Separation of Powers

Topics: Separation of powers, Presidential system, President of the United States Pages: 6 (1961 words) Published: June 4, 2013
The major objective of this essay is to defend the assertion that separation of power in Zambia is relative. This essay will begin by giving a brief description of the concept Separation of Powers. executive, legislature and the judiciary. Thereafter, a Main Body shall provide a detailed discussion over the assertion after which a conclusion will be given to summarise the discussion. According to the online business dictionary, Separation of Powers is a constitutional principle that limits the powers vested in any person or institution. It is this principle that divides government authority into three branches namely the Executive (President or Prime Minister and the cabinet), Legislature (Parliament or Senate) and the Judiciary (Chief justice and other Judges). From this definition, Separation of Powers entails that each organ of the state, namely t will perform its functions without undue interference from the other organs. Each organ therefore, should be left to do what is assigned to it under the constitution. If any organ is not performing well it ought to be reminded and its performance monitored by way of accountability. This is not interference but a system of checks and balances in the interest of good government. But separation of powers does not mean insulation of powers because the three organs of the State, particularly the Executive and the Legislature, are at one level or another bound to interact and indeed complement each other in the running of the affairs of the State (World bank, 1992). The executive branch of the government of Zambia is made up of the chief of state president Michael Sata; vice president Guy Scott; the president is both the chief of state and head of government. Cabinet is appointed by the president from among the members of the national assembly. Chief of state includes the name and title of the titular leader of the country who represents the state at official and ceremonial functions but may not be involved with the day to day activities of government. Head of government includes the name and title of the top administrative leader who is designated to manage the day to day activities of government. For example in the UK the monarchy is the chief of state while the prime minister is the head of government. The legislative arm of the government; unicameral National assembly in Zambia is made up of 158 seats, 150 are elected by a popular vote, 8 members are nominated by the president to serve 5year terms (Bratton, 1994). Some of the functions of the legislature include; a) Impeach the president for gross misconduct, commission of a criminal offence or violation of the constitution; b) Remove the president, cabinet ministers or any other official holding constitutional office such as the Chief Justice, Supreme Court and High Court Judges by a vote of no confidence for incompetence; c) Approve the national budget and make alterations without changing the total figure; d) Scrutinize public expenditure as well as Defense, Constitutional and special expenditure; e) Ratify the declaration of a state of emergency and approve its extension; f) Ratify the country’s foreign policy and international treaties to be entered into on behalf of the country; g) Create public offices;

h) Dissolve itself.
The judiciary is made up of the court system of Zambia, these include; Supreme Court (final court of appeal; justices area appointed by the president), High Court (has unlimited jurisdiction to hear civil and criminal cases, Magistrate’s court and

Local court (ibid).

The constitution stipulates a hybrid form of government; a mixture of presidentialism with elements of the Westminster tradition of parliamentary democracy. The current system is, however, closer to the presidential model with delegated powers, and even “close to the top end of the range of presidential powers” (Burnell 2003: 48). As in other presidential systems the distribution of power between the legislative (parliament) and...
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