The effectiveness of checks and balances in Zambia's third Republic

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Zulu, Geoffery
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The need to limit presidential powers in Zambia has been a growing concern for a long time now. Zambia has been independent for forty years and yet the problem of excessive presidential powers still remains unresolved. Due to the excessive powers of the President, the other two organs of government, namely the Legislature and Judiciary have been unable to effectively check the executive branch of government headed by the President.This essay is an attempt to discuss the effectiveness of checks and balances in Zambia, particularly in the third Republic. The contention of the essay is that the President in Zambia has got too much power, conferred on him by the constitution, thereby rendering checks and balances ineffective. The development of Executive powers is traced from history, dating back to the colonial era when all power was vested in the governor for the territory. In 1964 when Dr. Kaunda took over power from the colonial era, the institutional framework left by the colonial administration was substantially maintained, to the extent that Kaunda too, wielded a lot of power. Moreover in 1993 Zambia became a one party state headed by Kaunda himself.The one party state was done away with in 1991, when the Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) came to power. Thirteen years have passed since Zambia riveted to Multi-Party politics yet the President still remains the most powerfiil government official in the country.This position retards good governance and the separation of powers because almost all senior or key government officials serve at the mercy of the President, who has power to remove them from office of influence their appointment to any such office.
checks and balances