE to ensure that our values relating to family, morality, patriotism and justice are maintained and all functions of the State are performed in our common interest;
CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Public Institutions and Services

...
2. The Government shall promote the economic empowerment of citizens so that they contribute to sustainable economic growth and social development.
... (Art. 10)

Public Institutions and Services


2. The local government system shall—
...
d. ensure that services are provided to sub-structures in an equitable and sustainable manner;
e. promote social and economic development;
… (Art. 151)

Sexual and Reproductive Rights


2. No person shall deprive an unborn child of life by termination of pregnancy except in accordance with the conditions laid down by an Act of Parliament for that purpose.
… (Art. 12)

Status of the Constitution

1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Zambia and any other written law, customary law and customary practice that is inconsistent with its provisions is void to the extent of the inconsistency.
2. An act or omission that contravenes this Constitution is illegal.
3. This Constitution shall bind all persons in Zambia, State organs and State institutions.
4. The validity or legality of this Constitution is not subject to challenge by or before a State organ or other forum.
… (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

The Laws of Zambia consist of—
a. this Constitution;
b. laws enacted by Parliament;
c. statutory instruments;
d. Zambian customary law which is consistent with this Constitution; and
e. the laws and statutes which apply or extend to Zambia, as prescribed. (Art. 7)

Status of the Constitution


5. Where the Constitutional Court decides that a provision of a statutory instrument is inconsistent with a provision of this Constitution, that statutory instrument is void from the date on which it was made.
… (Art. 67)

Religious Law

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:
ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty;
DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation ... (Preamble)

Customary Law

1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Zambia and any other written law, customary law and customary practice that is inconsistent with its provisions is void to the extent of the inconsistency.
… (Art. 1)

Customary Law

The Laws of Zambia consist of—
...
d. Zambian customary law which is consistent with this Constitution; … (Art. 7)

Customary Law

1. Except as provided in this Article, no property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, unless by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament which provides for payment of adequate compensation for the property or interest or right to be taken possession of or acquired.
2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that such law provides for the taking possession or acquisition of any property or interest therein or right thereover—

y. for the purpose of the administration or disposition of such property or interest or right by the President in implementation of a comprehensive land policy or of a policy designed to ensure that the statute law, the Common Law and the doctrines of equity relating to or affecting the interest in or rights over land, or any other interests or right enjoyed by Chiefs and persons claiming through and under them, shall apply with substantial uniformity throughout Zambia;
… (Art. 16)

Customary Law

...
2. Every person who is charged with a criminal offence—...
d. shall unless legal aid is granted him in accordance with the law enacted by Parliament for such purpose be permitted to defend himself before the court in person, or at his own expense, by a legal representative of his own choice;

12. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of—

b. paragraph (d) of clause (2) to the extent that it is shown that the law in question prohibits legal representation before a subordinate court in proceedings for an offence under Zambian customary law, being proceedings against any person who, under that law, is subject to that law;
… (Art. 18)

Customary Law

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
d. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe, of customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons;
… (Art. 23)

Customary Law

...
2. In exercising judicial authority, the courts shall be guided by the following principles:

d. alternative forms of dispute resolution, including traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, shall be promoted, subject to clause (3);
...
3. Traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not—
a. contravene the Bill of Rights;
b. be inconsistent with other provisions of this Constitution or other written law; or
c. be repugnant to justice and morality. (Art. 118)

Customary Law

1. The institution of chieftaincy and traditional institutions are guaranteed and shall exist in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions of the people to whom they apply.
2. Parliament shall not enact legislation which—
a. confers on a person or authority the right to recognise or withdraw the recognition of a chief; or
b. derogates from the honour and dignity of the institution of chieftaincy. (Art. 165)

Customary Law

The institution of chieftaincy—
a. is a corporation sole with perpetual succession and capacity to sue and be sued; and
b. has capacity to hold property in trust for its subjects. (Art. 166)

Customary Law

A chief—
a. may own property in a personal capacity; and
b. shall enjoy privileges and benefits—
i. bestowed on the office of chief by or under culture, custom and tradition; and
ii. attached to the office of chief, as prescribed. (Art. 167)

Customary Law

1. There is established a House of Chiefs.
2. The House of Chiefs shall consist of five chiefs from each province, elected by the chiefs in a Province, as prescribed.
3. The members of the House of Chiefs shall annually elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the House of Chiefs, from amongst themselves.
4. Notwithstanding clause (3), the assumption of office as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the House of Chiefs shall rotate annually amongst the chiefs from each province.
5. The functions of the House of Chiefs are to —
a. consider and discuss a Bill relating to custom or tradition referred to it by the President, before the Bill is introduced into the National Assembly;
b. initiate, discuss and make recommendations to the National Assembly regarding socio-economic development in the Province;
c. initiate, discuss and decide on matters relating to customary law and practice;
d. initiate, discuss and make recommendations to a local authority regarding the welfare of communities in a local authority;
e. make proposals on areas in customary law that require codification;
f. advise the Government on traditional and customary matters; and
g. perform other functions as prescribed. (Art. 169)

Customary Law

1. Land shall be delimited and classified as State land, customary land and such other classification, as prescribed.
… (Art. 254)

Customary Law

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “chief” means a person bestowed as chief and who derives allegiance from the fact of birth or descent, in accordance with the customs, traditions, usage or consent of the people in a chiefdom;
... (Art. 266)

Women’s Rights

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “gender” means female or male and the role individuals play in society as a result of their sex and status;
… (Art. 266)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

e. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
… (Art. 23)

Affirmative Action (Broadly)

English

1. Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure—

b. that fifty percent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so; ... (Art. 259)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A person who was a citizen of Zambia, immediately before the commencement of this Constitution, shall continue to be a citizen of Zambia and shall retain the same citizenship category from the date the citizenship was acquired. (Art. 33)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

Citizenship may be acquired by birth, descent, registration or adoption in accordance with this Part2. (Art. 34)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. A person born in Zambia is a citizen by birth if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least one parent of that person is or was a citizen.
2. A child found in Zambia who is, or appears to be, of not more than eight years of age and whose nationality and parents are not known, shall be presumed to be a citizen by birth.
... (Art. 35)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A person born outside Zambia is a citizen by descent if, at the date of that person’s birth, at least one parent of that person is or was a citizen by birth or descent. (Art. 36)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. Subject to clause (2), a person is entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia to be registered as a citizen if that person has attained the age of eighteen years and—
a. was born in Zambia and has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a period of at least five years;
b. was born outside Zambia, has or had an ancestor who is, or was, a citizen and has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a period of at least five years; or
c. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia for a continuous period of at least ten years; immediately preceding that person’s application for registration, as prescribed.
2. Notwithstanding clause (1), a person who is, or was married to a citizen, for a period of at least five years, is entitled to apply to the Citizenship Board of Zambia, to be registered as a citizen, as prescribed. (Art. 37)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

A child who is not a citizen and who is adopted by a citizen shall be a citizen on the date of the adoption. (Art. 38)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. A citizen shall not lose citizenship by acquiring the citizenship of another country.
2. A citizen who ceased to be a citizen, before the commencement of this Constitution as a result of acquiring the citizenship of another country, shall be entitled to apply, as prescribed, to the Citizenship Board of Zambia, for citizenship and the Citizenship Board of Zambia shall bestow citizenship on that person. (Art. 39)

Citizenship and Nationality

English

1. A citizen—
a. may renounce citizenship as prescribed; or
b. shall be deprived of citizenship if that citizenship was acquired by means of fraud, false representation or concealment of a material fact.
2. The process and procedures to be followed by the Citizenship Board of Zambia when granting or depriving a person of citizenship shall be prescribed. (Art. 40)

Jurisdiction and Access

English


5. A matter relating to this Constitution shall be heard by the Constitutional Court. (Art. 1)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

1. Judicial authority vests in the courts and shall be exercised by the courts in accordance with this Constitution and other laws.
2. The courts shall perform the following judicial functions:
a. hear civil and criminal matters; and
b. hear matters relating to, and in respect of, this Constitution.
… (Art. 119)

Jurisdiction and Access

English

1. Subject to Article 28, the Constitutional Court has original and final jurisdiction to hear—
a. a matter relating to the interpretation of this Constitution;
b. a matter relating to a violation or contravention of this Constitution;

2. Subject to Article 28 (2), where a question relating to this Constitution arises in a court, the person presiding in that court shall refer the question to the Constitutional Court.
3. Subject to Article 28, a person who alleges that—
a. an Act of Parliament or statutory instrument;
b. an action, measure or decision taken under law; or
c. an act, omission, measure or decision by a person or an authority; contravenes this Constitution, may petition the Constitutional Court for redress.
4. A decision of the Constitutional Court is not appealable to the Supreme Court. (Art. 128)

Employment Rights and Protection

English

1. The Government shall create an economic environment which encourages individual initiative and self-reliance among the people, so as to promote investment, employment and wealth.
… (Art. 10)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

The national values and principles are—
...
d. human dignity, equity, social justice, equality and non-discrimination;
… (Art. 8)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part3, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
… (Art. 11)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.
2. Subject to clauses (6), (7) and (8), no person shall be treated in a discriminatory manner by any person acting by virtue of any written law or in the performance of the functions of any public office or any public authority.
3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
d. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe, of customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons; or
e. whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any disability or restriction or may be accorded any privilege or advantage which, having regard to its nature and to special circumstances pertaining to those persons or to persons of any other such description is reasonably justifiable in a democratic society.
5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that it makes reasonable provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law.
6. Clause (2) shall not apply to anything which is expressly or by necessary implication authorised to be done by any such provision or law as is referred to in clause (4) or (5).
7. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of this Article to the extent that it is shown that the law in question makes provision whereby persons of any such description as is mentioned in clause (3) may be subjected to any restriction on the rights and freedoms guaranteed by Articles 17, 19, 20, 21 and 22, being such a restriction as is authorised by clause (2) of Article 17, clause (5) of Article 19, clause (2) of Article 20, clause (2) of Article 21 or clause (3) of Article 22, as the case may be.
8. Nothing in clause (2) shall affect any discretion relating to the institution, conduct or discontinuance of civil or criminal proceedings in any court that is vested in any person by or under this Constitution or any other law. (Art. 23)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English


13. In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires, words and expressions importing the masculine gender includes females.
… (Art. 139)

Equality and Non-Discrimination

English

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “discrimination” means directly or indirectly treating a person differently on the basis of that person’s birth, race, sex, origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language, tribe, pregnancy, health, or marital, ethnic, social or economic status;
... (Art. 266)

Gender Equality Machineries

English

1. There is established the Gender Equity and Equality Commission which shall have offices in the Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Gender Equity and Equality Commission shall promote the attainment and mainstreaming of gender equality.
3. The Gender Equity and Equality Commission shall—
a. monitor, investigate, research, educate, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality;
b. ensure institutions comply with legal requirements and other standards relating to gender equality;
c. take steps to secure appropriate redress to complaints relating to gender inequality, as prescribed; and
d. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 231)

Obligations of the State

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

UPHOLD the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person; … (Preamble)

Obligations of the State

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, ...
and the provisions of this Part4 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Obligations of Private Parties

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, ...
and the provisions of this Part5 shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Judicial Protection

English

1. Subject to clause (5), if any person alleges that any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 266 inclusive has been, is being or is likely to be contravened in relation to him, then, without prejudice to any other action with respect to the same matter which is lawfully available, that person may apply for redress to the High Court which shall—
a. hear and determine any such application;
b. determine any question arising in the case of any person which is referred to it in pursuance of clause (2);
and which may, make such order, issue such writs and give such directions as it may consider appropriate for the purpose of enforcing, or securing the enforcement of, any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 inclusive.
2.
a. If in any proceedings in any subordinate court any question arises as to the contravention of any of the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 inclusive, the person presiding in that court may, and shall if any party to the proceedings so requests, refer the question to the High Court unless, in his opinion the raising of the question is merely frivolous or vexatious.
b. Any person aggrieved by any determination of the High Court under this Article may appeal therefrom to the Supreme Court:
Provided that no appeal shall lie from a determination of the High Court under this Article dismissing an application on the ground that it is frivolous and vexatious.
3. No application shall be brought under clause (1) on the grounds that the provisions of Articles 11 to 26 (inclusive) are likely to be contravened by reason of proposals contained in any bill which, at the date of the application, has not become a law.
4. Parliament may confer upon the Supreme Court or High Court such jurisdiction or powers in addition to those conferred by this Article as may appear to be necessary or desirable of the purpose of enabling that Court more effectively to exercise the jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Article or of enabling any application for redress to be more speedily determined. (Art. 28)

National Human Rights Bodies

English

1. There is established the Human Rights Commission which shall have offices in the Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Human Rights Commission shall ensure that the Bill of Rights is upheld and protected.
3. The Human Rights Commission shall—
a. investigate and report on the observance of rights and freedoms;
b. take necessary steps to secure appropriate redress where rights and freedoms are violated;
c. endeavour to resolve a dispute through negotiation, mediation or conciliation;
d. carry out research on rights and freedoms and related matters;
e. conduct civic education on rights and freedoms; and
f. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 230)

Indigenous Peoples

English

The State shall, in the utilisation of natural resources and management of the environment—

e. protect and enhance the intellectual property in, and indigenous knowledge of, biodiversity and genetic resources of local communities;
… (Art. 257)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part7, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;
b. freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, movement and association;
c. protection of young persons from exploitation;
d. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
and the provisions of this Part shall have effect for the purpose of affording protection to those rights and freedoms subject to such limitations of that protection as are contained in this Part, being limitations designed to ensure that the enjoyment of the said rights and freedoms by any individual does not prejudice the rights and freedoms of others or the public interest. (Art. 11)

Limitations and/or Derogations

English

Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of Articles 13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, or 24 to the extent that it is shown that the law in question authorises the taking, during any period when the Republic is at war or when a declaration under Article 30 is in force, of measures for the purpose of dealing with any situation existing or arising during that period; and nothing done by any person under the authority of any such law shall be held to be in contravention of any of the said provisions if it is shown that the measures taken were, having due regard to the circumstances prevailing at the time, reasonably required for the purpose of dealing with the situation in question. (Art. 25)

Marriage and Family Life

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

RESOLVE to ensure that our values relating to family, morality, patriotism and justice are maintained and all functions of the State are performed in our common interest; … (Preamble)

Marriage and Family Life

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 23)

Minorities

English

1. The guiding values and principles of the public service include the following—

j. adequate and equal opportunities for appointments, training and advancement of members of both gender and members of all ethnic groups; … (Art. 173)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.

5. Nothing contained in any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that it makes reasonable provision with respect to qualifications for service as a public officer or as a member of a disciplined force or for the service of a local government authority or a body corporate established directly by any law.
… (Art. 23)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

1. The guiding values and principles of the public service include the following—

j. adequate and equal opportunities for appointments, training and advancement of members of both gender and members of all ethnic groups; … (Art. 173)

Participation in Public Life and Institutions

English

1. Where a person is empowered to make a nomination or an appointment to a public office, that person shall ensure—

b. that fifty percent of each gender is nominated or appointed from the total available positions, unless it is not practicable to do so; ... (Art. 259)

Political Rights and Association

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Political Rights and Association

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part8, to each and all of the following, namely:

b. freedom of conscience, expression, assembly, movement and association;
… (Art. 11)

Political Rights and Association

English

1. Except with his own consent, no person shall be hindered in the enjoyment of his freedom of assembly and association, that is to say, his right to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular to form or belong to any political party, trade union or other association for the protection of his interests.
… (Art. 21)

Political Rights and Association

English

A citizen who has attained the age of eighteen years is entitled to be registered as a voter and vote in an election by secret ballot. (Art. 46)

National level

English

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—

d. gender equity in the National Assembly or council.
… (Art. 45)

National level

English

1. The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 68 (2) (b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly.
… (Art. 69)

National level

English


3. There shall be two Deputy Speakers of the National Assembly who are not members of the same political party and of the same gender.
… (Art. 82)

Political Parties

English

1. A political party has the right to—
a. disseminate information on social and economic programmes of a national character and of its political ideology;
b. sponsor candidates for election or nomination to a State office in respect of which elections are required to be held; and
c. conduct primary elections for the selection of candidates.
2. A political party shall—
a. promote the values and principles specified in this Constitution;
b. have a national character;
c. promote and uphold national unity;
d. promote and practice democracy through regular, free and fair elections within the party;
e. respect the right of its members to participate in the affairs of the political party;
f. respect the right of its members to seek redress from a court or tribunal when aggrieved by a decision of the political party; and
g. subscribe to and observe the code of conduct for political parties, as prescribed.
3. A political party shall not—
a. be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sectoral or provincial basis or engage in propaganda based on any of these factors;
b. engage in or encourage violence or intimidate its members, supporters, opponents or other persons;
c. engage in corrupt practices; and
d. except as prescribed, use public resources to promote its interest or that of its members.
4. The following shall be prescribed with regard to political parties:
a. the establishment and management of a Political Parties’ Fund to provide financial support to political parties with seats in the National Assembly;
b. the accounts of political parties which are funded under the Political Parties’ Fund and the submission of audited accounts by political parties;
c. the sources of funds for political parties;
d. the maximum amount of money to be used for campaigns during elections; and
e. matters incidental to matters specified in this clause. (Art. 60)

Electoral Bodies

English

1. There is established the Electoral Commission of Zambia which shall have offices in Provinces and progressively in districts.
2. The Electoral Commission shall—
a. implement the electoral process;
b. conduct elections and referenda;
c. register voters;
d. settle minor electoral disputes, as prescribed;
e. regulate the conduct of voters and candidates;
f. accredit observers and election agents, as prescribed;
g. delimit electoral boundaries; and
h. perform such other functions as prescribed. (Art. 229)

Head of State

English

1. There shall be a President of the Republic who shall be the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-Chief of the Defence Force.
2. The executive authority of the State vests in the President and, subject to this Constitution, shall be exercised directly by the President or through public officers or other persons appointed by the President.
3. The President shall, in exercise of the executive authority of the State—
a. respect, uphold and safeguard this Constitution;
...
e. promote and protect the rights and freedoms of a person; and
f. uphold the rule of law. (Art. 91)

Head of State

English

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—
a. that citizens are free to exercise their political rights;
b. universal adult suffrage based on the equality of a vote;
c. fair representation of the various interest groups in society;
... (Art. 45)

Head of State

English

1. A person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person—
a. is a citizen by birth or descent;
b. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;
c. is at least thirty-five years old;
d. is a registered voter;
e. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent;
f. is fluent in the official language;
g. has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;
h. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed;
i. pays the prescribed election fee on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers; and
j. is supported by at least one hundred registered voters from each Province.
... (Art. 100)

Head of State

English

1. A President shall be elected by registered voters in accordance with Article 47 (1) and this Article.
2. The Returning Officer shall declare the presidential candidate who receives more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast during the election as President-elect.
3. If at the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held within thirty-seven days of the initial ballot, where the only candidates shall be the presidential candidates who obtained—
a. the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot; or
b. an equal number of the valid votes cast in the initial ballot, being the highest votes amongst the presidential candidates that stood for election to the office of President.
... (Art. 101)

Vice-President

English

1. The President shall appoint the Vice-President to be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly.
… (Art. 74)

Vice-President

English

1. A person qualifies to be nominated as a candidate for election as President if that person—
a. is a citizen by birth or descent;
b. has been ordinarily resident in Zambia;
c. is at least thirty-five years old;
d. is a registered voter;
e. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent;
f. is fluent in the official language;
g. has paid that person’s taxes or has made arrangements, satisfactory to the appropriate tax authority, for the payment of the taxes;
h. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed;
i. pays the prescribed election fee on, or before, the date fixed for the delivery of nomination papers; and
j. is supported by at least one hundred registered voters from each Province.
... (Art. 100)

Vice-President

English

1. There shall be a Vice-President for the Republic who shall be the running mate to a presidential candidate in a presidential election.
2. The qualifications and disqualifications applying to a presidential candidate apply to the person selected by the presidential candidate to be the running mate.
3. An election to the office of Vice-President shall be conducted at the same time as that of an election to the office of President so that a vote cast for a presidential candidate is a vote cast for the running mate, and if the presidential candidate is elected, the running mate shall be considered to have been elected.
... (Art. 110)

Government

English

There shall be a Cabinet consisting of the—
a. President;
b. Vice-President;
c. Ministers; and
d. Attorney-General, as ex-officio member. (Art. 113)

Government

English

1. The functions of Cabinet are as follows:
a. approve and cause to be implemented Government policy;
… (Art. 114)

Government

English

1. The President shall appoint a prescribed number of Members of Parliament as Ministers.
… (Art. 116)

Legislature

English

1. The electoral systems provided for in Article 47 for the election of President, Member of Parliament or councillor shall ensure—
a. that citizens are free to exercise their political rights;
b. universal adult suffrage based on the equality of a vote;
c. fair representation of the various interest groups in society; ... (Art. 45)

Legislature

English

The legislative authority of the Republic derives from the people of Zambia and shall be exercised in a manner that protects this Constitution and promotes the democratic governance of the Republic. (Art. 61)

Legislature

English

1. There is established the Parliament of Zambia which consists of the President and the National Assembly.
2. The legislative authority of the Republic is vested in and exercised by Parliament.
3. A person or body, other than Parliament, shall not have power to enact legislation, except as conferred by this Constitution.
... (Art. 62)

Legislature

English

1. Parliament shall enact legislation through Bills passed by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.
… (Art. 63)

Legislature

English

1. A Member of Parliament shall be elected in accordance with Article 47 (2) and this Article.
2. The National Assembly shall consist of—
a. one hundred and fifty-six members directly elected on the basis of a simple majority vote under the first-past-the-post system;
b. not more than eight nominated members;
c. the Vice-President;
... (Art. 68)

Legislature

English

1. The President may nominate a person referred to in Article 68 (2) (b) where the President considers it necessary to enhance the representation of special interests, skills or gender in the National Assembly.
2. A person may be nominated as a Member of Parliament if the person qualifies to be elected as such under Article 70.
... (Art. 69)

Legislature

English

1. Subject to clause (2), a person is eligible to be elected as a Member of Parliament, if that person—
a. is a citizen;
b. is at least twenty-one years old;
c. is a registered voter;
d. has obtained, as a minimum academic qualification, a grade twelve certificate or its equivalent; and
e. declares that person’s assets and liabilities, as prescribed.
... (Art. 70)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part9, to each and all of the following, namely:

d. protection for the privacy of his home and other property and from deprivation of property without compensation;
… (Art. 11)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

1. Except as provided in this Article, no property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, unless by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament which provides for payment of adequate compensation for the property or interest or right to be taken possession of or acquired.
2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that such law provides for the taking possession or acquisition of any property or interest therein or right thereover—

y. for the purpose of the administration or disposition of such property or interest or right by the President in implementation of a comprehensive land policy or of a policy designed to ensure that the statute law, the Common Law and the doctrines of equity relating to or affecting the interest in or rights over land, or any other interests or right enjoyed by Chiefs and persons claiming through and under them, shall apply with substantial uniformity throughout Zambia;
z. in terms of any law providing for the conversion of titles to land from freehold to leasehold and the imposition of any restriction on subdivision, assignment or sub-letting;
… (Art. 16)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
… (Art. 23)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

The institution of chieftaincy—

b. has capacity to hold property in trust for its subjects. (Art. 166)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

1. Land shall be held, used and managed in accordance with the following principles:
a. equitable access to land and associated resources;
b. security of tenure for lawful land holders;
c. recognition of indigenous cultural rites;
d. sustainable use of land;
e. transparent, effective and efficient administration of land;
f. effective and efficient settlement of land disputes;
g. river frontages, islands, lakeshores and ecologically and culturally sensitive areas—
i. to be accessible to the public;
ii. not to be leased, fenced or sold; and
iii. to be maintained and used for conservation and preservation activities;
h. investments in land to also benefit local communities and their economy; and
i. plans for land use to be done in a consultative and participatory manner. (Art. 253)

Property, Inheritance and Land Tenure

English

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “property” includes a vested or contingent right to, or interest in, or arising from—
a. land, permanent fixtures on, or improvements to, land;
b. goods or personal property;
… (Art. 266)

Protection from Violence

English

It is recognised and declared that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, that is to say, the right, whatever his race, place of origin, political opinions, colour, creed, sex or marital status, but subject to the limitations contained in this Part10, to each and all of the following, namely:
a. life, liberty, security of the person and the protection of the law;

c. protection of young persons from exploitation;
… (Art. 11)

Protection from Violence

English

1. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude.
2. No person shall be required to perform forced labour.
… (Art. 14)

Protection from Violence

English

No person shall be subjected to torture, or to inhuman or degrading punishment or other like treatment. (Art. 15)

Protection from Violence

English

1. No young person shall be employed and shall in no case be caused or permitted to engage in any occupation or employment which would prejudice his health or education or interfere with his physical, mental or moral development:
Provided that an Act of Parliament may provide for the employment of a young person for a wage under certain conditions.
2. All young persons shall be protected against physical or mental ill-treatment, all forms of neglect, cruelty or exploitation.
3. No young person shall be the subject of traffic in any form.
... (Art. 24)

Protection from Violence

English


2. The electoral process and system of administering elections shall ensure—

b. that elections are free from violence, intimidation and corruption;
… (Art. 45)

Protection from Violence

English


3. A political party shall not—
a. be founded on a religious, linguistic, racial, ethnic, tribal, gender, sectoral or provincial basis or engage in propaganda based on any of these factors;
b. engage in or encourage violence or intimidate its members, supporters, opponents or other persons;
... (Art. 60)

Public Institutions and Services

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:

RESOLVE to ensure that our values relating to family, morality, patriotism and justice are maintained and all functions of the State are performed in our common interest;
CONFIRM the equal worth of women and men and their right to freely participate in, determine and build a sustainable political, legal, economic and social order; … (Preamble)

Public Institutions and Services

English

...
2. The Government shall promote the economic empowerment of citizens so that they contribute to sustainable economic growth and social development.
... (Art. 10)

Public Institutions and Services

English


2. The local government system shall—
...
d. ensure that services are provided to sub-structures in an equitable and sustainable manner;
e. promote social and economic development;
… (Art. 151)

Sexual and Reproductive Rights

English


2. No person shall deprive an unborn child of life by termination of pregnancy except in accordance with the conditions laid down by an Act of Parliament for that purpose.
… (Art. 12)

Status of the Constitution

English

1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Zambia and any other written law, customary law and customary practice that is inconsistent with its provisions is void to the extent of the inconsistency.
2. An act or omission that contravenes this Constitution is illegal.
3. This Constitution shall bind all persons in Zambia, State organs and State institutions.
4. The validity or legality of this Constitution is not subject to challenge by or before a State organ or other forum.
… (Art. 1)

Status of the Constitution

English

The Laws of Zambia consist of—
a. this Constitution;
b. laws enacted by Parliament;
c. statutory instruments;
d. Zambian customary law which is consistent with this Constitution; and
e. the laws and statutes which apply or extend to Zambia, as prescribed. (Art. 7)

Status of the Constitution

English


5. Where the Constitutional Court decides that a provision of a statutory instrument is inconsistent with a provision of this Constitution, that statutory instrument is void from the date on which it was made.
… (Art. 67)

Religious Law

English

WE, THE PEOPLE OF ZAMBIA:
ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty;
DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation ... (Preamble)

Customary Law

English

1. This Constitution is the supreme law of the Republic of Zambia and any other written law, customary law and customary practice that is inconsistent with its provisions is void to the extent of the inconsistency.
… (Art. 1)

Customary Law

English

The Laws of Zambia consist of—
...
d. Zambian customary law which is consistent with this Constitution; … (Art. 7)

Customary Law

English

1. Except as provided in this Article, no property of any description shall be compulsorily taken possession of, and no interest in or right over property of any description shall be compulsorily acquired, unless by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament which provides for payment of adequate compensation for the property or interest or right to be taken possession of or acquired.
2. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of clause (1) to the extent that it is shown that such law provides for the taking possession or acquisition of any property or interest therein or right thereover—

y. for the purpose of the administration or disposition of such property or interest or right by the President in implementation of a comprehensive land policy or of a policy designed to ensure that the statute law, the Common Law and the doctrines of equity relating to or affecting the interest in or rights over land, or any other interests or right enjoyed by Chiefs and persons claiming through and under them, shall apply with substantial uniformity throughout Zambia;
… (Art. 16)

Customary Law

English

...
2. Every person who is charged with a criminal offence—...
d. shall unless legal aid is granted him in accordance with the law enacted by Parliament for such purpose be permitted to defend himself before the court in person, or at his own expense, by a legal representative of his own choice;

12. Nothing contained in or done under the authority of any law shall be held to be inconsistent with or in contravention of—

b. paragraph (d) of clause (2) to the extent that it is shown that the law in question prohibits legal representation before a subordinate court in proceedings for an offence under Zambian customary law, being proceedings against any person who, under that law, is subject to that law;
… (Art. 18)

Customary Law

English

1. Subject to clauses (4), (5) and (7), no law shall make any provision that is discriminatory either of itself or in its effect.

3. In this Article the expression “discriminatory” means affording different treatment to different persons attributable, wholly or mainly to their respective descriptions by race, tribe, sex, place of origin, marital status, political opinions, colour or creed whereby persons of one such description are subjected to disabilities or restrictions to which persons of another such description are not made subject or are accorded privileges or advantages which are not accorded to persons of another such description.
4. Clause (1) shall not apply to any law so far as that law makes provision-

c. with respect to adoption, marriage, divorce, burial, devolution of property on death or other matters of personal law;
d. for the application in the case of members of a particular race or tribe, of customary law with respect to any matter to the exclusion of any law with respect to that matter which is applicable in the case of other persons;
… (Art. 23)

Customary Law

English

...
2. In exercising judicial authority, the courts shall be guided by the following principles:

d. alternative forms of dispute resolution, including traditional dispute resolution mechanisms, shall be promoted, subject to clause (3);
...
3. Traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not—
a. contravene the Bill of Rights;
b. be inconsistent with other provisions of this Constitution or other written law; or
c. be repugnant to justice and morality. (Art. 118)

Customary Law

English

1. The institution of chieftaincy and traditional institutions are guaranteed and shall exist in accordance with the culture, customs and traditions of the people to whom they apply.
2. Parliament shall not enact legislation which—
a. confers on a person or authority the right to recognise or withdraw the recognition of a chief; or
b. derogates from the honour and dignity of the institution of chieftaincy. (Art. 165)

Customary Law

English

The institution of chieftaincy—
a. is a corporation sole with perpetual succession and capacity to sue and be sued; and
b. has capacity to hold property in trust for its subjects. (Art. 166)

Customary Law

English

A chief—
a. may own property in a personal capacity; and
b. shall enjoy privileges and benefits—
i. bestowed on the office of chief by or under culture, custom and tradition; and
ii. attached to the office of chief, as prescribed. (Art. 167)

Customary Law

English

1. There is established a House of Chiefs.
2. The House of Chiefs shall consist of five chiefs from each province, elected by the chiefs in a Province, as prescribed.
3. The members of the House of Chiefs shall annually elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the House of Chiefs, from amongst themselves.
4. Notwithstanding clause (3), the assumption of office as Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson of the House of Chiefs shall rotate annually amongst the chiefs from each province.
5. The functions of the House of Chiefs are to —
a. consider and discuss a Bill relating to custom or tradition referred to it by the President, before the Bill is introduced into the National Assembly;
b. initiate, discuss and make recommendations to the National Assembly regarding socio-economic development in the Province;
c. initiate, discuss and decide on matters relating to customary law and practice;
d. initiate, discuss and make recommendations to a local authority regarding the welfare of communities in a local authority;
e. make proposals on areas in customary law that require codification;
f. advise the Government on traditional and customary matters; and
g. perform other functions as prescribed. (Art. 169)

Customary Law

English

1. Land shall be delimited and classified as State land, customary land and such other classification, as prescribed.
… (Art. 254)

Customary Law

English

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “chief” means a person bestowed as chief and who derives allegiance from the fact of birth or descent, in accordance with the customs, traditions, usage or consent of the people in a chiefdom;
... (Art. 266)

Women’s Rights

English

In this Constitution, unless the context otherwise requires—

• “gender” means female or male and the role individuals play in society as a result of their sex and status;
… (Art. 266)

1

Links to all sites last visited 31 March 2021

2

Part IV on Citizenship.

3

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

4

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

5

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

6

These articles are from Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

7

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

8

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

9

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.

10

Part III on Protection of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms of the Individual.