Opposition Members of parliament listens during the presentation of 2015 budget
Opposition Members of parliament listens during the presentation of 2015 budget

In part I of this discussion I gave the “50 % Plus One” provision as one example of a contentious provision that must be clarified and/or justified, if not amended to compel all eligible voters to vote in order to qualify to be classed as a majoritarian outcome. I believe that there are several other contentious examples which alert Members of Parliament can identify and debate; we pay them to debate! It is unfair and naïve and may even be dangerous for the MPs to just pass the whole document without due consideration.

I urge that, because the Government has no position on the Constitution, the Honourable Minister should not move any amendments or even say anything but leave the MPs to make up their minds in a vacuum!

It is unfair and naïve and may even be dangerous for the MPs to just pass the whole document without due consideration.


The question must now be asked: in making and writing the so-called new constitution, what is it we are trying to defend or protect? Once this question has been answered, it should form the basis for any policies that should guide the passing of the Draft Constitution.As I see it the following are some of the contentious issues that I see in the Draft Constitution:

  • Land,
  • Defence and Security,
  • Media,
  • Citizenship,
  • Cabinet from outside Parliament,
  • Combining the Tripartite Elections with the Referendum,
  • 2nd ballot after presidential election,
  • Cabinet from outside; Clause 108 (1) (b) which declares that a president would be impeached for a crime under international law (you want this in the Constitution? Can we do the same for the President or Head of say a European state?). All these must be debated and not passed using a rubber stamp.

Land

I place land as the topmost priority; it should actually appear as Part II after Part I ‘Supremacy of Constitution’. We are Zambians because of land; we are indigenous because of land; without land we are nothing and shall inherit nothing. Under Clause 262 (1) Land, Environment and Natural Resources of the Draft Constitution the provision states “Land shall be held, used and managed in accordance with the following principles (c) recognition of indigenous cultural rites”. I accept this; but how can cultural rights be recognised without recognising the indigenous people themselves? Why are we ashamed of the indigenous people? The recognition of the indigenous people, all 73 of them, must be stated unequivocally both in the Preamble and in the body of the Constitution. The principle should be that other persons are welcome and must continue to be protected by the various laws of the land.

Land MUST NOT be vested in the President

Land MUST NOT be vested in the President because he is just one of the villagers with at most two villages only (maternal and paternal). State House is perceived to be the seat or factory of corruption and seems to be manipulated and controlled by unknown forces. Until this changes and there is an example of discipline at high levels, we cannot and must not entrust this precious God-given asset to an individual. The communities must have a say, the greater say, in how their land is preserved, protected, controlled and managed.

Literary nothing has been said about Defence and Security. Let us hear the debate; why should political parties create parallel Defence and Security units while in opposition and take them into State organs when they win elections? This has been a very dangerous precedent; we may want to learn why after 50 years other nations are coming to train units of army in our barracks.

Someone please explain this provision, who sponsored or promoted it and why after 50 years of independence: Clause 4 (3) “The Republic is a unitary, indivisible, multi-ethnic, multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-party democratic State”. It requires explanation as to its full import.

Public Media must finally be freed; it must not be as it was in the One Party State, a medium only for those in power and their families and cronies. Debate this openly.

I urge and insist that all the 158 MPs debate the Constitutional Bills so we can hear them make sense of the 322 clauses before voting. God bless Zambia, our Heritage!

GODFREY MIYANDA,
BRIGADIER GENERAL,
[8TH DECEMBER 2015]

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13 COMMENTS

  1. It is sad that when important issues that will have a big impact of our lives are raised in the media people do not comment or debate on it.We would rather insult PF or HH or insult Bembas or Tongas.Is it a wonder we are poor. Is it important to know and determine for instance who controls land in Zambia.No wonder Mps can’t debate the people they represent are just ZEEEEE they only react when Chinese take their land,pollute their rivers..but by then it’s too late.The late Michael Sata revealed to us what weak laws we have and how that in the hands of the wrong person can cause dire situations in our country.Americans know their laws and hold their leaders accountable.Obama does not even have the power to do what he wants.Wake up Zambia! How long will you slumber! PF seems to be up to no…

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  2. Zambians are so sleepy that they surrender their souls and that of the offspring in the hands of so called (tribesmen)presidents and not depositing it a better constitution which upholds the rule of law,Good gevornance and separation of power.The institution of Governance are so important than one individual(Lungu).The bibe says do not put all your trust in an earthling man who when he dies all is lost for he can not direct his steps.So fellow easterners and Bembas lets wake up the constitution is not supposed to tailored against HH,that is to be so myopic. Lets do the write thing for generations to come.

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  3. The general has spoken. Bravo!! Let those with ears hear and those with eyes see. In addition, let those with a conscious do something about these important issues he`s raised. He`s doing his part. When are we going to rise up and do our part. i.e. defend mother Zambia. The few awake Zambians must not sit idle and let Lungu and his minions do as they please. The future of our children is in danger of been violated to un reversible levels and we can`t just sit and pretend nothing is going on. WAKE UP ZAMBIANS.

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  4. Mr Miyanda, your suggestion that ALL voters must be compelled to vote (Part 1 of this article; LT of 7th December 2015) points to your very limited understanding of a democratic society. How do you COMPEL me to vote if in my opinion none of the candidates have anything to deliver, like if you Miyanda and HH were to stand against each other, obviously there is no choice. How then can you compel me to vote? Do you force me? Are we seeing the dictator in you sir?

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    • Voting should actually be compulsory, as that is the surest way of reflecting a majority! Voting in Australia IS COMPULSORY – if you don’t, you get FINED!! So this would not be unique to Zed!!

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  5. One thing General Miyanda and entire Zambian populace need to realise is that MPs are united in their selfish/greedy motives. I have never seen opposition MPs refuse to vote in agreement for increment of salaries and allowances! There are clauses in the constitution they will both shoot down for selfish motives especially the appointment of Ministers outside Parliament. Both sides believe after campaigning and winning an election with a ruling party,they have aright to be Ministers. They believe some one from no where who has no constituency that contributed votes to usher a President should not just move in enjoy the fruits of being a cabinent Minister! Yes, all MPs must DEBATE,but you will see what will happen to some clauses out of greedy!

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  6. OH! I THOUGHT MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT DISCUSSING THE THE BILL OR ANYTHING BEFORE VOTING WERE THE MODUS OPERANDI. SO, BILLS JUST GO THROUGH UN DISCUSSED? SO, HOW DO VOTERS CONFIRM AND APPROVE THE DEPTH OF THEIR MPs KNOWLEDGE ON LAWS BEING MADE OR THE DEPTH OF MP’s KNOWLEDGE THROUGH CONTRIBUTION TO SUCH DISCUSSIONS. SO, MP’s JUST SIT THERE WAITING FOR VOTING TIME? WAOW!

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  7. These are important points raised by the General. I hope all the MPs take note. Those that will not be prepared can take the General’s points in Parliament during the debate.

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  8. To me Miyanda should be ignored. If you goggle him, you will find out this is the man who fought the commissioning of the constitutional review commission. Remember him writing lengthy treaties asking what were the terms of reference of the Constitutional Review Commission? At that time he asked how people who sat on the Reviw Commission were chosen etc etc. After he saw that Mwanawasa and later Sata went ahead with their Constitutional Commissions he became a distant advisor to the Grand Coalition. Miyanda is a noisy maker to say the least who should be ignored. He has a false sense of intellegency. ba Miyanda give us a break, mwa? You want to tell us you have more love for Zambia than most of us?

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    • @comedian , throughout human history , majority believe or perception of things has been wrong , people thought the earth was like a table , priest , bishop didn’t allow ordinary people to own a bible , the list is endless , so don’t rule out what the general has raised but try to brainstorm or research more ,

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  9. @Heritage Leader at 6.30 pm: you have missed the point. I was contending that under the 50% plus in the Draft you cannot get a majority president because the percentage is based on 50% of VALID VOTES and NOT on the number of eligible voters. This means that if out of 2000 vote 500 are declared valid then the 50 % is of 500 and NOT of 2000. Hence my contention that 50% plus one does NOT produce a true majority president Pse read again the statement to understand. My further argument was that if you truly want a majority president then all eligible voters should be compelled to vote so that the %) % is of all voters rather than of a handful who turn up due to apathy.

    @Comedian at 9.43 pm “you are lost and have used distorted facts to support your case. I was arguing against Civil…

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