Grand Coalition on the Constitution Visits Chiefs in Eastern Province

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The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution in Zambia has met with traditional leaders in the Eastern Province as part of its ongoing nationwide engagement of traditional leaders on the constitution making process.

On 29th and 30th June 2015, a Grand Coalition team comprising Steering Committee members Mr Guess Nyirenda (OYV/YOGA), Mr Elaston Njovu (ZCTU), Mr Maxson Nkhoma (CSPR), Mr Mthaziko Zulu (Caritas) and members of the GC secretariat visited palaces of selected chiefs in the Eastern Province to discuss the need for a people driven constitution, and mobilise their support for a national referendum.

During the meetings, the Grand Coalition shared its position with the chiefs. The chiefs also raised a number of issues expressing their solidarity with the Grand Coalition, and pledged to support a national referendum once it is called.

The traditional leaders commended the Grand Coalition for its principled stance, and pledged to mobilise their subjects to resist the government’s move to make piecemeal amendments to the constitution. They commended the GC for developing the ten basic minimum principles, which they said was an informative tool on the process. The GC shared copies of its ten basic minimum principles with the traditional leaders.

The traditional leaders appealed to the Grand Coalition to highlight their views, as the government does not seem to recognise them as a key stakeholder. As the GC, we will do just that. We shall continue to highlight the issues and concerns raised by the chiefs, on behalf of their subjects.

In our discussions with the chiefs, we emphasised the fact that the final draft constitution provides for more on effective decentralization than the current constitutional provision. For example, Article 181 (1) (c) of the final draft provides for three chiefs to be members of the Provincial Assembly. Article 190 (2) (c) also provides for up to three chiefs to be members of the council in each district. Article 202 also guarantees the institution of chieftaincy, and has provisions that seek to “the honour and dignity of the institution of chieftaincy”. The Grand Coalition views these provisions as very progressive as they will address the concerns that the chiefs have raised in our interactions with them.

Our consultations with chiefs in the Eastern province show that the people of Zambia are yearning for a people driven constitution, and are against the government’s patchwork approach. We therefore call on the government not to undermine the people’s power, and allow for public participation in the adoption of the constitution, through a referendum.

The Grand Coalition has so far visited chiefs in Luapula, North Western and Eastern provinces. The feedback from all these meetings shows that their royal highnesses fully support our calls for a national referendum, and they share our conviction that a referendum is possible before the 2016 tripartite elections. Within the next few weeks we will visit chiefs in other parts of the country.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. Grand coalition, you are baking dogs with no teeth. Stop weasting our productive time, useless
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    • What do these pipo want kanshi! At least it gives them a basis to beg for foreign dime$.

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    • A “Grand Coalition team comprising Steering Committee members Mr Guess Nyirenda, Mr Elaston Njovu, Mr Maxson Nkhoma, Mr Mthaziko Zulu”.

      Nyirenda, Njovu, Nkhoma & Zulu? Currently meeting chiefs in eastern province home of Lungu, RB & Dora. This “grand coalition” is moving across the country in circles. So far they have been to Luapula~North Western & Eastern. Whose money are they squandering crisscrossing the country by over passing provinces of which the so called “Grand Lungu” Coalition should engage? Its like washing your hands before using a lavatory & NOT doing otherwise after.

      The work has been done & PF should implement the New Constitution without further delay of their Donchi Kubeba sickness of 90 days are 4 years gone!

      The Skeleton Key
      ~206~

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  2. You dogs with rabies whose money are you chewing to go round the country biting chiefs? Govt have no money plse spare that for the next tripatite elections

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  3. They regrettably believe the constitution is theirs whereas the opposite is the reality. Zambians believe in the Government because they know it is the government that will make and use the constitution. The collision (or call it anything) is lobbing for the obvious. they only want to show that they more a participant than the rest of the Zambians. They are no different from some opposition parties apart from the sensible MMD with Nevers Mumba keeping quiet with great hope that the PF will deliver. It’s only the pompous parties or groupings such as the Collision, undp and the rain bow that argue nonsensically. Give PF time to prove itself. Chiefs are part of the government and swaying them to the collision’s thinking is interfering with governing process. The constitution is no issue…

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  4. Grand Coalition is doing nothing apart from using these visits to beg for more donor funding.
    For how long have we been talking of a People Driven constitution in this Country? The debate goes on and on yet there is no outcome.
    Solution: let us accept that the current crop of Zambians has failed to come up with a constitution. We will need to have leaders like El Sisi who call a spade a spade. In no time he took power he declared the muslim sisterhood/brotherhood as a terrorist organization and wiped them out.
    We need such strong and decisive leadership if the constitution is to be changed in Zambia. Looking and the voting trends we are a divided nation politically – so we should ALL forget about a People Driven constitution.

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    • Initially I had faith in the late Sata (MHSRIP) being an action oriented man with his 90 days theories – but where are we now?
      Whether we like it or not we will need a dictator to impose this constitution on us. As somber Zambians we have drastically failed to amend the constitution. Year in year out we will be yapping over the same subject without any result.

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