Bowman Lusambo in the Mazabuka FM studio
Bowman Lusambo

PUBLISH THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL NOW

As we await the reconvening of the Fourth Session of the Eleventh National Assembly on Tuesday June 16 th 2015, we wish to appeal to Justice Minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula to immediately publish the Constitutional Amendment Bill in the Government Gazette to allow for constructive debates among all stakeholders.

We are aware that Dr Simbyakula intends to table this bill as early as the National Assembly reconvenes. What is however baffling is the delay by the Government to publish the contents of the proposed Amendment Bill.

Under article 79 A of the Constitution of Zambia, it is a requirement of a bill for the alteration of the Constitution or the Constitution of Zambia Act should be published in the gazette for at least thirty days before the first reading of the bill in the National Assembly.

On Monday, June 1 st 2015, as MMD youths, we took the initiative to check with Government Printers in Lusaka, the department mandated to print all government publications. We discovered that Government has still not sent any work to the Government Printers to do with the Constitution Bill.

We feel the delays whether deliberate, by design or otherwise is depriving stakeholders from engaging in constructive dialogue over this important national undertaking.

In a democracy, those that are governing should be seen to be creating an environment that promotes dialogue with the governed.As a nation, we are currently divided over what has now become to be known as contentious and non contentious clauses.

We hold the view that the ongoing debate over contentious and non contentious clauses will be an empty debate as long as the nation is not aware of which clauses the government intends to amend.

It is in this regard that we appeal to Dr Simbyakula to immediately publish the Constitution Amendment Bill in the Government Gazette in the interest of transparency and encouraging genuine debate over the constitution making process.

We wish to submit that ambushing the Members of Parliament with the Bill will not do any justice to the debate and will deprive the people’s representative time to engage their constituents on what they would like to say about the bill.

Failure to engage the people would see increased public discontentment over the matter and may lead to more street protests and other forms of demonstrations over the matter.

We therefore urge other stakeholders such as political parties especially the youth wings to refrain from being used by selfish politicians to drive their agendas over the constitution.

Street demonstrations may not be a very useful way of engaging the government over the issue of the constitution. We should demand genuine dialogue which begins with the publishing of the Constitution Amendment Bill.

Bowman Lusambo
National Youth Secretary
OFFICE OF THE MMD NATIONAL YOUTH SECRETARY

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14 COMMENTS

  1. This probably is the most sensible comment on the constitutional debate so far than what we have seen from the direction-less Grand Coalition who just yap nonsense as though they have entered themselves into a competition of who is shouting the loudest !!

    This is what everybody should have been demanding all along since it is sensible and clear that there will be no referendum till 2016.

    We can’t continue beating a Dead Dog like Mad men and women. We need to move on as a nation and have the next elections under new laws and this we can do during this parliament seating. We can also have our dual Citizenship during this parliament seating.

    There is no need to mess all these things up , just because HH & co like beating Dead Dogs

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    • MMD youths (cadres) went to check….
      We appeal to Dr……………to immediately
      Failure to engage the people………
      Youth wings (cadres) to refrain from being used……
      Street demonstrations may not be useful…….

      Sounds like only Bowman knows better after bowing to government direction.

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    • But again this Cherry picking of the articles from the constitution on behalf of the people is not acceptable. Who is PF…..? Were they sent to Zambia by God to rule over and think for the people of Zambia?…….A referendum will cost just above three bye elections that can be caused or created by a few defections from MMD/UPND(Kaingu, Vincent Mwale and Monde). When you are outside you are very much interested in having a people driven constitution and when you have the power you become a God father to prescribe a constitution for the people…….sad indeed.

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  2. The Draft Constitution needs to go through the Referendum for it to become the Fundamental Law of the land. When that is completed, then the issue of ammendment can be tabled as bill before legislators. There is nothing really abhorent in the current Draft Constitution. Like all constitutions, a number of desirable ammendments are pending. These include clauses concerning Multilingual, Separation of Church and State, 50%+1 vote, Death Penalty, etc. Doctoring of draft constitutions produced by commissioners is politically incorrect. Any manipulation of contents or procedures is costly and unncessary.

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  3. Whether this piece meal amendments of the constitution succeeds or not, it is not the Zambian people’s problem. What we are seeing is another leader who is selfish and has just realised that power is sweet. He seemingly was a good man when he entered statehouse, but now we are seeing a different LUNGU. I thought at first the only legendery LUNGU would leave this country with was a well mooted people driven constitution, but alas, he is talking about piece meal amendments which to me is a complete sham. For me it is not even not worth voting when you know someone is already scheming to win the elections under whatever circumstance.We are seeing a situation where all those who tend to be too open about the running of the country are viewed as enemies though they do not belong to any party.

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  4. Bo Bowman Lusambo. Dont you feel time is ripe for you to defect to PF.

    You can surely make a good replacement for Hapunda.

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  5. Very sensible statement. Only issue is I don’t believe that these are Bowman’s words. Having know the individual personally for many years I know what his level of articulation and vocabulary sounds like. I wonder who the real author is what the intention of such a person is by using Bownman.

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  6. MMD had 20 years in wich to change our constituition. UPND had a time during NCC but they failed. lets give PF chance to give us the constituition that will last time. Remember we have more issues to attend to

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  7. Thank you Bowman. I was wondering when someone would bring up the most important issue at hand – the Constitution Amendment bill. This is what we want to know. Which clauses does government consider non contentious.

    If the government wishes to work with the people then it is very important to engage them. I totally agree with you on this Bowman. Government may even find support from the public, which may make it easier to pass the bill.

    But as it is, everything is being done in secret. It is not necessary to be secretive on the Constitution. It is for the benefit of all of us, including the current PF leaders, who might need its protection when they leave office.

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  8. You think that this is the way forward to having the Government work with the grassroots? As if you have not been in the system before. What happened with the draft constitution? Had it not been for the leaked Draft Constitution you wouldn’t have seen what the Draft looks like. Wake up Zambia. Demonstrations alert the people to see whats going around. Its going to Parliament because the numbers of those supporting the Government are more. As long as the pockets of those are filled up while you stay hungry and the will of the ruling party would have achieved their goal. Thats a hoodwink kids. Learn from the wise.

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    • Very timing comment.

      Sensible, wise contribution from a wise youth. I do agree that this youth is needed in PF for national development.
      Ba Chiti with your Collision…learn something from the youth & stop making noise as if you own anybody at all

      Ba LT why are trying to intimidate me by rejecting some of my comments? publish this one now…I demand.

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