Following this morning’s press briefing by the Grand Coalition at the Zambia Episcopal Conference I would like to take this opportunity to re-state my absolute commitment to delivering the new constitution.
Having signed a Social Contract with the Grand Coalition last month, I am fully committed to delivering the new constitution if elected president in January 2015. This is now a non-negotiable campaign commitment for us.
The Zambian people were promised a new constitution in 90 days by the PF. More than 1,000 days later we only have a draft, and a lot of money has been wasted on the process that could have gone to building clinics, hospitals and schools if they had not dragged the process on. The Government’s failure to communicate clearly with the people during this time also showed a complete lack of respect.
If the PF Government had delivered what they promised then we would have avoided a lot of confusion and drama over the past few weeks as the process following the death of late President Sata (MHSRIP) would have been clear. Instead of the squabbling and fighting we have seen in the ruling PF we could have been moving forward with the business of government and development.
Our opinion is good governance is essential for economic growth and development. It cannot be sidelined and it should not be subject to political manipulation by one party or another. After all this should be a people-driven constitution, not government.
The failure to deliver the new constitution is just one of the failings of the PF Government which we want to address. When it comes to governance they have had a very poor track record: no new constitution, a huge number of ministers and deputy ministers on the pay roll, and routine abuse of the Public Order Act. There has also been far too much secrecy.
What we need now is a united party in government, willing to work with others regardless of their tribe, gender or background. We need to come together to address these governance issues and much more.
I want to thank the Grand Coalition once again for giving me the opportunity to make this commitment in writing and in public. I hope the Zambian people will give me the chance to honour it by voting me in to office on January 20th.