Leonard Chiti
Leonard Chiti

Zambians Duped by the PF Government in the Constitution-Making Process

Lusaka, 8th December 2015

The Grand Coalition (GC) has noted with sadness the manoeuvres by the PF Government to adulterate the contents of the Constitution Bill by removing certain clauses which include but are not limited to the following:

1. That the Mixed Member Proportional Representation (MMP) electoral system which is a combination of the First Past the Post (FPTP) and Proportional Representation (PR) systems be rejected by Parliament. Among the advantages of this system that the PF has schemed to REJECT using MPs are:

a) More representation in Parliament of marginalised groups such as women, youth, and Persons Living with Disabilities;
b) No By-Elections which have in the recent past cost Zambia colossal sums of money.
c) Curtailing the MPs crossing the floor.

2. That the Provincial Assemblies be rejected by Parliament, despite the fact that they were unanimously agreed to with the aim of providing a platform and enhance citizens’ participation in the governance of the country at their local levels.

3. That Parliament must reject the Appointment of Cabinet from Outside Parliament, the clause that aims at enhancing the doctrine of Separation of Powers.

4. That Parliament rejects the clause that provides for the Vice President to be a Running Mate to the President. They are insisting that the President should fire the Vice President. It is clear that the PF wants a continuation of costly Presidential Elections in the unlikely event of the serving Head of State passing on.

It is also clear that the Government does not want the Bill of Rights to be adopted. Their argument that the country does not have adequate resources to support the Bill or Rights is baseless as rights can be progressively realised. Their real fear is that if they spend a lot of money on the citizens of this country they will have little left for themselves.

PF Government fears that these provisions once adopted will empower Zambians to hve a better say on how they are governed. The PF Government wants to continue with the situation where the Executive controls the other wings of Government and institutions – a matter that has escalated corruption and other ills in government. It has become evidently clear that the PF regime is not interested in the will and aspirations of the citizens going by how they handled this Constitution making process from the time the Technical Committee released the Final Draft Constitution.

The Grand Coalition saw these schemes and manipulations from a distance, because there was no legal framework to guide the constitution making process, and no political will to complete the process legitimately.

As the GC we are appealing to the Members of Parliament to summon their conscience and redeem this situation. It is not too late. The MPs must reject the process of piecemeal amendment by reminding the PF what is contained in their 2011 – 2016 Manifesto and send the document back to the people for adoption wholesomely through a popular mode: the Referendum.

The MPs must realize that the same people whose document they are being asked to mutilate by the PF regime are the same people they will need for their vote in a few months time.

The good Final Draft Constitution that is being mutilated by the uncaring PF regime is the same constitution that will protect them when they are not adopted and eventually join the majority of Zambians as ordinary citizens. To our MPs we say: Stand up and refuse to be used. Be on the side of the people and you will always be a victor. Do not allow to fight your conscience in future. Zambia is bigger than the PF, and all of us. The people are supreme. Let the people determine Zambia’s destiny.

It is our conviction that regardless of the schemes by the PF or any other person(s) that the will of the people of Zambia will ultimately prevail.

Issued by: Fr. Leonard Chiti
Chairperson – Grand Coalition on the campaign for a people-driven constitution

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25 COMMENTS

  1. The son of the soil has spoken only but the truth.Zambia is bigger than PF and all of us.A constitution is a supreme that governs all of us and our generations to come.Next year we may have no PF but our children including Tasila Lungu will be ruled by the very constitution her father and our MPs have manipulated.

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    • Fr Chiti you mean well for the country. You will go down in history as a galant son of the soil who stood up for the blind when they could not see. History will judge you when time comes to pass and the blind open their eyes.

      Keep up you good work

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    • Like Mandela said a people subjected to poverty and oppression soon live to accept it as a normal way of life.

      Those of us who live in countries which cherish democracy and the bill of rights know that if one has not tasted butter he or she can not tell thats its sweet

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  2. Where is Mulongoti , who was castigating the grand coalition for demanding a referendum and advocating for the PF to pass the constitution in Parley. Mulongoti there you are, (seen it) the draft constitution being bastardised for selfish (self serving) desperate, short sighted political objectives/machinations by shameless and heartless PF POLYTRICKSTERS.

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  3. What do you need Provincial Assemblies for? Where will you get money to run and pay allowances from?

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    • The same place Where you got money to hire a plane for 300,000 dollars – my tax Kwachas. same place you got money for useless by-elections and the same place you got money to create extra ministries. That’s right, my pocket, my tax kwachas that’s where!!!

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  4. you ate alot of money from upnd father chiti just give them back the money coz umunobe went to UK to ask for more money fyakana ukumupela nomba apa no campaign strategy kulasabailafye ifyo fine,just say you have formerly joined upnd coz constitution we are going to be given and that leaves you with no choice but to shut up,God gave us ECL and you thot all the churches in zambia will follow you yazanda muntu wandi,no more NCC sitting takuli ama allawances yalya mwalesenda muli mucibe i think father chiti tawakwata luse looking at the money spent on this issue bashi mapepo twapapata seleniko tubombekoooooo konkaneni ne cipingo

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    • Parliament is not a rubber stamp to pass a Bill without scrutiny. Those who oppose the amendments must Marshall enough numbers to carry the day .Numbers is the beauty of democracy. 2016 mulila antso.

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  5. Fr Chiti you are dwelling on speculations. Suppose what you have said does not happen will you be man enough and admit that you were misleading the nation. You should have waited before releasing your opinion with the intention of misleading the nation

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  6. Comment:Fr chiti GC together with ?PND MPs failed Zambians and we appeal that the MPs let them do a though job by scruntizing clause by clause so that clauses such as 50+1 appointment of ministers outside Parliament, provincial assembly and other retrogressive clauses should be expunged before adoption of the final draft.

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  7. @Bantustanyandule. Where did govt find money to take 256 people to New York plus chartering a plane for several days to NY, employing DCs who are doing nothing, deputy ministers etc

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  8. Well events are fast unfolding and what transpires hereafter will be key in determining the validity of the concerns that have long been exposed by Fr Chiti, via the Grand Coalition (G.C). Catholic priests are normally quite well trained, people tend to underestimate this, and equally quite well informed……so his comments were never mere rantings it now appears.

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  9. Nevers Mumba has once again shown his political immaturity by blindly following the PF. or maybe it was design? Tragic!! like I have said before we have to start all over again with another government, eventually we will get a patriotic president and a real patriotic party and change will surely come.

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    • Lets wait and see. I don’t know how Never’s maturity connects to UPND. Problem with cadres everything is PF or UPND. There is FDD, UNIP, GREEN, NRP, NAREP, PUDD, Anarchist etc. So don’t be narrow minded and reduce everything to PF/UPND cadre level.

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  10. “……..send the document back to the people for adoption wholesomely through a popular mode: the Referendum…….”
    Do the real people understand this? Or maybe the real people are the members of the Grand Coalition itself?

    Me think that the Grand Coalition has lost an opportunity to influence and get the best out of this process by distancing themselves from the process and adopting an intransigent attitude.
    Me think that the government has some very good points especially the cost of the referendum or the cost of additional “MPs” from the provincial assemblies. And I really have no worries about discarding the idea of a presidential running mate, let’s not assume that presidential deaths will continue at the rate we have experienced so far. Me think that the solution to…

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  11. And I really have no worries about discarding the idea of a presidential running mate, let’s not assume that presidential deaths will continue at the rate we have experienced so far. Me think that the solution to that worry is to ensure healthy presidential candidates are enshrined in the constitution, not the material we clearly saw in 2011 and went ahead anyway. Levy’s death was an exception, more natural and human, so it means we have experienced only one natural presidential, but these Excellencies are humans like all of us aren’t they?

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  12. Specific comments to Father Leonard Chit’s statement:
    1. Father Chiti mentions some advantages, but deliberately leaves out disadvantages. People need to make informed decisions, so no comment from me until the good Father reveals the disadvantages.
    2. Father chiti, where will you get the money to fund those provincial assemblies, especially now that we are facing the glaring truth about our economic strength? Me think that there is enough local representation at local council level which we just need to enhance and strengthen. Anyway, how much do the real people have to say about our current parliamentary system? Do they even represent the real people? Me think NOT. Our MPs represent their bellies and egos in that order. So in addition to that you want another set of wasteful of…

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  13. …2 contd: Our MPs represent their bellies and egos in that order. So in addition to that you want another layer of wasteful “lower MPs”, come on Father Chiti as if you not from JCTR and food basket vintage?
    3. Come on Father Chiti, Cabinet is THE Government and CONTROLS resources and their allocation, what makes you think that the cabinet from outside parliament will change anything? To me it’s another layer of fat cows driving V8 motor vehicles. The good Father lives in Utopia, we are not yet there sir. Have you seen how much Kenya spends on these fat cows as a proportion of the budget? And because they are in power, they even increase their fat wages at will while the real people continiue to languish in poverty. Father Chiti, UTOPIA out, we are not in heaven!

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  14. 4. Me think that this is not an issue we should spend our energies on. Granted, Zambia has had more than its fair share of Presidential funerals and by elections. And I have stated above that we had only one natural death, of Levy. The other I have given you my views. But we cannot assume and plan our governance on the fact that we have had two presidential deaths. We cannot extrapolate that this situation will continue forever. These have just been deaths like any other. Let’s just strengthen the need to enshrine healthy presidential candidates in our constitution, we can eliminate or reduce those things.

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  15. Finally, Father Chiti, you have lost control of the process because of your stubborn members of Grand Coalition. Each of them as you know has vested interests, some want to become MPs, others have been promised ministerial positions, the rest including high level clergy women are simply biased, compromised opposition members who cannot provide independent thought as a result. All in all, take it from me Father Chiti, none of your members represent me or any other ordinary Zambian, so let’s stop the pretence of representing the people.

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  16. Charles Zulu, dont stereotype members of Grand Coalition as highly trained catholic priests. It has a diversity of members, among them hardcore opposition members dressed in religious cloaks and serving the interests of their masters, and others simply making a living, or planning for their future as MPs or “mps” of provincial assemblies. Don’t be naive, these guys can lead us into the same wasteful expenditure that they condemn daily when they are wearing different hats in their other lives. Like the good Father Chiti, he is dynamite when he speaks as JCTR on the basic food basket, or even the national economy. Did you see his ZNBC interview last week? Dynamite! Brilliant! HH’s political and economic theories were reduced to selfishness and unpatriotic.

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