Zambia Constitution Reform to Include Presidential Candidates Asset Declaration: Churches

Logo Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG). Credit: CCMG

Church leaders in Zambia under the Christian Churches Monitoring Group (CCMG) are demanding that the country’s Constitution reform reinstate the requirement for presidential candidates to publicly declare their respective assets.

In a Tuesday, December 5 statement, officials of the independent and nonpartisan election observer comprising four Christian forums that include the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) say the removal of Article 34 of the Constitution in 2016, which required that presidential candidates declare their assets was a step back in realizing integrity and transparency in polls. 

“CCMG calls on the Government to publicly commit to revising the Constitution to restore the requirement for presidential candidate asset declarations to be made public and to designate restoration of this important provision as one of the non-contentious issues to be included in the Government's planned first phase of constitutional reform,” they say. 

Church leaders also drawn from the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ), and the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) say it is important to restore the requirement as the 2016 Electoral Process Act requires both presidential and vice-presidential candidates to declare their respective assets.

CCMG's message comes days after Chief Government spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, said President Hakainde Hichilema and Vice President, Mutale Nalumango, are not required by law to declare their assets annually. 


The U.S. Ambassador to Zambia, Michael Gonzales, had urged Zambia’s President and Vice President to declare their assets annually as a way of setting an example for all other public servants to emulate.

The government spokesperson said the removal of Article 34 of the Constitution removed important information from the public domain and is of the view that this is one of the constitutional revisions among others that "are plaguing and negating good governance in a way."

In their statement, CCMG officials say they "fully concur" with Mweetwa's views. 

They say the publication of declared assets of presidential and vice-presidential candidates “is critical to upholding the values of transparency and integrity in our elections for the benefit of all Zambians.”

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.