Father Leonard Chiti
Father Leonard Chiti

The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution has maintained what was passed in Parliament two weeks ago is not a people-driven constitution inasmuch as it contains some progressive clauses that the Grand Coalition has been campaigning for.

In a statement released to the media and signed by Chairperson Father Leonard Chiti, the Grand Coalition the constitution cannot be people-driven without the comprehensive Bill of Rights that contains economic, social and cultural rights.

Below is the full statement

PRESS STATEMENT
Lusaka, 27 th December 2015

The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution maintains its position that
what was passed in Parliament two weeks ago is not a people-driven constitution in as much as it
contains some progressive clauses that the Grand Coalition has been campaigning for. It cannot be
people-driven without the comprehensive Bill of Rights that contains economic, social and cultural
rights.

The Grand Coalition therefore undertakes to campaign for the adoption and enactment of the Bill of
Rights, as a natural move in the demand for a new people-driven constitution. As it stands, it is not
clear what the government is planning to do with the Bill of Rights which the people had included
in the final draft constitution.

The people made it clear that they wanted a new constitution, with a comprehensive Bill of Rights
and that the new constitution must be adopted through a national referendum. It is time that we
begin to see progress in this direction. The people know what they were promised and they are wise
enough to see that the amendments that were passed in Parliament leave out a number of key
provisions that would have given the people power they rightly deserve in the governance of the
nation.

To this effect, the Grand Coalition will relaunch the campaign to specifically focus on the demand
for the adoption of the Bill of Rights through a referendum, and its enactment in Parliament. The
Grand Coalition will announce a new team comprising three key member organisations of the
coalition whose work is directly linked to the Bill of Rights to champion and lead this phase of the
campaign. This structure will be called the Troika on the Bill of Rights and will champion the
campaign. The Grand Coalition will unveil this structure in January 2016 during the official launch
of the campaign for the adoption and enactment of the Bill of Rights.

The Grand Coalition has been vindicated by the apparent lack of consensus within government and
the ruling party, which has caused President Edgar Chagwa Lungu to delay assenting to the
Constitutional Bill (2015), after promising the nation that he would assent to the Bill as soon as it
was presented to him by Parliament.

It was also amazing to see how President Lungu would not assent to the Bill just because of one
person’s petition when many citizens, including the Grand Coalition, opposition political parties,
churches, trade unions and the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs had expressed their
misgivings earlier which he ignored.

We challenge the President that if he truly values the views of other stakeholders in this process, he
should consider the submissions by the people at district, provincial, sector groups and national
level since the citizens of this country are the most important stakeholders in the constitution
making process. They made their position very clear through submissions that were put together to
produce the final draft constitution. No stakeholder is bigger or more important than the people
who made their submissions in a very systematic way in a process facilitated by this very
government.

New Constitution, Better Lives for All. We further challenge the President as he promises to publicly assent to the Amendment Constitutional Bill at the Heroes Stadium on a date unknown to itemise the contents of the comprehensive Bill of Rights and clearly state the plans towards adoption and enactment.

We hope that he will also explain to the women, youths and persons with disability the implications
of the left out mixed members proportional representation on their opportunity to play a role in the
governance of the country, as well as the implications of the throwing out of the devolution of
power to the provinces.

In conclusion, we emphasise that one cannot speak of a people driven constitution when the Bill of
Rights is not a part of it. It is the Bill of Rights that addresses the welfare of the ordinary citizens,
and without it, the welfare of ordinary people remains left out.

Issued by: Father Leonard Chiti
Chairperson – Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People-Driven Constitution

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20 COMMENTS

    • SO PARLIAMENT IS MADE UP OF IMPALAS? HE SEES IMPALAS IN PARLIAMENT YARDS AND HE THINKS THOSE ARE MPs. NO MR CHITI, THE MPs ARE PEOPLE AND ARE FOUND INSIDE PARLIAMENT BUILDING. THEY ALSO REPRESENT PEOPLE IN THEIR CONSTITUENCIES.

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  1. Grand coalition fighting for relevance. It has been stated that the bill of rights will be enacted thru a referundum and this will be done same time as general elections. it is clear that the grand coalition is now just fighting to be relevant as there is nothing to fight for as the constitution is in unstoppable gear

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  2. Useless Grand coalition. Father Chiti should be seen to exhibit the same vigour when preaching to the souls to turn them from hell. Only interested in constitution because they have already chewed money from donors and one hechi hechi

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    • easterner,
      am sure you posted this comment under the influence of…
      i demand that you retract this statement within a year or else…..
      LOL!

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  3. Please can all who care about this country stand firm on this issue. ..we Zambians are a very docile people who need enlightening on these issues; we are so short-sighted that we cannot see beyond our noises…it is really laughable to call this people driven when there was no such participation of the masses given that even the people who were debating this were intoxicating with alcoholic beverages.

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    • YES JAY JAY U ARE VERY DOCILE: GC thought it wont pass in parliament and it did. maybe GC are just too proud to accept the fact that their end game flopped. do u think majority zambians want it not signed?

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    • @Jay Jay, the only reason, there has not been much citizen participation (apart from demanding a Constitutional change), is simply because Zambians will never agree on anything if you tell them they have a right…..it’d probably lead to a tribal war!

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    • @Tim
      This is not a game or by election for it flop…we are all losers….when is it going sink in your utterly thick cadre domes? This is the selfsame thing that happened when ZESCO asked consumers to submit their objections to ERB when ZESCO requested for tariff increase and no one but 2 dozen people only submitted today the zombies are complaining about everywhere.

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  4. Ba father chiti now u a embarrassing the holy Catholic church.what a u up to?join politics or do your own business to sustain your family if that’s a care.the church is not known by your Un checked utterances. Preach the good news that’s your calling.

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  5. Comment:Referendum to be conducted in 2016 ,specifically on 11 August 2016 during general elections. So Grand coalition what is your problem?

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  6. MPs are in parliament to debate bills, and ensure that things are running smoothly. Who elects these representatives of the people called MPs. The people. The people need to keep quiet when they themselves send mediocrity to the Assembly and parliament.

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  7. Comment:grand coalition u have been overtaken by events. you are now scratching for reasons as to y u shld continue to be heard.its like pushing a vehicle that is already in motion on a slope. the govt is doing it,jus b spectators now

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  8. The only thing The People should be driving in Zambia is The so called Grand Coalition. Yeah, drive ’em out of Zambia on the double!!

    What a bunch of gormless, clueless tree swinging monkey morons! Their antics are like those of legions of desperate demons on the last mission before Christ chucks them away for Millions of years. They go to it with all the ardour of unwanted lovers without any self esteem. Give it up folks, the people are not on your side. The battle is DONE,

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  9. Grand coalition find something else to survive on. If the majority mps in parliament have passed the bill, fininshi iwe chiti ulelanda? Twanaka naimwee bapompwe hiding under the veil of priesthood but ,mulibakabolala. Whom do you represent? All this time you have wasted time debating the constitution, mwalelya bwino sana nomba tapali ilyashi nalipwa ama guys ba mp have done their job, of course excluding upnd who are with you.

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  10. Grand Coalition???? LOL! Who formed this Collusion? Who are you representing? Certainly not my household and I. Stop it already. You are embarrassing yourselves. Who died and made you kings?

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