Grand Coalition
Grand Coalition

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

Lusaka, 11 July 2015

Grand Coalition commends MPs for rejecting the piecemeal constitutional amendment

The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution in Zambia commends Members of Parliament for their reservations to unnecessary amendments to the Referendum Act.

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, the Grand Coalition followed with keen interest the debate in the National Assembly of the Referendum Amendment Bill N.A.B No. 5 of 2015 that was presented by the Minister of Justice, Hon. Ngosa Simbyakula for the second reading. We were pleased to hear Hon. Jack Mwiimbu, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs, read his report that the Members of his Committee have rejected the government’s move to force piecemeal constitutional amendments on the people of Zambia and to raise the vote threshold for adoption of a new constitution through a referendum, which is contrary to what is provided for in the current Referendum Act.

This is what Honourable Members of Parliament ought to do, speaking for and on behalf of the people who elected them, and not sacrificing the people’s interests for selfish political scores. We commend the MPs for being the voice of the voiceless.

The Parliamentary Committee’s Report clearly vindicated the Grand Coalition’s position that there is no conflict between the current Referendum Act and the Constitution provisions on the national referendum. The Government indicates that there exists a conflict therefore the amendment will harmonise the laws. What pertains to Article 79 is the amendment of the Bill of Rights and not the rest of the Constitution or adoption of a new constitution.

A failed referendum is a waste of public resources. The Grand Coalition is tempted to believe that some of these proposed amendments are part of the government’s well calculated delaying tactics in order to deny the people their birth-right. We therefore encourage Members of Parliament to reject the Referendum Amendment Bill N.A.B No. 5 of 2015.

The Grand Coalition is also pleased to see that the debate in the National Assembly has to a large extent captured the submissions made by different stakeholders, including the Grand Coalition. The Grand Coalition commends MPs for speaking for the people and we encourage them to continue speaking for the downtrodden.

for/THE GRAND COALITION

Sara Longwe
VICE CHAIRPERSON

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24 COMMENTS

  1. Grand Coalition must find smthng fruitful to focus on. Zambia is a very poor country. Pipo wont eat a constitution. The constitution “story” has been there since Chiluba’s time. All Presido after him ve failed, even those who did was not good enuf. Poor pipo’s role in this so called democratic country has been reduced to “casting a vote”. Once they vote, then what? They still go back to hunger. We need NGOs that focus on empowering pipo – train pipo in skills that can assist them in improving their lives. Skills like:- Business skills (and find them capital), farming skills, etc. Not an NGO that just talks about a constitution. Some NGOs r about “rigging”. Pathetic! NGOs r supposed to b about helping pipo help themselves. Not NGOs in Zed, the just get fat on donner money.

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    • You are classical example of in-bread 1mbecility.

      How on earth you can put financial cost of the referendum against “Bill of Rights” ?

      If you want to be slave to the elected (sic) public servants, that is your personal choice and I tend to respect your personal choice even if I and millions of Zambians do disagree.

      However, when you and 1mbeciles like you justify imposition of slavery to the rest of the Nation under the pretext of the “financial cost”, whilst elected public servants are scrambling to illegally misappropriate this Great Nation assets and in the same time getting richer by the hour, yours and theirs justification of “cost” can only be interpreted as a act shameless Hippocrates.

      Empowering the People starts with FREEDOM, not with full belly.

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    • My friend be educated that Zambians will actually eat the constitution. Do not allow yourself to be ignorant this time and age. The constitution (people driven) demands the concept of ‘separation of powers’ which has a notion of ‘checks and balances’. Do you know that we can serve a lot of money and resources by just this measure that will not allow a member of parliament to be a minister? My friend I humbly ask you again not to be irrelevant in this day of democratization.

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    • @Aleshaday
      I will like to offer my support to @Wilz in the fact that Zambia does not need a referendum to “AMEND” the constitution. A referendum is an expensive exercise that does not add real “value” in the whole picture of amending our constitution.
      I deliberately use “AMEND” because much od what the draft version contains is pretty much the same as the current one with a few amendements, additions and refining of words.
      You and I know that over 80% of do not know the impact of the 50%+1 nor a number of proposed additions. So how do you justify subjecting them to a referendum? If you say we have to educate them, then my question is how long do we allow for that and at what cost?
      Zambia should learn to be pragmatic and work within the realms of its reality…

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  2. What do these morons want…. who are they representing.Even their USA and UK homo ambassadors have indicated that the parliament route is ok… get a life plz

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  3. You are just useless the so called grand coalition.when you have been given money you want to be making noise.you are all cadres we know that Hh gives you K100 each that’s when you start making noise.you frogs!

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  4. Grand Coalition when are you starting the nation wide campaigns for people driven constitution? You have promised this many a time. We miss the time of Mususu and others. Do not be like unions in Zambia that just pay themselves workers ‘s contributions without adequately representing and educating their members. Please save Zambia from total collapse.

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  5. What is not clear from this article is whether the so called non contentious issues will not be amended in Parliament.And if so what options remain with one year if not months before 2016 elections? Do we first have a referendum to vote on new constitution then if it fails we use old constitution in 2016 but if passes we use new constitution.If the select committee is the final representation in Parliament what are they advising as the way forward so that we don’t continue with elections with current constitution ?Commending a selecting for rejecting a bill in Parliament without telling the masses what government should to accelerate the process of enacting new constitution in time for 2016 elections a bit uncostructive.

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    • Options are for GRZ to find and not parliamentary select committee. The select committee has done it’s part. Of course the PF dominated parliament is likely to ignore the recommendation of its select committee and will go ahead and pass it into law in order to embarrass the opposition especially UPND and to an extextextent FDD. The fact remains that our leaders have always demonstrated a strong fear for democracy. Freedom is the beginning of prosperity. A good constitution will block corrupt practices by people in government and that will make it difficult for the corrupt in the private sector to bribe government officials and politicians. Wandi and Stella will be effective or be fired by the people. We want a people driven constitution.

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  6. I now miss father pit. He was smart and a true advocate not this father chity. JCTR will soon loose focus. Anyway this is the way NGO and FBOs make their money.. But ultimately the paliamentary committees can only make recommendations and these can either be adopted or rejected. So stop clapping, this bill is going thru. Bad readance.

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  7. Even Iraq had a new constitution in record time! Zambia is still debating, one step forward and three steps backwards! Maybe one day we shall wake up to another commission to examine what the previous commissions have recommended and then debate on that commissions’ findings before submission to cabinet who will consider…… when will this all end?

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  8. GCC restrategise to whip up the emotions of majority citizenry. The way things are you appear to be an elitist Lusaka group while PF is using zealots who are stealing with them to drive their toxic anti constitution message across the country.
    So GCC let’s have the nationwide campaigns for the people driven constitution now.
    Like someone has quoted Charles de Gaulle “Politics is too serious to leave to the politicians alone”.

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  9. GCC, do you understand that there is a draft that has already been debated for over 2 decades that now merely requires protecting & adopting? Shouldn’t we be focused on protecting its contents rather than how it is adopted? You are now celebrating a report that suggests we keep the current outdated draft, do you honestly believe this situation is benefitting the country? Do you know that if the referendum fails we are as good as guaranteed another decade of debate? Is this going to be your contribution to Zambia? Lord Jesus help us!

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  10. Can our Area MP, advise Zesco that we are off power supply in Kabangwe as at 13 53 hrs today despite Zesco sending us texts this morning that we would be off supply from 6 to 12 30. This company, inefficient in every thing, even just switching on.

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  11. President Lungu must be impeached on grounds of using an elderly person Mrs Inonge Wins as a political doormat. ZAMBIANS are generally respectful of elders. If the president does not respect elders then he should face some for of consequences to set an example to disobedient children.

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    • This is complete absence of seriousness. You very well know that this is wishful thinking right!

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  12. I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians. ~Charles de Gaulle

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    • I find this one of the most s.tupid quotes by the former president of France. On the contrary can this be on record that: I have come to a conclusion that politics is serious a serious matter that affects the citizens like me and should be left to us to be commenting and influencing. What a load rubbish to have been said by CDG. I am not going back to Charles de Gaulle etoile and I ain’t going back to CDG airport.

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  13. Gcc are fake chaps who do not know how people are saying on street and if they knew will better of keeping mute. Ecl people still want him and let him give us what other President failled to give Zambians. Amend areas that be amended without chi lifulandam. Longwe back to Zimbabwe akaye kuponona Mugabe we MBWA yanakashi

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  14. Why is it that insults written purportedly by PF supporters are in cibemba? Is this the official language of PF?

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  15. KK saved Zambians a lot of foreign exchange by using UTH while his children went to UNZA. The old man did not die and his children are as well educated if not even better than those who were pushed into foreign universities.
    Comment unrelated to constitution issue? It is. Our leaders only see money shortage when project to be financed benefits the public more and not the narrow interests of hunger-driven politicians and greedy relatives and cronies. A good constitution will separate powers. Voters will no longer be deceived that development can only take place if an MP is from the ruling party. Development is led by ministries spending money approved by parliament. The money is from taxes paid by ALL Zambians and nkongole to be paid back by AlLL Zambians. We need a good constitution now.

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  16. Grand Coalition ——‘

    You have abandoned the mandate you set for yourselves. While your comment is spot on why have you abandoned the poor? I am not talking about spoon feeding them with food but teaching them how to fish. The poor need civic education so that politicians find it hard to tell them lies. Tell them how Government operates: role of Parliament. Judiciary and Executive. Tell them the work of the President; what s/he can do and what s/he can’t do. Who contributes to the money the government uses to develop the country etc. We cannot wait until every Zambian enters college because that won’t happen. Tell them the role of political parties and the importance of voting. Please.

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  17. people this is africa , the only solution to the status call is having an educated society, we hav messed up big time. the constitution whatever form can still be abrogated. the power does not lie in a good constitution but well informed educated society. eg the bashier vs the SA highcourt,the gvt just brushed the courts aside despite having good constitution. We should invest our little resources in education and morality then everything will fall in place. U cant have a good constitution for a population which is 90% illiterate u wasting time. The church thru GCC has lost it ( they are fulfilling the prophecy lovers of money)

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