Cabinet approves to repeal and replace archaic Penal Code

CABINET has approved in principle the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal and replace the Penal Code Act, No. 42 of 1930.

This is in order to revise the law relating to criminal liability and provide the corresponding penalties. In a statement on decisions made by Cabinet, Minister of Information and Media Chushi Kasanda said currently, the Penal Code is not comprehensive as certain offences are provided in other existing pieces of legislation and have inconsistent penalties despite being similar in nature.

She said the Penal Code also has archaic provisions that are reflective of a colonial legacy and do not conform to the advancements in society and international law and best practice.

“Therefore, the Bill, once enacted, will provide a comprehensive and modern legal framework for criminal offences that will be aligned with the international law and best practice,” Ms Kasanda said.

The Minister further disclosed that Cabinet approved the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal and replace the Criminal Procedure Code, Chapter 88 of the Laws of Zambia, in order to revise the procedure that is to be applied in criminal cases.

She said government has recognised that the Criminal Procedure Code contains archaic provisions that have lacunae and do not conform to international best practice in criminal matters.

“The provisions of the Code do not reflect the social, economic and political state of the country. Further, the lack of a comprehensive review of the Criminal Procedure Code, since enactment in 1933, has affected the growth of the criminal justice system in the country, hence the need to remove archaic provisions and provide for the appropriate procedure that is to be followed in criminal matters,” she said.

Further, Cabinet has also proved in principle to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to amend the National Prosecution Authority Act No. 34, of 2010, in order to revise the composition of the Board of the Authority.

“Currently Section 7 of the National Prosecution Authority Act No. 34, of 2010 establishes the Board of the Authority which is largely comprised of employees in the civil service. Therefore, the amendment seeks to promote diversity in the selection of Board members as a way to promote the tenets of good corporate governance,” she said.

Ms Kasanda said the National Pension Scheme has been approved for the publication and introduction in Parliament during the current sitting.

She said the objective of this Bill is to amend the National Pension Scheme Act Chapter 256 of the Laws of Zambia, so as to, revise the penalty rate for delayed payment of contributions; provide for a waiver of penalties arising from delayed payments of contributions; and provide for an option to claim for age benefits by a member under the existing fund.

Ms Kasanda said cabinet also approved the Capital Markets Master Plan, and its associated Implementation Plan with a view to repositioning the Zambian Capital Markets to become an attractive international destination for long-term investment.

She said the meeting also approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to repeal and replace the Plant Variety and Seeds Act, Cap 236 of the Laws of Zambia.

“Cabinet also approved in principle, to the introduction of a Bill in Parliament to provide for amendment of the Environmental Management Act No. 12 of 2011 in order to, provide for green economy considerations in developmental programmes; harmonise the provisions relating to solid waste management with the Solid Waste Regulation and Management Act, 2018; domesticate the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that deplete the ozone layer; provide for the registration of pesticides or toxic substances; and revise the provision on summary imposition of penalties,” she said.

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