GRAND COALITION ON THE CONSTITUTION IS PURSUING PARTISAN INTERESTS OF SOME OF ITS MEMBERS

The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), has been very reluctant to comment on the slippery road which the coalition of Opposition Political Parties and Civil Society is taking on the constitution reform process. However, YALI is now of the view that this situation cannot be left to continue unchallenged as it poses a grave threat to progress so far made in getting a firm timeline for putting the proposed new Constitution in place.

YALI is therefore calling upon Civil Society to re-assess its role in a democratic society and avoid conducting itself as if civil society has a more legitimate mandate, whether acting as a single unit or in coalition, than any legitimately elected government put in office by the people directly. YALI is firmly of the view that we as civil society, while assuming our rightful place in a democratic dispensation, should nevertheless, respect the popular mandate conferred upon the government of the day by the people themselves through the ballot.

It is becoming increasingly clear that some of our colleagues in the Grand Coalition, are attempting to hijack the process once again, having previously contributed to previous attempts that ended in failure to come up with a progressive Constitution. We are puzzled that:

(1) while the Grand Coalition has acknowledged in its statement that this year’s budget approved by all Members of Parliament, provides for 29 million Kwacha for the constitution-making process, they nevertheless demand, in the same breath, that a referendum on the constitution, should be held this year! We ask: how is that possible with the resources available?

We would assume that the resources provided in the 2015 national budget, should send a clear message that the Referendum cannot be held this year with such limited funding. It should be logical that we should instead use these resources to focus on ensuring that arrangements are put in place for holding a Referendum in 2016 or thereabouts.

(2) We find it quite contradictory, that the Grand Coalition should demand more time and resources towards the public sensitisation and awareness on the referendum and its modalities, a process that gives them more work to do but, at the same time, they demand that the referendum should be held within this short period of time.

(3) YALI believes the proposal by the Ministry of Justice to constitute the Constitution Implementation Team (CIT) is a better way to go towards harmonising some of the contentious issues and re-assessing the work the Technical Committee has already done. We also believe that the way forward should not be led by the same members of the Technical Committee who produced the Draft Constitution, so that they take a second look at their own work; rather, YALI is firmly of the view that the process must allow other minds to lead.

It has become evident from the activities of the Grand Coalition that the noble cause on which the Grand Coalition was founded in Chisamba has been overtaken by the core interests of the Opposition political parties, on whose behalf some organisations in the Coalition, seem to speak. While it may be true that even organisations like YALI may be speaking for other young people who share our common views on governance and development-related issues, we cannot claim to speak for all youths, some of whom may hold views different from our own. Democracy

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21 COMMENTS

  1. The constitution will only be ready in 2018 given the the current situation in the country, we are coming from an election, then we have another election in 2016.
    Zambians need food on the table, better roads, hospitals, schools, cheap farm in-puts. As a matter of fact the constitution can wait as for now.

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    • Surely the Grand Coalition let by Fr. Chiti has no interest of poor Zambians i.e Poor Farmers, jobless youths both girls and boys, poor widows and orphans. They want to promote the interests of the rich Hakainde Hichilema and UPND at the expense of the poor. As a catholic am disappointed with your organization Father Chiti as it is being used as a trampoline of the rich people. Why not allow the government deliver meaningful development rather than this toilet paper in the name of the Constitution.

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    • Excellent statemenet ba YALI.. I have always said that these grand thing just want to make noise and get more attention and donor funding.. they know that once the constitution is passed they will be condemed to the books of acient history never to be heard of again..

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    • We are back to the animal driven constitution……we really need political will to get this document on to the people. At the rate we are perceiving these issues, we shall never have a constitution from the people. EL is already suggesting that he has another formula to avoid the presidential bye elections not the running mate as per constitution.

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    • This is what is called selfishness…..We need the constitution just like yesterday(The bible for the country). What is wrong with you.Are we back to the animal driven constitution? Iwe muntu wake up and smell the coffee.

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  2. We should have the referendum together with next year election to avert the costs. Let all work be done now before the general election/referendum date.

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  3. Is this not the same so called Grand Coalition which decampaigned HE Mr E C Lungu for not signing the so called social contract to enact the new constitution and since the President did not sign their social contract they must not push their lucky to far and they must shut up and YALI is right

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  4. YALI, or whatever you are called, we are know all NGOs in Zambia, yours included, exist for the bellies of the members; so stop antagonising your friends. Find another job if you are not there to eat. We want a new constitution period! There has been too much dribbling on this issues. South Africa came up with a new constitution within the shortest possible time. Why should it be different with Zambia?

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  5. But surely ba YALI….with your 10 points master plan, what is your agenda. Again if you continue from where you left before Mr. Sata passed on, we are heading nowhere with our constitution. We need this document before the 2016 elections.We need the constitution just like yesterday. Very soon again you will start hearing the animal driven Constitution ………..Mr. Ntewewe MUST sit up and realize that Zambia is bigger than all of us. We need the constitution very quickly.

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  6. YALI is spot on. The Grand coalition is working for HH.
    They are blind to the fact that 50% + 1 or running mate will not solve the constitutional problems. The issue is only 1 vote will be required to declare the winner. So where is the difference from the current constitution. The running mate is recipe for chaos as the elected President is bound to be undermined. Malawi is a good example.
    Reals issue are reforming the Judiciary not presidential or executive functions. Removal of presidential powers is recipe for having a cermonial president. The coalition should talk about injustices of High court Judges who take 10 years to make judgement on simple cases. Lawyers fighting over relief costs awarded to plaintiffs. These are issues that must be talked about not how to make President…

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    • We need a popular president my friend……..why are you again going back to Sata’s animal driven constitution? We need the 50% 1% so that you have the president for the people not the 1% that we saw between EL and HH. Stop this no-sense of assuming that the current constitution is ok………It is your, our and everyone’s country and there fore do not treat others as if your were the anointed one. Let us work together to receive the country’s bible.

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  7. The more I hear the Grand Coalition speaks, I can’t distinguish them from opposition UPND. No doubt, HH is the biggest funder of the Grand Coalition and maybe it’s good that YALI parted ways at some point. The Church in that Grand Coalition is the worst let down esp Church mother bodies. They are not helping matters. On this one, am with YALI and if we are to put the reform process, I think YALI knows the direction best than these people in the Grand Coalition. I think those on the coalition must listen to the voice of reason within them and begin to make changes. They need YALI on board more than they need the opposition political parties for them to speak with one relevant voice.

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  8. we all know that the Grand coalition is working for the opposition and to be particular the UPND am very disappointed as a Zambian to see the day light foolishness of the so called Grand coalition pushing Government to hold a referendum when these guys know very well that we are just coming from a by-election and soon will be having a general election. if you want to join politics please just go on the battle field and stop hiding in the name of the useless grand coalition.

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  9. I get very upset when disgruntled , selfish, power hungry politicians and that headless Grand Coalition want just to bulldoze their evil interest at any cost ,even when the critical issue to Zambians is the creation of human diginity through sustainable development that will crash the high poverty levels we are enslaved to today. YALI your sight now is seeing the bigger picture. Help also analyzing the engineers’ industrialization proposal to the president . That’s what is vital to zambia.

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  10. I do not see much of a solution in the 50% + 1 and running mate system. The proposal is a recipe of division. This is how we can move on and do away with bye-elections
    A) adopt an proportionate electoral system where parties are voted for only;
    B) a party will only form govt if they win 100 seats out of 150;
    C) if a party does not meet this threshold then they can form a coalition govt;
    D) seats won by parties will remain valid for 5 years and parties will be mandated to appoint there members to be MPs and this applicable to presidency too.

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  11. How dd I miss this? yali is rite. So rite that the Grand collusion must fold it’s tail. It’s losing popularity day by day. Just hear the sense in this statement. Pliz yali, u know the way, help Government to deliver a good constitution and we behind u

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