Chishimba Kambwili
Members of Parliament during the opening of Parliament by President Sata on September 19,2014 -Picture by THOMAS NSAMA

The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People-Driven Constitution (GC) is deeply concerned that the PF Government plans to adopt and enact the new Zambian constitution through parliament
with the exception of the Bill of Rights which constitutionally requires to be subjected to a referendum for adoption as per article 79 of the current constitution.

The Minister of Justice last week informed the National Assembly that the Government had decided to table during the next Parliamentary sitting all provisions of the draft constitution prepared by the technical committee on drafting the Zambian Constitution, except the Bill of Rights as per the provision of Article 79.

The Grand Coalition finds this parliamentary route treacherous as it provides the government with a platform to alter the character of the final draft constitution through parliamentary debates. This will dishonour the interests of the people of Zambia who through local, regional and national consultation meetings submitted their desired content of the constitution and through similar platforms, validated the draft.

Opening the draft to further debate in parliament therefore is a way of sabotaging the opportunity for realising a people-driven constitution because this parliamentary route exposes the people-driven draft to alterations and this is definitely against the will of the Zambian people.

Taking the entire constitution to parliament is meant to make the public believe that the PF Government means well while its controlled parliament awaits upholding Cabinet and party position
and undo the people’s submissions. The Grand Coalition is alive to these facts and therefore opposes the parliamentary route for the following reasons:

  1. 1. It takes away the democratic right of the people of Zambia to decide what kind of constitution they want for themselves through a referendum;
  2.  It subjects the people’s aspirations to debate and alterations in parliament. With the numbers in parliament favouring the PF at this time, the parliamentary process will be under the control of the PF, thereby jeopardising any content that the people want if the PF are not comfortable with it
  3. It relegates the Bill of Rights to secondary consideration which should ordinarily be of primary consideration. The Bill of Rights remains the most important aspect of the new draft constitution as it directly affects the welfare of the people. Indicating that the Bill of Rights can wait is as good as telling people that, ‘your life and your welfare is not important and  therefore can wait.’

The Grand Coalition therefore sees great mischief in taking all the provisions of the final draft constitution minus the Bill of Rights to parliament and calls on the PF Government to refrain from selfish motives and consider the interest of the people who they claim to serve.

The Grand Coalition equally calls on all well-meaning parliamentarians to read between the lines and see the mischief that lies in the move by the PF to take a parliamentary amendment route and, as true custodians of the interests of the people, do the right thing by opposing this route.

The Grand Coalition also calls on all Zambian citizens to speak out against this parliamentary route and demand that the PF Government respect the people’s interests by insisting on a referendum to adopt the new constitution as it is the most democratic and people-driven route.

The Grand Coalition hopes that the PF Government will take these concerns seriously. The Grand Coalition warns that if the government does not refrain from such selfish manoeuvres, we will not
just sit and watch the people’s rights being undermined. We will continue to point out these injustices by the government against the same people who gave them the mandate to govern and mobilise all sectors of the society to do the same.

Issued by: Fr Leonard Chiti
Chairperson of the Grand Coalition

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17 COMMENTS

  1. Zambians being cheated again by PF LIES!

    When are you going to wake up?

    These thieves are stealing our future in broad daylight right in front of our eyes!

    If Zambians are so dull that they can still accept this nonsense even after the 90 days promises have been seen as just ubufi, they deserve what they get!

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  2. Each province,or constituency has submissions which the people aspire for,what mps should do is to read those submissions from theit areas and vote based on it,as they are mere representives of the pipo.this way zambians will not be cheated.constitution issue has become a route of theift for these politicians.

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  3. That is nonsensical, and uneducated.

    The PF are in government today.

    You can’t hope the previous MMD Government or the yet to rule party to be the ones to enact the constitution.

    You are insulting the electorate who democratically put the government in place.

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  4. There will never be any politician who will represent your interest.The sooner you wake up the better.It’s a fallacy to think that Lungu,HH,Nawakwi or Kabimba are redeemers who are going to bring heaven to you.They manipulate and coax you into believing their lies.

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    • @ man chills
      I completely agree with you, if only all the cry babies out there can think like you, this country can develop. Why waste your life complaining?

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  5. Can the government allow the contractor working on chingola road open up completed stretches of this road to be used by motorist,just today l found five accidents scenes as l was going to chingola.the one at mukulumpe was fatal,head on collision ,it is shocking that people around that area ransacked the van carrying TV sets and other valuables and yet the new road is complete from sabina upTo luano the old is very very bad

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  6. Prof. Lungwangwa on ZWD says the wind of change is blowing. He makes references to 1964 & 1991.
    What the good Prof forgets is that 1964 & 1991 were a culmination of massive mobilization. Without that the wind will just be dispersed into oceans.
    The same for GC. As long as you just make statements in these exclusive media ECL will continue jockeying around like all is fine.
    Provide leadership to mobilize people to put heat on ECL & his govt.
    Someone once said “Power however it is realized, whatever its origins, will never be given up without a fight”.
    ECL has that power now & don’t expect him to give it up freely.

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    • @Itizi Turu, I agree with you, but the reality you eloquently portray leaves me a very sad person because Lungu by any standard is the worst president we have had, forget his law training, he is just terrible and the wonderful people of Zambia deserve better. Lungu told us he had no vision, he meant it

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  7. Ba GC just accept that you have been rendered irrelevant in this process. Remember you decampaigned the PF but they won. Besides the proposed Route is cheaper. Nabaminyunya!

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  8. Sometimes the thinking of the so-called Grand Coalition baffles me. So the process would only have been credible if Parliament were dominated by the opposition mwa? What kind of thinking is this? Those MPs are elected by the same people you are claiming to be representing. As someone has already posted just accept that you have become totally irrelevant. The GC is nothing but a group of misguided charlatans. Period!

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  9. @uwauma nafyala! Tell me what is wrong with enacting the constitution through a referendum?

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  10. GC, you are the ones politicizing the constitution making process. What makes you think GRZ has no interest in Zambia but you are the ones who have? What have you ever done for this country? Right now you are standing in the way of this country getting a new constitution because you think you are better people and the people in PF are below your standard. What you forget is that the current law actually assigns Parliament as the only law making body & only the bill of rights requires amendment through a referendum. Parliament is full of reps voted by Zambian citizens as a democratic institution. Who appointed you to speak for me GC? You think everything PF does is wrong & you oppose everything. What’s wrong with you lobbying MPs to adopt draft Constitution ‘as is’ instead of blocking…

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  11. @ Davies Kaputo: I did not say there is anything wrong with adopting (Emphasis: ADOPTING) the Constitution via a Referendum. My argument is that the GC seems to be saying because Parliament is dominated by the PF then the process, therefore, becomes flawed. Mind you, Constitutionally, only Parliament can enact a Constitution. There is a difference between adopting and enacting. Natotela mwisho!

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  12. Grand Coalition are a bunch of misfits who can go hang on the highest tree. Parliament is the only institution mandated to speak on behalf of people and legislate not GC. The PF has dribbled GC badly and your bruises are there for all to see. Ifintu ni Lungu.

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  13. Again we witness opposition groups attempting to cause discord in Zambia in relation to the Constitution. The process has been strangled by that very strange NGO. Group that intervenes every time progress is about to be made.

    PF….there is no need for a referendum,…..we got no dough! Please try and stop borrowing to appease *****s and pass that bill and amend that Constitution.

    Zambian gov’ts have always been Totalitarian with a ‘wink wink’ to people choice noises etc. Please try to be a bit like KK and learn what you are dealing with. We your citizens are part 21st Century and mostly wooly mammoth. You can’t reason with savages! Just drag into cave by hair!

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