PRESIDENT Lungu has commended National Assembly for voting for the Constitution of Zambia bills, saying the constitution is an important document that should have national consensus.
President Lungu has also promised that should there be sufficient consensus for progression on the Bill of Rights, he will call for a referendum.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists at the Presidential guesthouse in Kitwe yesterday that President Lungu applauded Parliament for the vote because the constitution is an important document which should be driven by national consensus.
“The President wishes to place on record that the constitution is an extremely important document upon, which the country is governed and in recognition of that, the President continues to assure the promises he has been making regarding giving the Zambian people a people-driven constitution,” he said.
“The President had promised that the people of Zambia would get what they want.”
Of significant note in the constitution, he said, was the passing of the majoritarian principle of the 50 percent-plus-one winning threshold for the winning presidential candidate, the running-mate clause, which he said would create stability and also assure continuity in the event one President does not continue.
Mr Chanda said President Lungu continues to promise and assure the nation that when there is sufficient and progressive consensus on the Bill of Rights, he will deliver a referendum because that part of the constitution cannot change without a referendum.
“So the President wishes to congratulate the members, [including] those who voted against, that parliament has passed a constitution therefore the President wishes to congratulate the National Assembly for this remarkable development that has happened, it will ensure stability and unity of the nation,” he said.
And Local Government Minister Stephen Kampyongo has said that the PF government has finally honored its promise of delivering a people driven constitution to the masses.
Mr. Kampyongo said that the adoption of clauses such as the 50 plus 1 percent clause, running mate and dual citizenship is critical for the country’s good governance.
He has told ZNBC News that while the process faced a lot of challenges including doubts and suspicions on government and the President, the PF remained steadfast and engaged MPs from the opposition MMD and some from UPND as it does not meet the two-thirds majority votes required.
Mr. Kampyongo thanked the MMD MPs and leadership for having looked at the document beyond partisan lines.
He also thanked the opposition UPND for having stayed throughout the night from 14hrs yesterday to almost 10hrs today when parliament adjourned.
The Minister said that while the UPND was not in favour, their participation throughout the night is also a sign of being a part of the process.
And MMD National Secretary Mwansa Mbulakulima said that his party is not ashamed to have supported the move taken by parliament contrary to what some people may think.
Mr Mbulakulima said that the MMD has been consistent on the constitution making process.
He said the adoption of the 50 plus 1 percent clause will bring a totally different landscape to politics in the country.
Meanwhile, a Lusaka Clergyman Jevan Kamanga has hailed government for supporting the constitution making process to its logical conclusion.
Reverend Kamanga has also thanked MMD parliamentarians for supporting the process in Parliament.
He has appealed to citizens to remain calm as they await Presidential assent.
Parliament has since adjourned sine die.