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Alba Iulia
Saturday, March 6, 2021

Oasis Forum, FODEP react

Headlines Oasis Forum, FODEP react

CIVIC and political groups have differed over President Mwanawasa’s proposal for a national convention to discuss the constitution-making process.The Oasis Forum described the President’s call as a step in the right direction but the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) says the constitution- making process be confined to either the Government or Oasis Forum- proposed roadmaps, irrespective of the costs involved.

Oasis Forum new chairperson, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president, Elijah Banda, said in an interview yesterday that the move was welcome although they needed time to study the matter before making a comprehensive statement.

“We will soon sit with the new LAZ Council to study the President’s pronouncement in line with what has been the position of the Oasis Forum on the matter,” Mr Banda said.

But FODEP executive director, Elijah Ruvuta, suggested it was better to go ahead with one of the established roadmaps as long as the weeks over which the process was supposed to take ran concurrently.

The Oasis Forum has suggested in its roadmap that the constitution-making process should be carried over a period of about 71 weeks while Government has proposed 87 weeks.

Mr Ruvuta said FODEP was sceptical about what would be achieved through a constitutional convention especially that there was almost nothing significant, which came from the last national convention.

“What did we achieve from the last convention.

Government is using costs as a concern for using the established roadmaps.

But what is the loss in investing in something broad. Moreover, how is the convention going to be managed because during the last one, a number of things were not properly handled,” Mr Ruvuta said.

Mr Ruvuta said since Government had agreed to enact the new constitution through a Constituent Assembly, it should not worry about the costs that would be incurred because it was a worthy investment.

And United Party for National Development (UPND) spokesperson, Charles Kakoma said the President’s stance was in line with UPND’s consistent calls for dialogue.

“The purpose of the indaba should be to reach consensus in studying various issues involved in the constitution-making process like the road map, which we need to discuss and agree on,” Mr Kakoma said.

He, however, said President Mwanawasa should not use the convention as a replacement for the Constituent Assembly.

“Instead the indaba should be used as a forum to discuss important issues like the mode of selecting people to be on the Constituent Assembly because this is what people wanted when making their submissions,” he said.

But Patriotic Front president, Michael Sata, said although the Oasis Forum’s roadmap was just a proposal, he would prefer a referendum on any roadmap because it was a quicker way of enacting a constitution.

Mr Sata who was speaking on Face the Media programme on Radio Phoenix, said a national convention might just be a waste of time and resources because many had been proposed over the last five years but nothing significant had come out of them.

He said a referendum should be used as a guide in enacting a new constitution because it was a quicker formula to bringing in an acceptable document to allow the people to govern themselves.

Non-Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council vice chairperson, Joyce Macmillan, said there was need for a good constitution because everything in the country rested on it.

She said issues like the fight against corruption, job security and independence of institutions like the judiciary, were all dependent on a good constitution.

7 COMMENTS

  1. Here we go again, round and round in circles. Nothing will come out of this proposed “Indaba” except to by more time for Levy.

  2. Its’not that we donot trust Mwanawasa its because he had lied before and he will continue to look for lies in order to buy time for himself.
    He has ears but he can’t hear what the zambians want only when people will start protecting and marching.Those surrounding him will never tell him because they want him to look stupid and arrogant. After the end of his term, Mwanawasa’s friends will run away as they did to Chiluba. Mwanawasa, Friends are those who can tell you what you don’t want to hear. When you leave office the same will happen to you as Chiluba, maybe even worse. People will never forgive you for denying them right to have their say and choice of their constitution.Your Indaba has been there before what did you achieve? Nothing just waste of public funds instead of putting those funds for proper use such as agriculture,Education and Health just to mention afew.

  3. Is LPM going to live in Zambia after 2011?Where is the problem with sorting out the roadmap? Sata is right,there is no need to keep multiplying indabas which just sit, eat , drink at the expense of tax payers money without anything coming out.LPM’s duty is to uphold the rule of law and practice good governance.He must not behave like he is a consultant where everyone should flock to for advice , he is part and parcel of everything and he is not above anybody they are all equal before the constitition and therefore must humble himself totally.Political gymnastics are for greedy people.The strength of our country wholly lies on the strength of our communities hence the call for leaders to become level headed.The constitution must be enacted at the shortest best time , atmost 77weeks.The constitution story is becoming boring just because of Teta and LPM.If you cant rule , resign.

  4. How much i wished our leaders would every morning wake up and pray to God.I wonder how many of them do so? America is successful and have a powerful and respected constitution that has stood to the taste of time because of respect for God. Our leader’s just wake up hoping their sangoma’s will guide them through their terms. A disgrace of our leaders. From the times of Shaka,things are still the same in terms of leadership styles. Till our leaders have respect and love for the citizens, shall we see, the constitution making sense to them. I think the leader’s do not know what the constitution is and why it is their? Everyone is just concerned at been President first, then the rest will follow.

  5. Why can’t we have a constitution that will be there for more than 4 centuries? Because of our culture,we do not look into tommorrow or have a plan,as every leader wants their own leadership style that suits them best. To be worshipped,honoured and have all the powers in the country. Hence our leaders just get donor aid without a strategy!!! KK changed it as if he was turning pages in his children’s books to suit him at that moment, FTJ changed it to suit him and bar KK from standing the elections, meanwhile even himself FTJ is not first generation Zambian.Power is sweet, as FTJ once said. LPM, wants it to remain as it is,cos of a combination of KK’s and FTJ’s selfishness and egotistical manners.

    LAZ (Lazy Attorney’s of Zambia)5000 LAZ member’s what are you doing? Just waiting when you’ll be appointed as High Court Judges? please wake up!!!!!

    Where is our Judiciary?

  6. Zambia’s ex-President Frederick Chiluba has been found guilty of stealing $46m (£23m) of public money by a UK court.
    The judge said that Zambians should know that when he appeared wearing his trademark designer clothes, they were paid for with stolen money.

    Mr Chiluba’s spokesman told a Zambian newspaper that the ex-leader did not accept the court’s jurisdiction.

    Mr Chiluba was not in the London High Court but the ruling could lead to the seizure of his assets.

    The civil case was brought on behalf of the Zambian attorney general.

    Swiss boutique

    Justice Peter Smith said Mr Chiluba had a global reputation as a “smart and expensive dresser”, with his “FJT” monogram on shirts and suits and specially made shoes with high heels.

    He officially earned about $100,000 while in power from 1991-2001 and yet he paid an exclusive boutique shop in Switzerland $1.2m.

    This is an historic victory for the people of Zambia

    Hilary Benn, UK International Development Secre

  7. The people of zambia are so amazing and they provide a very good case of study.So much has been said about the constitution from the time the constitution amendements were announced and many people condemned the all idea.Today the issue has taken the interest of everybody.I must say that we must be very carefull in the way we proceed over this matter because certain groups have differnt interst.The fact that certain people carry a certain lebel does not mean they are speaking for the zambian Lets have serious and intellectual discussion to help this interst groups arrive at a good decision.We should not trust interest groups because some of he are not honest.I urge the midia to be so agressive in trying to represent the peoples views.The only way we shall gauge the peoples wish is by having a referedum.

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