Our Constitution


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STRENGTHENING the DEMOCRATIC process in Zambia RECOGNIZING that power is in the service of the people DETERMINED to ensure that all Zambians will be actively engaged in exercising their fundamental rights and responsibilities at all levels of self-governance.




1. The FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRATIC PROCESS (hereinafter referred to as “FODEP”) is hereby established.

2. Its headquarters shall be at LUSAKA.



1. Membership shall be open to individuals and Organizations and shall be either by
application or invitation.

2. Each member or affiliated organization, shall be determined by the Board of

3. Membership of FODEP shall terminate when a member:

(a) Resigns;

(b) is expelled owing to serious breach.” Serious breach” shall mean conduct, which is incompatible with the aims and objectives of FODEP, committed either within or outside FODEP, and includes theft, fraud, openly campaigning for a political party, and gross misconduct, as outlined in the FODEP By-laws;

(c) Fails to pay the membership subscription fee by June 30

(d) Applies for a full-time position in FODEP.





To monitor elections, mediate social and political conflicts in society, and provide civic education and information to leaders and citizens concerning both their human rights and responsibilities in democratic governance.


1. BASIC AIM OF FODEP is to promote and strengthen the institutions and operations
of democracy in Zambia.

2. For this purpose FODEP shall:

(a) Promote the evolution of a political culture based on civic responsibility of both
leaders and local levels by:

(i) Instilling a spirit of accountability in all leaders at different levels.

(ii) Fostering in citizens a duty of participation in the day-to-day affairs of national and local
government as well as community-based initiatives.

(b) Promote public awareness of human rights and endeavor to ensure that all
categories of human rights are respected and enforced.

(c) Speak out issues that may threaten the democratic process, and take up issues
that would promote its objectives.

(d) Encourage the free flow of information between government and civic authorities on the one hand and citizens on the other, by sponsoring seminars and workshops, and providing a non-partisan forum for the exchange of views.

(e) Sustain popular commitment to democracy through programmes of public education.

(f) Promote recognition of the necessary role in a democracy of a strong opposition and of various civic organizations.

(g) Inculcate in Zambians the need to take responsible care of public facilities and institutions so as to maintain high living standards.

(h) Undertake research and publish reports about FODEP’s activities and share the same with other interested organizations, both internal and external.

(i) Work in co-operation with other organizations, both internal and external, which are interested in sustaining the democratic process.

(j) Monitor all presidential, parliamentary and local government elections.

(k) Monitor elections of other organizations, such as political parties, upon invitation.

(l) Fight corruption in all it’s forms and at all levels.

(m) Constantly in all its forms and all levels.

(n) Analyze the constitution and other relevant legislation in order to ensure that they are compatible with the requirements of a plural democracy.



FODEP shall have the following structure:

1. The Convention

2. The Board

3. The Executive Committee

4. The Secretariat

5. Provincial Committees

6. District Committees

7. Constituency Committees

8. Ward Committees

9. Individual/Organization Members.



The Convention shall be the Supreme Authority in FODEP. It shall consist of: -

(a) A maximum of ten delegates who are fully paid-up members from each province who shall be selected by a Provincial Convention. The delegates shall be fairly represented of the Province.

(b) Members of the Board of Directors.

(c) FODEP Trustees

The functions of the Convention shall be:

(a) To review the performance of the Board of Directors.

(b) To elect members of the Executive Committee.

(c) To consider the accounts, Balance Sheet, Reports of the Board of Directors and Auditors.

(d) To formulate and revise the organization’s policies and programmes.

(e) To consider, amend and adopt the FODEP constitution.

(f) To consider any other matters presented at the Convention; and

(g) To appoint Auditors and Lawyers.

(h) To review appeals against expulsion from FODEP.

3. Decision of the Convention
The decision of the Convention shall be binding on all organs of FODEP.
The Convention shall meet once every three (3) years but may also meet in Extra-Ordinary Session when summoned at the instance of at least two third (2/3) of the members of the Convention in writing, or by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the Board of Directors.
The quorum of the Convention shall be two-thirds (
The voting at the Convention shall be by secret ballot.

The President of FODEP shall be chairperson of the Convention.
2/3) of its members.VotingChairperson


The Board of Directors shall compromise the following:

(a) 9 Provincial Chairpersons.

(b) The President, Vice President, National Secretary and National Treasurer.

(c) Chairpersons of Sub-Committees

(d) Executive Director (ex-officio)
Term of Office
Each member shall serve a maximum of two (2) terms of three (3) years each, on the Board.
Notwithstanding this provision a candidate who has served two terms on the Board shall be eligible for reelection upon expiry of two years from the time he/she vacated office.

3. Functions of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors shall perform the following functions:

(a) To receive, consider and determine appeals against the decisions of the Executive Committee.

(b) To formulate and review policy and adopt by-laws for the organization.

4. Quorum
The quorum of the Board shall be two-thirds (

5. Meetings
2/3) of its members.
The Board shall meet ordinarily twice a year but may meet in Extraordinary session when convened by the Executive Committee or at the request of two-thirds (

2/3) of its members.

There shall be an Executive Committee which shall be composed of:-

(a) The President

(b) Vice-President

(c) National Secretary

(d) National Treasurer

(e) Chairpersons of Sub-Committees

(f) Executive Director (ex-officio)

2. The Executive Committee shall meet three times a year and as need arises.

3. The decisions of the Executive Committee shall be binding on all lower organs of FODEP.

4. The quorum of the Executive Committee shall be two thirds (
2/3) of its members. Functions of the National Executive Committee

The functions of the Executive Committee shall be to:

(a) Co-ordinate the activities of the Sub-Committee.

(b) To review overall organization performance against policy.

(c) To provide guidelines to the Secretariat through the Executive Committee in line with laid
down procedures.

(d) To receive and approve financial reports on an annual basis.

(e) To appoint, terminate and set the remuneration for the Executive Director.

(f) To receive and review reports from the President and the Secretariat.

(g) To fill any vacant positions in the National Executive Committee.

Decisions of the Board of Directors

(a) The Board shall be the highest policy-making organ in between Conventions and its decisions shall be binding on all the lower organs of FODEP.

(b) Interpret the policies and programmes of the Organization and to ensure implementation of policies.

(c) Formulate and provide clear Terms of Reference and conditions of service for staff.

(d) Review and appraise FODEP’s programmes.

(e) Consider any proposed amendments or repeal of the FODEP Constitution and make appropriate recommendations to the Board and Convention.

(f) Prepare the Agenda for the Convention.

(g) Consider expulsion of members from FODEP.

(h) To ratify any vacancy filled-in by the National Executive Committee at their earliest Board meeting.



1. There shall be a president of FODEP, who shall be the head of the Organization.

2. The president shall be elected by the Convention by secret ballot on the basis of a simple majority.

3. To qualify for election as president a candidate shall possess the following qualifications:

(a) Be a Zambian

(b) A paid-up member of FODEP who should have served at the Provincial Committee for a minimum period of two years preceding the nomination.

(c) Literate and conversant with the official language of Zambia.

(d) Minimum of Form V certificate.

(e) Resident in Lusaka.

(f) Has attained the age of thirty-five (35) years.

4. Functions of the President

The President of FODEP shall have the following functions:

(a) Be the principle spokesperson of FODEP

(b) To oversee all FODEP activities and programs

(c) To preside over meetings of the National Executive Committee, Board and the Convention.

(d) Convene, in consultation with the Executive Director and the National Secretary, meetings of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors.

(e) To initiate any policy for consideration by the National Executive Committee.
 Resignation or Removal of President from FODEP

(a) The President may resign from office by addressing a letter to that effect to the National Secretary;

(b) The Board of Directors on the recommendations of the National Executive Committee may remove the President on grounds of:

a. Gross misconduct;

b. Mental or physical infirmity that makes him/her incapable of performing his/her functions;

c. Political partisanship.
Vacancy in the office of President
(a) In the event of the President resigning or being removed from office, the Vice-President shall act as President until a new President is elected;

(b) In the case of absence of both the President and Vice-President the National Secretary shall perform functions of the President;

(c) The Board of Directors shall fill a vacancy in the office of the President not more than ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurred from amongst themselves.



1. There shall be a Vice-President of FODEP who shall be elected by the Convention.

2. The Vice-President must have attained the age of 30 years and have the same other
qualifications as those of the President.

3. The grounds upon which the office of Vice-President may become vacant shall be the
same as those applicable to the office of President.

4. The Board of Directors shall fill a vacancy in the office of Vice-President not more than
ninety (90) days after the vacancy occurred from amongst themselves.

Functions of the Vice-President

The functions of the Vice-President shall be to:

(a) Act as President of FODEP in the absence of the President;

(b) Carry out the functions of FODEP as may be directed by the President and/or the
Executive Committee.



1. There shall be a National Secretary of FODEP who shall be elected by the Convention.

2. Qualifications
The National Secretary shall have the following qualifications;

(a) Be a Zambian;

(b) Not less than 21 years of age;

(c) Minimum of Grade 12 Certificate;

(d) Literate and conversant with the official language;

(e) Be based in Lusaka;

(f) Paid-up member of FODEP

3. Functions of the National Secretary
The National Secretary shall:

(a) On behalf of the Board, oversee the functions of FODEP;

(b) Prepare and keep minutes of meetings of the Board of Directors and the National Executive Committee.

(c) Give notice and prepare agenda of all meetings of FODEP

(d) Keep stock of and maintain all the inventory of FODEP.

(e) Handle all FODEP correspondence.



1. There shall be a Treasurer who shall be elected by the Convention, and shall be the Chairperson of the Finance Sub-committee.

2. Qualifications

The National Treasurer shall have the following qualifications.

a. Paid-up member of FODEP.

b. Have an Accounting/Auditing background.

c. Zambian citizen.

d. Resident in Lusaka.

3. Functions of the Treasurer

The Treasurer shall:

a. Be responsible for the proper and accurate accounts of the receipts and expenditure of
FODEP funds.

b. Disburse FODEP generated funds as directed by the Executive Committee.

c. Prepare detailed annual Financial Report.

d. In liaison with the Executive Director conducts periodic audits of FODEP funds.



1.There shall be established the following Sub-Committees:

(a) Legal Affairs

(b) Publicity and Research

(c) Finance

(d) Programs and Civic Education;

2. Each Sub-Committee shall be headed by a Chairperson elected by the Convention.
Other members of the Sub-Committees will be appointed by the Chairperson of each sub-Committee.

3. All Sub-Committees shall work in liaison with the appropriate Heads of Departments, who shall be exofficio members thereof.

4. The conveners of the Sub-Committee meetings shall be Chairpersons in liaison with the full-time officers working for the Secretariat.

5. The Chairpersons for Legal and Finance Sub-committees shall possess relevant qualifications
Functions of the Legal Affairs Sub-Committee

(a) To provide legal advice and procedures to FODEP.

(b) To attend to civil suits.

(c) To provide standard guidelines on what political parties may do or may not do during elections, in accordance with the Electoral Act.
Functions of the Publicity and Research Sub-Committee
(a) To act as the mouthpiece of the Organization to all parts of the country.

(b) To project a good image of the organization.

(c) To collect, document and disseminate information.

Functions of the Finance Sub-Committee
(a) To monitor the utilization of funds as per laid down procedures.

(b) To solicit for both material and financial support for the organization.


Functions of the Programs and Civic Education Sub-Committee



1. There shall be established a Secretariat, which will be run by an Executive Director who shall be assisted by other persons, deemed qualified, experienced, reasonable and necessary by the Executive Committee.

2. The Executive Director will be appointed the Board of Directors while the Executive Committee will appoint the other officers.

3. There shall be Provincial Coordinators in each Province appointed by the Executive Committee on the recommendations of the Provincial Committee, who shall be responsible to the Executive Director for the execution of the functions.

4. The Executive Director and Provincial Committee shall receive copies of regular reports from the Provincial Coordinators on the operations of their offices.

Functions of the Secretariat

(a) Implement policies, through relevant departments.

(b) Execute the day-to-day administration of FODEP affairs.


(d) Dissemination of information from Committees.

(e) Managements of FODEP Accounts.

(f) Solicit for funding and resource support from targeted donors.

(g) Liaison with Committees.
(c) Communicate and co-ordinate activities of the Provincial Committees through Provincial



1. There shall be established in every Province a Provincial FODEP Committee, which shall be the supreme organ of the organization at Provincial level.

2. The Provincial Committee shall comprise the following:

(a) Provincial Chairperson

(b) Vice-Provincial Chairperson

(c) Provincial Secretary

(d) Vice-Provincial Secretary

(e) Provincial Treasurer

(f) Three Committee Members

3. The Provincial Committee shall be elected by representatives of districts and shall
hold office for three (3) years.

4. The Provincial Committee shall meet quarterly or may also meet whenever

5. Functions of the Provincial Committee
The Provincial Committee shall:
(a) receive and review reports from Districts Committee;

(b) review and supervise FODEP programmes in the Provinces in liaison with the relevant departments, and the Provincial Coordinator.

(c) Ensure that FODEP in the Province is functioning efficiently;

(d) Promote the interest of FODEP;

(e) Mobilize funds to support operations and programmes of FODEP;

(f) Receive and consider disciplinary decisions and appeals from District Committees.



1. There shall be established in each District a FODEP District Committee.

2. The District Committee will comprise:

(a) The District Chairperson

(b) The District Vice-Chairperson

(c) The District Secretary

(d) The District Vice-Secretary

(e) The District Treasurer

(f) Three Committee Members

3. Members of the District Committee shall hold office for a term of three (3) years and shall be
elected by all paid-up FODEP members in the District.

4. The District Committee shall be the Supreme Organ of FODEP at the District level.

5. The District Committee shall meet at least six times a year and may meet whenever need arises.
Functions of the District Committee

The functions of the District Committee shall be to:

(a) initiate, implement and review FODEP programmes in the District, liaison
with the Provincial Coordinator.

(b) explain and publicize FODEP programmes in the District.

(c) Maintain discipline of FODEP officials and members operating in the District.

(d) Receive and consider reports from Constituency Committees.



1. There shall be established in each constituency a Constituency Committee.

2. The Constituency Committee will comprise:

(a) The Constituency Chairperson

(b) The Constituency Vice-Chairperson

(c) The Constituency Secretary

(d) The Vice-Constituency Secretary

(e) Constituency Treasurer

(f) Three Committee members

3. The Constituency Committee, shall be elected by FODEP members drawn from all the wards in the Constituency and shall hold office for three (3) years.

4. The Constituency Committee shall meet once a month and may meet whenever need arises.

5. The Constituency Committee shall be the Supreme Organ of FODEP at Constituency level.
Functions Of The Constituency
The function of the Constituency Committee shall be to:

(a) initiate, implement and review FODEP programmes in the Constituency under supervision of the District.

(b) explain and publicize FODEP programmes and policies in the District.

(c) Maintain discipline of FODEP members in the Constituency

(d) Receive and consider reports from Ward Committees.



1. All positions in FODEP shall, unless otherwise specified in this Constitution, be elective.

2. All elections shall be by secret ballot.

3. Only paid-up members shall be eligible to vote.

4. Neutral persons shall be appointed as returning officers in every election.

5. Election shall be held in accordance with rules prescribed in that behalf by the Board of Directors.



1. Every FODEP organ shall have power to discipline erring members in accordance with the
disciplinary rules prescribed by the Board of Directors.

2. In every disciplinary proceeding the rules of natural justice shall be scrupulously observed.

3. Every person against whom disciplinary action is taken shall have the right to appeal to a higher organ.



1. The Board of Directors shall appoint three distinguished Zambian citizens as Trustees who shall act to protect the assets of the FOUNDATION on behalf of the general citizenry.

2. The Trustees shall hold office for three years and shall not be members of the Board of Directors.

3. In the event of the dissolution of FODEP, the Trustees shall act to dispose of the
FOUNDATION’s assets in ways that shall benefit the general citizenry of Zambia.



1. Amendments to the Constitution may be proposed at the Convention and must be approved by two-thirds (2/3)of the members present and voting in the Convention.

2. Once approved by the Convention, the amendments take immediate effect.



The dissolution of FODEP may be proposed at the Convention and must be approved by three-quarters (¾) of the members present and voting in the Convention.

Amended: December 2003


FODEP is a voluntary non-partisan, non-profit making, non-governmental organization set up in 1992 to monitor the democratic process in Zambia. Its mission and objectives are clearly elaborated in its Constitution. Except for a small work-force of full time contract staff at its National Secretary and Provincial offices, FODEP is run and organized by volunteers, committed to the ideals of democracy and wanting to see Zambia become a model of democracy in Africa and the whole world. As a stable organization that values integrity and good ethics, the membership therefore, through the Board of Directors, establishes for themselves the following By-Laws, which shall be binding on all FODEP volunteers and full-time staff. These are addition to the provision of the FODEP Constitution, which is the supreme law of the Organization, and the terms of employment in case of full-time staff.


1.1 All members of FODEP shall endeavor, in their words and deeds to uphold the integrity of FODEP as a non-partisan, non-geneterian and non-profit making, Non-governmental Organization.

1.2 Members of FODEP, therefore, though free to have political sympathies, and also free to vote in an election, are not allowed to express these sympathies in anyway, publicly.

1.3 No FODEP member shall take up a post in a political party or any organization whose objectives are in conflict with FODEP’s objectives or mission.

1.4 FODEP members should not carry symbols, membership cards or wear T-Shirts of political parties.

1.5 Press statements on FODEP policy can only be made by authorized Board members at National level and members of executives at provincial and district levels can do so on operational matters.

1.6 The spirit of volunteerism shall be the basis of involvement and participation in FODEP activities by its members.

1.7 Authority structures shall be from the convention to the lowest organs in the districts as established by the Constitution.

1.8 Ascending to any FODEP position of leadership at any level shall be the preserve of those who have been ordinary FODEP members for at least two years. Except where new FODEP structures are being established or where a new member is being co-opted in for their special skills.

1.9 No FODEP member shall hold two positions at the same time. When elected to an office while holding another post, the individual shall resign the lower post.

1.10 Every member of FODEP shall pay his/her membership and annual subscription fees.

1.11 Where positions fall vacant before the end of the term, the Committee can co-opt in members to fill up the position, provided that the co-opted members do not serve for more than six months before an election could be held.

1.12 Where communication is difficult, the following Executive Committee positions will be available to resident members in the FODEP Headquarters: -

a. Chairperson,

b. Vice-Chairperson,

c. Secretary and Treasurer.

1.13 National Board members outside FODEP Headquarters should be Ex-Officio to the Provincial Board meetings. The Provincial Board Members will also be Ex-Officio to the District Meeting.


Staff (full-time and part-time) are expected to share the vision of FODEP. The National Secretary shall be under the full supervision of the Board through its Executive Committee. Provincial Coordinators, whereas administratively fall under the Executive Director, shall be supervised by the Provincial Chairman. The National Secretary shall relate to provincial Coordinators through provincial executives.

The relationship of FODEP staff and volunteers shall be that of mutual respect as one cannot exist without the other, in addition, their roles will be complimentary to each other.

All funds raised under FODEP tag are the property of FODEP and their use shall be only on FODEP approved programs. Funds raised through membership fees shall be remitted to FODEP National Office who shall in turn, remit back to provinces their share of the money.

Money raised from membership fees shall be appointed as follows; 30% to Secretariat, 20% to the Province and 50% to the Districts.

Money raised from membership subscriptions will be distributed as follows; 30% for the Provinces, 70% for the District.

Misuse or misappropriation of any FODEP funds shall be one of the most serious offences in FODEP, which shall attract expulsion from the Organization or summary dismissal in the case of full-time staff. In severe cases, police may make consideration for prosecution.

The highest mode of transport for Board Members traveling to meetings should be a standard coach (Bus) and a standard train coach. If a member uses the mode of transport higher than prescribed, in the event of claiming refunds, the standard fare will be reimbursed.
This shall be one of the major programs of FODEP and shall be done on voluntary basis by FODEP members.

Monitoring shall only be done by trained and competent members of FODEP.

Various organs are required to hold regular meetings.

All organs are required to submit minutes of their meetings to the higher organ.

6.1 Disciplinary action shall be instituted on any member who violates the FODEP Constitution or these by-laws or who conducts him or herself in a manner likely to put the integrity of FODEP to the outside world without the Executive Board’s authority.

6.2 Disciplinary action on any member can be meted horizontally i.e. by fellow members of the organ or by the immediate higher organ. Appeal procedures shall be followed as provided for in the FODEP Constitution when necessary.

6.3 For clear and defined organizational procedures, the constituencies shall deal with districts in all matters, the districts with the province and the province with the Board through it’s Executive. A higher organ shall only entertain a by-pass or organs in the case of an appeal;

6.4 Type of disciplinary action shall be either suspension or expulsion from the Organization. In case of criminal misconduct that even violates national law, e.g. embezzlement of funds, the member shall be handed over to police for Prosecution.

6.5 Every member who is charged with an offence shall be afforded a fair hearing in accordance with the rules of natural justice.

All FODEP Organs shall adhere to the following disciplinary procedures:

7.1 The National Secretary or other officials authorized to do so shall write to the erring member, notify him/her of the charges against him/her and requiring him to exculpate himself from the charge/swithin a period of 14 days (inviting him/her to show cause why disciplinary action should not be taken against him/her).

7.2 The accused shall respond in writing within the stipulated period. Failure to respond may result in judgement being entered in default.

7.3 The matter shall then be set down for hearing within two weeks of receipt of the accused’s response.

7.4 At the hearing the accused shall permitted to defend himself/herself and also to produce witnesses.

7.5 An accused member shall have the right to appeal to the immediate higher body within thirty days from the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.

Enacted: March 1997
Kafue Gorge.
(a) To examine, sanction and direct new projects;

(b) Review programs of the organization;

(c) Initiate programs and projects;

(d) Formulate Civic Education Modules and Strategies in liaison with relevant Institutions;

(e) Adopt and review implementation of Civic Education;

(f) Work out modalities of carrying out Civic Education Campaigns.
To examine and recommend remuneration for volunteers and full-time staff.