President Edgar Lungu
President Edgar Lungu with Amos Chanda

PRESIDENT Lungu has described as misguided assertions by some critics that he has unilaterally removed Article 296 of the final draft constitution.

Article 296 of the draft constitution relates to vesting land in the President.

President Lungu said he will respect the views and wishes of the Zambian people in the constitution-making process.

Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists here on Thursday that President Lungu has not removed clause 296 of the final draft constitution.

“It’s extremely sad and a misguided notion that President Lungu has unilaterally removed clause 296 from the draft constitution. If the people of Zambia decide to oppose certain articles of the final draft constitution, he will follow. Let them disagree with the chiefs themselves and not cowardly hide in President Lungu,” Mr Chanda said.

He said allegations by veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga that President Lungu has unilaterally removed article 296 of the final draft constitution are misguided because the document is intact.

Mr Chanda said it is in fact the chiefs that do not want clause 296 of the draft constitution.

He explained that chiefs from across the country have openly made it clear that they are against clause 296.

“Traditional leaders in Eastern, Central, Muchinga, Southern and now North-Western provinces are against clause 296 of the draft constitution but President Lungu will agree with the views of the people even if he does not agree with certain provisions, he will follow their views,” Mr Chanda said.

He urged Dr Mwaanga and opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) spokesperson Antonio Mwanza to come out in the open and challenge the chiefs on the issue of clause 296 instead of dragging the name of the President into the matter.

Mr Chanda also said President Lungu has not taken any position on the draft constitution and urged Dr Mwaanga and others to directly disagree with their Royal Highnesses and not the head of State.

Meanwhile, seven chiefs in North-Western Province have commended President Lungu for honouring the promises he made two weeks ago to people in the region.

The chiefs are happy with development projects that Mr Lungu’s administration is implementing in the region.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a pathetic attempt at damage control. It was clearly reported in the media that the president has removed the clause 296 because chiefs were not happy. These chiefs were adequately represented in constitution making process, why are they changing now? This clause protects chiefs from being manipulated by sophisticated international organisation that come to buy land from the chiefs because they do not have the expertise to deal with these organisations. Chiefs are easily bribed with gifts and a house and they give the entire land to foreigners.

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  2. But the people suggested the article and not the Chiefs .so the views of a hundred chief against the fourteen million the president supports the hundred or so Chiefs .it is crazy

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