The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has requested President Lungu to dismiss the petition by Heritage Party Leader Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda for lack of merit.
In a statement released to the media, YALI Governance Advisor Isaac Mwanza said that his organization is sadden that General Miyanda could blatantly accuse Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula as having failed to provide leadership when Government had proceeded to table the Bill before the National Assembly for debate and enactment.
Mr. Mwanza said that even a cursory reading of the petition, makes clear that there is no message worth the President’s consideration and could, in the extreme, be read as a pointless attempt to delay, if not stop, the Zambian people at home and abroad from coming up with a progressive constitution.
Below is the full statement
YALI says Brig. Gen. Miyanda’s Petition to President Lungu is out of time and without merit.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has requested President Lungu to dismiss the petition by Heritage Party Leader Brig. Gen. Godfrey Miyanda for lack of merit.
Even a cursory reading of the petition, makes clear that there is no message worth the President’s consideration and could, in the extreme, be read as a pointless attempt to delay, if not stop, the Zambian people at home and abroad from coming up with a progressive constitution.
We note with sadness that General Miyanda who, as leader of the Heritage Party, had every opportunity to participate in the National Consultative Forum organised by the Technical Committee, either chose not to, or else failed to attend these forums where he would have put across his arguments or views on the issues he now puts across to the President as reason to delay the enactment of our new, or amended constitution.
Brig. Gen. Miyanda, having been a member of parliament for 10 years and, as Vice President of the Republic, was leader of House, is aware of the further opportunities available to him to present his views to the National Assembly itself, as a citizen and as leader of a recognised political party.
Brig. Gen. Miyanda is well-known, and highly respected, for his acute awareness of both the legal and political processes which guide both our legislative and political processes, and no one will believe that he was not aware that he could have made his views known at any stage.
We can only surmise that Gen. Miyanda’s petition should not be taken seriously, except for its dramatic effect in making Zambians aware that the National Assembly has in fact sent the two constitutional bills to His Excelkencyvthe President for his assent.
YALI believes, therefore, that there is no reason whatsoever for the President to delay his assent to the two constitutional Bills presented to him by the National Assembly for his signature.
YALI considers Brig. Gen. Miyanda’s call to President Lungu “to facilitate a national indaba”, to be nothing more than a seasoned politician asking for another opportunity to do what politicians do best, that is, to talk endlessly. We readily accept that, that is their job!
We wish to remind both Brig. Gen. Miyanda and President Lungu of his own words at the opening of the National Constitutional Consultative Forum when he said: “the national convention, which marks the conclusion of the formal consultative process on drafting the Zambian constitution, demonstrates that Zambians are capable of rising above personal interests and work together for the common good of the nation”.
We believe those words to have been conclusive. We see no reason to re-open the consultative process as suggested in Brig. Gen. Miyanda’s call for a new indaba.
Lastly, YALI wishes to express sadness that General Miyanda could blatantly accuse Zambia’s Minister of Justice, Hon Simbiyakula, SC as having failed to provide leadership when Government had proceeded to table the Bill before the National Assembly for debate and enactment.
Those unwarranted attacks against the Minister of Justice are unjustified and uncalled for because Hon Simbiyakula was bound by the collective agreement. We know Brig. General Miyanda would have loved to see Government table the White Paper and begin to attack Government for having done so when Government had promised they would not do so.
YALI now calls upon President Lungu to proceed with all haste, to sign the Bills placed before him by the National Assembly. With his eyes open, of course!
YOUNG AFRICAN LEADERS INITIATIVE