Zambian President Mr Edgar Lungu at the Dr David Livingstone Safari in Livingstone The Summit of the African Union Committee of Ten Heads of State on the Reform of the Security Council on Saturday 10th May2015 . Pictures By EDDIE MWANALEZA/STATEHOUSE.
Zambian President Mr Edgar Lungu

The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution in Zambia has condemned the proposal by the Republican President H.E. Edgar Chagwa Lungu to unilaterally alter the contents of the draft constitution by deleting Article 296 of the final draft constitution.

This document was drafted by the Technical Committee Drafting the Zambian Constitution which was constituted in November 2011. The drafting was done after a review of all the constitutional review commission reports over the last forty years and after consultations with Zambian citizens at local, district, provincial and national level. The final draft constitution was validated through the same consultative processes through conventions. It is therefore unbecoming, undemocratic, disrespectful and unacceptable for the Republican President to unilaterally make a decision to drop any provisions in the draft in clear disregard of the will of the people of Zambia who put those provisions in the draft. This dictatorial tendency by the President must be stopped immediately.

This vindicates the concerns of the Grand Coalition that the current government cannot be trusted over the constitution reform process and that if left unchecked, they can alter the whole document to suit their selfish motives. The Grand Coalition is concerned that without a legal framework to guide the process, there is no guarantee that the interests of the people will be respected and protected. If the President can unilaterally drop a provision in the draft, what will stop him from dropping everything else that he does not like? In fact our fear is that this is only the beginning. This PF government will diminish and mutilate the draft document to suit their selfish motives. This is unbecoming and unacceptable. The only way of protecting the content of the draft constitution is to facilitate its adoption through a national referendum.

It is clear that the government has hijacked the constitution reform process for selfish motivations and this should not be tolerated by any well-meaning and good standing Zambian. The Grand Coalition warns the government to refrain from such selfish manoeuvres and prioritise the interests of the people.

We will not just sit and watch the people’s rights being undermined and trampled upon by a callous government that pretends to listen but choose to go it alone. We will continue to point out these injustices by the government against the same people who gave them the mandate to govern.

Issued by: Fr Leonard Chiti
Chairperson of the Grand Coalition

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36 COMMENTS

  1. May be it would help if he inserts a clause that :’immunity of any serving president shall be removed if there was any suspicion of mismanagement in their tenure’. This will make him seem genuine in his current deeds.

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    • Uyu wena chisoso. Tukamikakafye. Singers have identified his weaknesses, the chiefs are up in arms and his own genuine party members are closely watching his misdeeds and Kambwili has stopped talking realising the inadequacies. Bushe bwalwa?

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    • Article 296 gives the Power to the President/Gov’t – effectively he owns the land- well maybe not owning it but he makes the laws of the land in Zambia as of opposed to (article 296) which gives the Power to chiefs (who traditionally have owned land in Zambia and have been known to give it or sale it) I don’t like Lungu but I agree that is a backward law that shouldn’t have been there

      Anything about Land should come from the Government and not chiefs. They (chiefs) have no divine right of ownership of land and in all honest- we need to do away with them anyhow.

      Thanks
      BB2014

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    • There is no need for an immunity clause for the President. Why should someone be protected from criminal conduct for the period he was President. If it is found that someone stole or killed somebody when he was President in his personal capacity, the issue of immunity does not arise. Prosecution should be a straightforward matter. If, while he is President, a prima facie case is established that he has committed a serious offence in a personal capacity, then he should be impeached, and then prosecuted. Immunity is available to a serving President to protect him from being distracted in the exercise of important national functions while serving as President. Immunity is not intended to be a refuge for the scoundrel.

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    • @ Legal Brain
      Exactly my question, poorly written article. Cannot comment on something that I have no clue about! What if article article 296, says all males shall have 6ex only once a year?

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  2. Bufi….. this father has nothing to do but yap yap..edgar has not changed anything. Please go and preach the good news

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    • @Basila, stop calling people crooks. The Draft Constitution is publicly available baba… read for yourself instead of depending on the Grand Coalition to read and interpret it for you. ‘Educational for all’ … I heard UPND shout out at the last presidential campaign but alas my brother!

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  3. Look, you have got to be wise in analyzing the GC’s intentions. These guys are a funded NGO by external parties solely to push for the constitution. The proposals by the government to take contentious issues such as 50+1, running mate clause before parliament before 2016, is very intelligent of government and that is why the constitutional push has lost support of even opposition parties. This scenario makes funding difficult for the GC because donors see that the objectives have been met. Look, the constitution itself is not perfect in draft and has flaws. Tell, me, how does the draft constitution make the lives of Zambians better? This document must add areas that affect us like land rights, etc. but you focused on political matters.

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    • “How does the draft constitution make the lives of Zambians better?” This is the reason why we still do not have a sensible constitution because ruling politicians do not want to enact a constitution that’s good for Zambians but that may disadvantage the politicians.

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  4. Your concerns are well placed except your agressive tone takes so much away from it. If you the Padre, the guardian of our peace and morals, can speak so abrasively, what more can we expect from Nawakwi or Pilato or me? Kindly tone down and rephrase, but do retain the full contents of your posting. For example, instead of saying THE GRAND COALITION WARNS THE GOVT TO REFRAIN FRON…, write instead: THE GRAND COALITION IMPLORES GOVT TO… For sure you’re a Grand Coalition and not a Grand Collision! You should be the last individuals to set yourselves on a collision course with the govt.

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  5. Article 269 talks about the establishment of the Lands Commission which shall administer, manage and alienate land on behalf of the president.
    The question is who told this Fr. Chakuti Chakuti that the president has tempered with that article? This article is still intact and the most annoying thing is why this so called Fr. wants to be seen as if he is championing the cause of majority Zambians and yet he is just fattening his fimofimo!
    I cant get surprised to hear that this man has fathered several kids in different compounds and he is merely asking for money from donors to meet their survival needs! What a Shimapepo!

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    • That is just increasing bureaucracy not changing land rights. We know all this. It is a huge misconception to state that the Zambian people will not rest until this document is adopted, I doubt that’s the case.
      How does the constitution change financial statutes etc. There is very little there.
      How does this document address decentralization which Zambia needs right now, we do not have this.
      In my opinion, a bunch of grown men who have taken donor money and are bluffing to maintain relevance.

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    • Lungu Kaminamisa an bwela kuchoka ku Chawama ndi sutukesi ya ma john white.lol.A clear indication of a kama dictator.almost one yr now no press conference to tell as about his vision.Ati fintu ni lungu.stupity fools.

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  6. It is always hard to understand the motives behind an organization such as Grand Coalition. They appear to be so Geared to snatch ‘success’ from the jaws of victory. As a country (and not PF) we are so close to adopting a progressive Constitution whose draft we know and they are busy personalizing and name calling. If the MPs in Parlaiment insist on re-inserting clause 296 what is wrong with that? What is wrong with subjecting clause 296 to a referendum if it is contentious? The draft has 322 clauses and this is just 1 clause that has provoked the name calling. Doesn’t this attack by the GC actually confirm the fallacy of the insistence on the referendum? On a Yes/No vote basis for the whole Constitution this clause alone could poison the adoption of the Constitution.
    GOD BLESS Z

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  7. father Chiti who are you speaking for? It does not matter whether you are representing every Zambian you are not definitely representing me and I am a Zambian just like the rest that you purpot to representing. So stop making the most noise as it is irritating me. I am not a politician but a Zambian whose view should be respected. And theway you are behaving one can not stop to wonder you are indeed UPND.

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  8. GUYS, ANYONE IN ZAMBIA WITH PICTURES OF THE NEW LUSAKA NATIONAL PARK PLEASE POST THEM ONLINE SO THAT WE CAN SEE INSTEAD OF JUST READ TEXT FROM NEWS MEDIAS IN ZAMBIA.

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  9. Aha Chiti, it is just a proposal. You also change some contentious issues in your Church such as family planning and divorce before removing a speck in another person’s eye.

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  10. Mushota, everything you have said about chiefs is spot on. These Igwez need not have anything to do with admistration of Zambia’s Land. They have gone on rampage selling it to foreigners for their own benefit, and before long all our land will be gone. All they do with the money is marry another wife and buy Limousines. Let’s revisit the role of our traditional leaders, or do away with them entirely, that includes Nkhomeshya, Mpezeni, Mukuni etc. I don’t know about the Litunga for his administration has deeper roots.

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    • UK has a queen and she is highly respected.What is it you want to prove Mushota ati you are more Muzungu when you have been in uUK for only 3yrs.Lets respect our Chiefs they know their boundaries from there ancestors.If chiefs are thrown out all these rich guys will buy all the land and the poor people will have no were to stay.Who does not have Kumudzi were you come from?

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  11. Separation of Church and State was missing from the Draft Constitution. Instead, the commissioners succumbed to pressure from certain zealous compatriots that claimed a Chrsitian Nation clause was an accurate representation of sentiments of Zambian people. Consequently, the Grand Coalition must also show flexibility. There is no pint in creating an Islamic stae in reverse. Experience shows that the majority of Zambians value the right of all religions to exist. They work and live in harmony. Many Catholics support the separation of Church and State in the Constitution.

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  12. Article 269 Lands Commission
    1) There is established a lands commission which shall have offices in all provinces and progressively in districts
    2) The Lands Commission shall administer, manage and alienate land on behalf of the president, as prescribed
    – This attempt to devolve the powers of land from the executive to the commission and that is the contention! Chances are more clauses and articles in that draft wont see the light of day! Zambians learn to read these things and educate yourselves instead of depending on politicians to unpack them for you. Politicians are a very selfish species most often they just pick what works for them be it opposition or in govt!

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  13. Leonard Chiti and kindred priests: queer, queer, eccentric, eccentric, just about each time one hears a delivery from almost any of them. What happens to them in the seminaries for such people to go off the hinge?

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  14. What are Zambians anxiously asking to vote for in a referundum if they can’t comprehend a single clause of the proposed constitution? On a right note, haven’t you been supplied with copies of the draft? Constitution making is a tidious process which requires thorough scrutiny before casting your vote. You are determining how you want to be governed from your personal to national level for an unspecified timeframe. Better the the devil you know than the angel you don’t know. Revise the draft thoroughly before you commit yourselves.

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    • @Man Kenya: your attitude of “Better the the devil you know than the angel you don’t know” is the bedrock of African backwardness. If you can’t imagine how life could be different, then you are like a dog or a wild animal, stuck in the current moment – no vision, no creativity.  That’s why African football administrators voted for Blatter!

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  15. All clauses need scrutiny before being subjected to adoption through Parliament or Referendum. We cannot provide a blanket yes to the whole constitution even when some clauses are contentious. Grand Coalition are a bunch of opportunists under the payroll of one HH. There are no short cut to leadership.

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  16. He is the president and he has evry right to do that,wat r u kaponya’s complainin abt? Jus take the same stupid draft constitution and shov it up so far ur hairy asses

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    • Mwila,
      So your ass has no hair… Are you advertising… that you are like a dressed chicken. You are pathetic and indiscipline loud mouth.

      Ta se

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  17. @ Buck Teeth Lungu, I am 100% for the new constitution only that I am advocating for civic education before subjecting the public to a referundum. I hope we are now reading from the same script now. Your urge and rush for insults before comprehending my statement reveals your outright incompetence. We are equally entitled to giving opinions. Why debate as though you are holding the marking scheme of the topic at hand? We are just finding a possible answer to the issue before us otherwise if you had the exact answer for it, it could not have been subjected to the public. Slow down your temper brother.

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