Zambia 1991 Constitution (reviewed 2016)

Table of Contents



ACKNOWLEDGE the supremacy of God Almighty;

DECLARE the Republic a Christian Nation while upholding a person’s right to freedom of conscience, belief or religion;

UPHOLD the human rights and fundamental freedoms of every person;

COMMIT ourselves to upholding the principles of democracy and good governance;

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;

RECOGNISE AND UPHOLD the multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious and multi-cultural character of our Nation and our right to manage our affairs and resources sustainably in a devolved system of governance;

RESOLVE that Zambia shall remain a unitary, multi-party and democratic sovereign State;

RECOGNISE AND HONOUR the freedom fighters who fought for the independence of our Nation in order to achieve liberty, justice and unity for the people of Zambia;

AND DIRECT that all State organs and State institutions abide by and respect our sovereign will;



Article 1. Supremacy of 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.
  5. A matter relating to this Constitution shall be heard by the Constitutional Court.

Article 2. Defence of Constitution

Every person has the right and duty to—

  1. defend this Constitution; and
  2. resist or prevent a person from overthrowing, suspending or illegally abrogating this Constitution.

Article 3. Continuous effect of Constitution

The operation of this Constitution shall not be affected by an unlawful act to overthrow, suspend or illegally abrogate its provisions.

Article 4. Republic of Zambia

  1. Zambia is a sovereign Republic under a constitutional form of governance.
  2. The Republic consists of the territory defined in an Act of Parliament.
  3. The Republic is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State.
  4. The Republic shall not be ceded in whole or in part.
  5. The Republic may enter into a union or other form of inter-state organisation, which action shall not be construed as ceding the Republic.

Article 5. Sovereign authority

  1. Sovereign authority vests in the people of Zambia, which may be exercised directly or through elected or appointed representatives or institutions.
  2. Power that is not conferred by or under this Constitution on any State organ, State institution, State officer, Constitutional office holder or other institution or person is reserved for the people.
  3. The people of Zambia shall exercise their reserved power through a referendum, as prescribed.

Article 6. National symbols

  1. The national symbols of the Republic are the—
    1. National Flag;
    2. National Anthem;
    3. Coat of Arms;
    4. Public Seal; and
    5. National Motto.
  2. The form, words, description and use of the national symbols shall be as prescribed.

Article 7. Laws of Zambia

The Laws of Zambia consist of—

  1. this Constitution;
  2. laws enacted by Parliament;
  3. statutory instruments;
  4. Zambian customary law which is consistent with this Constitution; and
  5. the laws and statutes which apply or extend to Zambia, as prescribed.