Father Bwalya urges PF not to remove any progressive clauses from the Draft Constitution
Change Life Zambia Executive Director, Father Frank Bwalya, has urged the Patriotic Front (PF) Government not to mutilate any of the progress clauses in the draft constitution that may not be in its favour as a political party in power.
Speaking in an interview with ZANIS in Kitwe today, Fr Bwalya, who strongly advocated for the constitutional review, said the newly released draft is good and takes the long standing demands for a democratic constitution that represents a true spirit of multi-partism.
Fr Bwalya hoped that the PF government will not throw out the critical clauses such as the 50 per cent plus one for a winning presidential candidate and the one stating that the vice president should be a running mate to the president among other contentious ones as the MMD did in the past drafts.
He said his organization and the entire Zambian people are looking forward to the PF party to honour its promise that it was not going to betray the people like the MMD did.
Fr Bwalya observed that if enacted in its draft form, the constitution would be a perfect document that would stand the test of time.
Last week the technical committee working on a new national constitution released its first draft and the public have been given 40 days to analyze it and make submissions in reaction.
Meanwhile Fr Bwalya said his organization will continue fighting for the former Zamtel workers who were prematurely laid off at the unscrupulous sale of the telecommunications company to Lap-Green Telecommunications of Libya.
He said his organization will soon make a follow up on the progress from government and the Zamtel management to see how far the process of re-engaging the workers has gone.
He added that ‘Get Involved Zambia’ was still committed to helping and speaking for the less privileged in society.
And the Civil Society Constitution Coalition, comprising 19 organisations, is satisfied with the contents of the draft constitution.
The coalition is happy that the draft has provided for economic, social and cultural rights for the first time.
Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflections Director, Leonard Chiti who spoke on behalf of the coalition, says the various progressive clauses will help develop and strengthen the country’s democracy if implemented.
Mr. Chiti has told journalists at a media briefing that the coalition feels clauses such as article 75 (1) which provides for the 50 plus one per cent votes for a winning presidential candidate and article 107 (1) providing for a presidential running mate are progressive.
He says the coalition is also happy with the provisions which have been made for Presidential petitions and the transition period before the assumption of office for the elected President.
And Mr Chiti has urged government to immediately appoint a referendum commission so that arrangements for holding of the referendum can start.