NCC delegates

Henry Kyambalesa
The National Constitutional Conference (NCC) is a fraud. Among other things, it does not have any legitimacy in the eyes of the majority of Zambians, especially after having made highly controversial and contentious recommendations – such as the recommendations requiring a Republican presidential candidate to have a bachelor’s degree as a minimum academic qualification, and to have been resident in Zambia for 10 consecutive years preceding any given presidential election.

It should, therefore, be dissolved as suggested by Citizens Forum executive secretary Simon Kabanda, Federation of Free Trade Unions of Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde-Simukoko and other prominent members of Zambian society. It is not possible for a constitution-making process that is suspected of being highly politicized to produce a constitution that will be acceptable to the majority of citizens – a constitution that will stand the test of time!

We can hold the 2011 general elections under the 1996 Republican constitution and place an indefinite moratorium on the constitution-making process.

However, we can have a referendum requiring citizens to vote “yes” or “no” on whether the Republican constitution should be amended to include clauses stipulating that: (a) the Republican president should be elected by a minimum of 50+1% vote; (b) the Republican president should appoint government ministers from the general public rather than from elected members of Parliament; and (c) a specific date should be enshrined in the constitution during which general elections should be conducted.

These three issues need to be resolved, and amendments made to the current constitution based on the outcomes of the referendum, before the 2011 tripartite elections. There are a number of reasons why this should be done, some of which are stated briefly below.

The 50+1% Threshold: The Republican president needs to be elected by the majority of Zambians rather than by a simple majority as provided for in Article 34(8) of the current constitution. Amendment of Article 34(8) will, therefore, enhance our nascent multi-party democracy.

Appointment of Ministers: Ministerial appointments from the Zambian society at large can afford a Republican president a larger pool of competent people from which he or she can constitute a Cabinet. Secondly, it can provide for greater separation of powers between the legislative and executive branches of the government.

Thirdly, it can afford presidential aspirants enough time to identify potential ministerial appointees well before tripartite elections rather than waiting for parliamentary elections to be concluded. Further, it would reduce the work overload on government officials who have to handle both ministerial and parliamentary functions.

There is, therefore, a need to amend Articles 46(2) and 47(3), which require the Republican president to appoint Ministers, Deputy Ministers and Provincial Ministers from elected members of Parliament.

Date for General Elections: There is a need for a constitutional clause which should provide for a specific day or date for holding general elections in order to forestall past suspicions that the ECZ director and the Republican president conspired to rig elections whenever they met to determine the dates for elections. The day or date to be considered should be during the dry season, and should give the new Republican president enough time to prepare for the hosting of Independence Day celebrations in October.

As an alternative to the dissolution of the NCC, Parliament should be tasked to appoint a group of at least ten prominent lawyers to examine the recommendations made by the Mung’omba Constitutional Review Commission for the purpose of correcting potential errors and inconsistencies in the recommendations. It makes no sense for a tiny fraction of Zambians who are members of the NCC to repeal or alter recommendations that were based on the submissions of citizens nationwide.

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26 COMMENTS

  1. Henry, Thank you. We hope that gvt has ears to listern. If they dont, we hope that the people will take it upon themselves to make this Gvt think once in a lifetime. Yes, this NCC can not alter people’s will. Yes, this NCC has been sitting for too long only to contracdict itself. Yes, this NCC has no direction, Yes, this NCC is MMD. Yes, let us have a referrendum and let people decide what they want and not this NCC. Yes, Let the constitution set a month of Election and not date. Yes, Let the President appoint non members of parliament as Ministers. Viva henry

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  2. I absolutely disagree. The NCC must be allowed to finish. A lot of money has been spent and we cannot write it off as a sunk cost. There is a saying, before you start something, you must know that you’ll finish. The NCC must be allowed to finish.

    All the time and money spent on it cannot be allowed to go to waste. If the people where not happy with some of the clauses, they had the option to lobby their MP’s (minus PF MP’s) to vote against the clauses. That is why you voted for the MP’s, so they can represent you.

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  3. Yea, a lot of money has been wasted on useless ideas, allowances and the like. Nothing tangible has come out of this. That money could have gone towards the purchase of a dialysis machine at UTH.Our leaders are so damn selfish

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  4. FYI, the 2011 will be held on the new people driven Mung’omba constitution which under no doubt is almost ready for Parliamentary vote.The best armchair critics like Kyambalesa can do is temperariry relocate to Zambia and go lobby another people’s House at Manda hill-Parliament which constitutionary will enact this constitution into Zambian law.To the best of my knowledge, i don’t see the referendum being held this year considering that we have a multi billion Kwacha national census and the 2011 elections that will gobble some trillions.The process of conducting a referendum is not like the way Kyambalesa waffles and whinnes daily in every blog.What this means is that the new constitution will be enacted with the 50+1 clause waiting for a refendum after the 2011.

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  5. Since when did personal opinions of PF cadres like Simon Kabanda and Joyce Nonde become the voice of the 12 millions plus Zambians when the two are authetic founder members of PF fantasy politics? Kabanda like all Citizen Forum and Die Zambia members are PF cadres unless Kyambalesa is talking from his disconnection from the country after spending over 17 years in the Diaspora and merely feeding on the tabloids.And what is Kyambalesa’s statistical data he should share here on which is basing his opinion on that Zambians who sponsored commissioners to the NCC disdain this constitution.Kyambalesa is more of unresearching cadre than pragmatist.FYI, there is no constitution that appeals to every citizen in a democracy where dissent has space.Show me one.

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  6. This Mwangala and her characters have wasted a lot of our time. They are just doing their own petty things, history will judge them harshly.

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  7. Even Sata and Nawakwi’s 1995 Mwnakatwe constitution when they targeted KK had its own critics just you are today.This is the sweetness of democracy.Muchibemba tutila, pansaka ngabonse musuminishanya, ekutila bonse mulifipuba.The nation cannot be held at gun point because of one or so armchair critics are waffling against what is in public interest.If you don’t believe in the people’s call for these changes the new constitution is carrying, just like the gays in some US states where they are outlawed yet live there without constitutional right, accept it for Zambia too that not every sore loser will be served 100%.

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  8. Its amazing that some pipo are calling for the dissolution of the NCC, shame. Joyce and Simon are not representing my interests and therefore, there argument is unfounded. The NCC sittings are not an end to the adoption of the constitution, no. The constituency assembly i.e. pipos’ power will have the final say to the type of constitution Zambia wants which will be pipo driven. I enjoy criticism but they must be well thought of before saying anything. Imagine the number of constitutional review held in the past with less petitions by Zambian. This time around its all inclusive and for those who shunned like Joyce and Simon, just wait and hold on to your comment. You were foolish to shun NCC and today you can not be my good lecture on NCC. We shall wait for the constituency assembly period

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  9. Henry can you tell me how you came up with the “majorityof Zambians” are not happy with the NCC. This is the mistake us who have the chances to talk to journalists and say the Majority are not happy. A few people and NGOs (not elected) in Lusaka come together and start saying the “majority” is all rubbish. Individuals, trade unions, Churches and other personal to holder NGOs who boycotted this noble task are the ones that should disband. Look at the Council of Churches in Zambia or is it Christian council of Zambia which members did they consult? We the ordinary members of the churches that make up this CCZ were not consulted and then one says the majority are not happy. If you boycotted let those that took up the challenge complet it.You say Levy’s Legacy should be uphold but u dont…

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  10. Senior Citizen uli chipuba chikalamba, wati walikwata amano, ifipuba finobe filepanga ama rubbish and you are enjoying the stupidity of the NCC. the constitution is not about Sata, RB or MMD,it is about the future of this nation. Soon Sata and RB will be no more but the Constitution remains. How hell then can you start supporting such stupid retrogressive ideas. iwe chi senior citizen limbi nokubomba taubomba niwe chi John solye ubwali… you dont pay TAX, ifyabupuba uleke uli chikalamba, think with your brains not your stomach.

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  11. Come on Kyambalesa, come to your senses. As others have correctly pointed out, you are not the majority. Certainly you do not represent me. The answer to your problem lies within your statement in paragraph 2, and I quote “It is not possible for a constitution-making process that is SUSPECTED OF BEING HIGHLY POLITICISED to produce a constitution that will be acceptable to the majority of citizens – a constitution that will stand the test of time!” end of quote. You guys in the loud minority have this incurable disease of being suspicious of your own shadows and you want us in the majority to lose our money so far spent on NCC just to satisfy your unfounded, unprovable suspicion bordering on paranoia. Have some faith in your fellow humans and you shall live an abundant life.

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  12. The syndrome we are seeing is that for the constitution to be credible it has to be made by “US” not “THEM”. What makes you think the THEM will trust you? NCC is about as inclusive as you can get it to be. The only problem is that you the minority “US” chose not to take part, but is that the problem for us in the majority?

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  13. 1.Name: Senior Citizen | Country of residence: ZM | Written: Thursday, 15 October 2009 (10:44)
    20928
    Ba PF Bishop Eagle, Calvary greetings to you. I pray you are strong enough to stomach the disappointing Armageddon out of Kasama at hand for your PF despite your vested cadre spirit. Sata and Lubinda’s nonsense talk that Kasama is their PACT litmus test will only serves to expose their indefensible vulnerability and irrelevancy now and in 2011.
    Take it from this post I make, In Kasama MMD’s Mugara will sail through come what may. I now advise all PF kaponyas to print this statement and use it to vindicate me if my statement turns a total illusion distant from applied politics and the ballot verdict. I make this statement under no usual political inclination but as a grounded actor…

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  14. senior citizen contnues…….actor in predictive sciences that has never failed me in business, statistical analysis and political research endeavors.
    I have used many variables to reach this conclusion. Should Mugara lose, as a democrat I will salute him and his party with dignity, but then will retire from blog politics and my business. Instead, will enter active politics which has never been on my calendar beyond blogging during free times. But I vow MMD victory in Kasama is undebatable.
    Name: Senior Citizen | Country of residence: Zambia | Written: Friday, 16 October 2009 (15:39)
    BLOGGERS IS SENIOR CITIZEN NORMAL? JUDGE FOR YOURSELVES!!!:o:o:o

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  15. THIS KYAMBALESA IS HE A BLOGGER, A COLUMNIST OR A PARTY SYMPATHISER? HIS POINTS OF VIEW ALWAYS SEEM TO BE UNRESEARCHED BUT ALWAYS BIASED TOWARDS ONE OF THE ESTABLISHED (SET) POLITICAL SIDES (FAR LEFT/FAR RIGHT). THOUGH HE COMMENTS ON EVERYTHING, HE DOES NOT SEEM TO HOLD AN INDEPENDENT VIEW OR LET BOTH SIDES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES. WHY SHOULD WE BE FED WITH HIS PROPAGANDA ON A DAILY BASIS. WHY CANT WE HEAR FROM OTHERS TOO? HAS HE BEEN PLANTED ON THIS BLOG TO SWAY POINTS OF VIEW? IT CANT WORK MY FRIEND .SOME OF US ARE NOT CARDERS WHETHER OPPOSITION OR RULING PARTY. THAT IS WHY WE NEED EDUCATED LEADERS.

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  16. People like the so called Senior or is it Junior Citizen seem to know it all. Kyambalesa is entitled to his opinion which should be respected. As far as I’m concerned, the NCC was well intended but it has been hijacked by minions, MMD sympathisers who want to settle scores by changing the national law which affects everyone. Unfortunatley, the majority have agreed to whatever that bunch of NCC delegates approve since the NCC is filled up with MMD cohorts. For your information, that parliament is a rubber stamp and cannot stop or decide on behalf of the people as we have seen in the past. The corrupt MMD govt will do anything in their power to have it their just like they do in elections. Am sure, the so called Senior citizen is a senior citizen of fools.

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  17. I absolutely agree with Henry. Some of the CRC recomendations which are being changed by 500 or so NCC members were made in the light of people’s submissions nationwide. I believe this is the reason why Henry has used the term “the majority of Zambians …” We cannot accept a corrupted constitution just because so much money has been spent on the NCC. We need to get back to the drawing board and get it right so that we will not need to have another constitutional review commission appointed again in the near future should the MMD lose the 2011 elections. Any way, it is Henry’s opinion and I just happen to concur with him. But as Article 32 of the NCC Act provides, Rupiah has the power to dissolve the NCC and nobody can prevent him from doing so.

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  18. MR CAPITALIST AND SENIOR CAKUTI, WHAT YOU ARE PRETENDING NOT TO KNOW IS THE FACT THAT, A ZAMBIAN MP CANNOT LOBBIED BY HIS CONTITUENCY, HIS ALLEGIANCE IS NOT TO THE ELECTORATE BUT TO THE PRESIDENT & HIS VEEP WHO ARE OILING THEIR POCKETS, WE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THE U S A, THESE ARE ZAMBIAN -AFRICAN POLITICS, THEY ARE VERY FEW MPOMBOs OR MILUPIs WHO ARE INDEPENDENT THINKERS!

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  19. Lubs at #17: What kind of research does one need to undertake on an issue like the constitution? Or are you one of those educated f.ools who believe that everything is sipposed to be subjected to research? What Henry has written about seems to be commonsense; it is as simple as remembering your mother’s name … no research needed! And, by the way, I have read the article a few times just to make sure I understand what it is about … the author does not seem to be biased against any individual or political party. May be you can see something in it that I do not see …

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  20. I totally agree with Kayambalesa’s reasoning. The adoption of articles requiring a presidential candidate to have a first degree as a minimum academic qualification, and to have been resident in Zambia for 10 consecutive years preceding any given presidential election are misplaced. It is clear that such clauses are designed to exclude some individuals from contesting the presidency, and are initiated by MMD members of the NCC and their sympathizers. Would the two clauses have been recommended by the NCC if the MMD presidential candidate in the 2011 general elections — that is, Rupiah Banda — did not have a degree and had been working for the World Bank in the USA over the last 5 or so years, for example?

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  21. senior citizen is full of rhetoric,very personal and an emotional freak whose hatred for Sata and PF stinks like t hydrogen sulphide,the smell of rotten eggs.Your language senior citizen portrays you as egoistic,childish and a separatist who demeans and looks down on a certain section of society,our good people called the kaponyas deserve respect.Your so called MMD has created more kaponyas than UNIP did.

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