CABINET has approved the publication and introduction in Parliament the Cannabis Bill, 2021 in its current sitting.
Chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya disclosed in a statement that the decision was made during a virtual meeting held on Monday.
Ms Siliya said among the objectives of Cannabis Bill are to provide for the regulation of the cultivation, production, storage and distribution of cannabis for medicinal, scientific and research purposes.
She said Cabinet expects that the country will benefit both for medicinal purposes and economically through the enactment of the law on cannabis.
Cabinet has also approved the Industrial Hemp Bill, 2021.
“The objectives of this Bill are to provide for the licensing of cultivation, production, processing, storage, exportation, importation and distribution of industrial hemp; and provide for regulation of research in industrial hemp,” she said.
Ms Siliya said Cabinet is aware that Hemp has been used the world-over, for paper production, provision of all sorts of good building materials such as insulation, fiberboard and pressboard, and even be used to make hempcrete.
She said once enacted, the bill will assist in boosting the economy in view of the broad industrial use of Hemp.
And Cabinet has further approved the Electoral Process (Amendment) Bill of 2021 who objectives are provide for voting by persons in prisons or correctional centres, provide for distribution of campaign material in prisons and correctional centres by candidates in an election.
She said the bill will also provide for access to prisons or correctional centres by monitors, observers and polling agents on election day, provide access to the community to vote in polling stations established in prisons and access to the community, and prohibit the announcement and declaration of results by unauthorised persons.
The chief government spokesperson said the decision made by Cabinet on the matter stems from the Constitutional Court Judgment which allowed persons in lawful custody and those whose freedoms of movement are restricted under any written law to vote.
Meanwhile, Cabinet also approved the publication and introduction in Parliament of “The Higher Education (Amendment) Bill of 2021.
“The objectives of this Bill are to amend the Higher Education Act, No. 4 of 2013 so as to re-define the functions of the Authority; re-constitute the Board of the Authority; re-define the categories of higher education institutions; and provide for accreditation of learning programmes for higher education institutions,” Ms Siliya said.
Church politicians must collaborate, says President Edgar Lungu
PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu, has continued meeting various church leaders to strengthen relations between Government and the Church and yesterday met the Lusaka Association of Zambian Diocesan Clergy at State House.
President Lungu urged the Church to continue preaching peace and praying for all political players, as the country heads to the general elections on 12th August, 2021.
The President emphasised the need for the Church to preach peace to all political players and that all stakeholders must embrace the teachings of Jesus Christ.
“It is peace that we should share throughout this season. Let us continue collaborating with the Church and the politicians, and let no one put this collaboration asunder, ” the President said.
The President called on the Church to offer constructive criticism to Government and compliment Government where it has done well.
And Association President Father Gabriel Mwanamwalye said one of the mandates Jesus Christ gave to the Clergy is to preach peace.
Father Mwanamwalye encouraged the President and other political leaders to promote peace among political party supporters. He appealed to Zambians to embrace peace in this election year and regard peace as a commodity which should be guarded.
Father Mwanamwalye appealed to eligible voters to participate in the forthcoming elections.
“As priests we will not embrace partisan politics because the people in church support different political parties, ” he stated, adding, “Peace must be preached before, during and after the general elections to avoid bloodshed. We ask all leaders to restrain their cadres as this is time to promote peace and coexistence. Ours is a nation of One Zambia One Nation and we are one regardless of where we come from. “
Also in attendance were Presidential Affairs Minister Hon. Freedom Sikazwe, and
National Guidance and Religious Affairs Minister, Hon. Godfredah Sumaili. Father Mwanamwalye was accompanied by Father Joseph Sakala and Father Bryson
This is according to press statement issued by Issac Chipampe, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations.
President Lungu calls on Judges to exercise impartiality and high levels of integrity ahead of this year’s general elections
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the role of the Judiciary ahead of this year’s general elections will be critical as most political players and other stakeholders will seek different forms of court relief.
The President has since called on judges to exercise impartiality and high levels of integrity in the discharge of their duties.
Speaking this morning when he swore in seven Judges of the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal, the Head of State said he is confident that their individual diverse experiences in the administration of justice will be invaluable.
He also assured the judiciary that government is committed to ensuring that the establishment of the Constitutional Court and Court of Appeal is filled to optimum levels.
“I am aware that the Judiciary’s commendable efforts to deliver timely and efficient justice will only bear fruit when challenges facing the institution are addressed. These challenges include insufficient space to accommodate judges and support staff and provision of official transport for judges of the superior courts,” he said.
The President further said government will soon undertake a robust construction of court infrastructure to address the critical challenge of inadequate space faced by the judiciary.
“My government is further addressing funding to the judiciary to meet judges’ entitlements as provided for under the law,” he said.
The new Judges include, Supreme Court Judge Fulgency Chisanga, Concourt Justices Mwila Chitabo, Mathew Chisunka, Judy Mulongoti and Anessie Michael Banda-Bobo.
Other are Court of Appeal justices, Nicola Ann Sharpe-Phiri and former legal aid board deputy director Kelvin Muzenga.
(Picture by State House)
Public Administrators condemns PF cadres for harassing a civil servant
THE Association for Public Administration in Zambia(APAZ) says the conduct of PF cadres who stormed the Ministry of Works and Supply to harass a woman they claim to be UPND in the presence of the Permanent Secretary connotes criminality.
APAZ president Sikawala Musonda has since called on the police to thoroughly investigate the matter and ensure that all the perpetrators are prosecuted.
“We note, with dismay, a video circulating in which a female civil servant believed to be stationed at the Ministry of Works and Supply is being harassed by political party cadres in the presence of the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary.
The treatment of the lady in the video is not only disappointing but takes away the basic dignity and respect for a woman, something that Zambians are not known for. If not curtailed, this behaviour will have an adverse effect on professionalism in the civil service,” he said.
Mr Musonda has also commended the Secretary to the cabinet Dr Simon Miti and the police command for moving swiftly to apprehend the main suspect.
He said the move will send a strong message to would-be offenders.
Mr Musonda further said the association will follow the matter until justice prevails.
“As APAZ we are reminded of the basics of Public Administration and Management in general, and specifically the concept of “politics- administration dichotomy” in which it is expected that politics should be separated from the professional bureaucracy. It is our hope that going forward such incidents will have no place in our society,” Mr Musonda said