Forum for Democracy and Development spokesperson Antonio Mwanza stresses a point during the meeting to demand for the release of the draft Zambian constitution
File:Forum for Democracy and Development spokesperson Antonio Mwanza stresses a point during the meeting to demand for the release of the draft Zambian constitution

The opposition FDD has condemned President Edgar Lungu’s decision to sign the draft constitution at Heroes Stadium.

FDD Spokesman Antonio Mwanza says the decision to ferry the entire Executive arm of Government and several PF members to Heroes Stadium on Tuesday at a huge public cost to attend the signing ceremony is a sign of wastefulness and fiscal indiscipline.

‘How can a President who is presiding over a falling economy compounded with a ballooning fiscal and account deficit, a depreciating Kwacha and escalating inflation, a widening trade deficit and growing debt burden decide to waste millions of taxpayers’ money just to append a signature to a PF/MMD Constitution?

‘Why should all Executive Government operations come to a stand-still just for Mr Lungu to perform a 30 second stint of signing an Amended Bill? How callous and reckless will Mr Lungu ever be?

Mr Mwanza said it must be put clearly that Government will spend millions paying allowances to Deputy Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, Ministers, the President and all other Constitution Office Holders who will attend the ceremony.

‘Don’t forget the millions of Kwachas that will be wasted on fuel, security, food and other logistics. Surely we have other urgent priority areas where we can prudently use these colossal sums of money we are wasting on pomp and splendour,’ he said.

The FDD Spokesman said it is clear that President Lungu does not care about saving the meagre state resources.

‘He doesn’t care about prudency. He knows nothing about frugality. Edgar Lungu only cares about his political survival,’ Mr Mwanza charged.

He accused President Lungu of wanting to use the signing of a piecemeal amended Constitution to gain political mileage.

‘The Constitution Bill Edgar Lungu will be signing on Tuesday is not a people driven Constitution but a PF/MMD doctored Constitution. The people’s submissions were raped and adulterated,’ he said.

Mr Mwanza said the fundamental clauses that would have guaranteed development and good governance were removed:

‘The Bill of Rights which would have guaranteed economic, social, political and cultural rights of citizens; The Mixed-Member Proportional Representation which could have enhanced the representation of women and youth in Parliament; Provincial Assemblies which could have ensured Decentralisation and devolution of both economic and political power; Appointment of Cabinet outside Parliament which was meant to ensure Separation of Powers and improved service delivery have all been deleted from the Constitution Bill.’

He said what President Lungu will be assenting to on Tuesday is nothing but a shell and betrayal of the people’s submissions.

‘However, President Lungu and his minions are trying so hard to hoodwink some gullible individuals into believing that Mr Lungu has delivered a people-driven constitution. What a farcade!’

He added, ‘And it’s not only the enormous amounts of money that will be wasted on Tuesday but numerous man-hours.’
‘Instead of Ministers, Permanent Secretaries, the President and all other senior government officials spending time in their offices attending to needs of the masses they will all be out there at Heroes Stadium attending to drama and comedy. What a waste!’

And Secretary to Cabinet Dr Roland Msiska has been sending unsolicited SMSs to Zambians on all the three mobile service providers inviting them to attend the signing ceremony on Tuesday.

‘You are invited to attend the assenting to the constitutional bill ceremony by his Excellency the President at Heroes stadium on Tuesday 5th January, 2016 at 14hrs,’ the message reads.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. These are populist tricks! Feeding about 70,000 hungry and desperate Lusaka residents will help PF secure about 70,000 votes from Lusaka! So, from the PF point of view, this is a good campaign opportunity.

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    • What allowances are you talking about? The event will take place during the normal working time!
      Whether the ministers and their deputies go to their offices or go to the stadium, absolutely nothing will change Mr Mwanza. This is not the way to measure how responsible/wasteful one is, not even what you mention about feeding the masses. Look at some positive aspect of the ceremony to an ordinary zambian like me, my parents, you and your political ambitions and indeed mother Zambia.

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    • Lungu is trying all kinds of tricks to speak to large groups of people in one place. Last time it was day of prayer, now it is…

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    • Its not just allowances, the security operation costs money, the fuel costs money, the stadium charges for functions there, they need money for maintenance remember etc. Even obvious things like this people have to argue. Be objective even defending your party. But I am happy he is going to sign. The battle is not over, still a lot to be done. But give him credit for giving some ground at least. With people like Winter and his former boss in the Job we would still probably have zero progress.

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    • The whole of an opposition party spokesperson does not understand the significance of a National Constitution – how sad.

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  2. I wonder what fididy would’ve said if the signing was done in camera. We no longer take opposition seriously because of their tendency of been perpetual against everything including progressive issues.
    I find it hard to believe in opposition because you can’t tell whether they are supporting something or not.

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    • Its there job to oppose that’s democracy the sooner a lot of you accept this the better. They keep the government on its toes, in check. Live those in power to do whatever they want and they will start abusing power, abusing us. So the opposition is there to keep reminding them why they have the job. That is to look after the peoples interests. Sometimes it may seem as if they are opposed to everything but its still good, its up to you to decide what to take and what not to take.

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  3. THIS WHOLE CEREMONY IS JUST A WASTE OF RESOURCES. GOVERNMENT COULD HAVE USED THE MONEY TO CLEAN THE BATHROOMS AT UTH. THEY CLAIM THEY DONT HAVE THE MONEY TO DO THE MOST BASIC FUNCTIONS AND THE CAN FIND THE MONEY AND TIME TO WASTE A WHOLE DAY AT HEROES. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH POLITICAL AFFILIATION. THIS IS ABOUT MISMANAGEMENT AND IRRESPONSIBILITY . LUNGU AND THE PF ARE INDEED WASTEFUL. FOR THOSE OF YOU GOING TO THIS CEREMONY ASK YOURSELVES IF THE “JAMESON AMENDMENTS” WILL FEED YOUR CHILDREN OR PUT FUEL IN YOUR CARS. OR IF IT WILL HELP PROVIDE SCHOOL FEES FOR YOUR CHILDREN. WE NEED TO START HAVING A PRODUCTIVE APPROACH AS A NATION. STOP WASTING VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY ON MA NONSENSE! !!! SHAAAA!

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  4. The Problem with Opposition Parties in Zambia is that there so narrow minded and assume that opposing anything the Party in Government is progressive and very proactive
    Constitution is not for PF but for all Zambians.
    It seems like as long as the statement comes from the Government, they don’t even take their time to analyse it. They just politicise and criticise in the name of providing Checks and Balances
    How Pathetic !

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  5. @DUAL WHAT CONSTITUTION? I TAKE IT YOU ARE REFERRING TO THE JAMESON AMENDMENTS. AS MUCH AS WE RECOGNIZE THE LITTLE PROGRESS MADE ON THIS ISSUE. WHAT PEOPLE ARE OPPOSING IS THE WASTE OF RESOURCES AND TIME. LUNGU REFUSES TO TOUR UTH AND SEE THE APPALLING CONDITION THAT PATIENTS HAVE TO ENDURE. HE COULD HAVE SIGNED THE ” JAMESON AMENDMENTS” IN A SHORT TELEVISED CEREMONY AND LET THE NATION GET BACK TO WORK. USE THE MONEY SAVED TO CLEAN UP UTH OR EVEN CABINET OFFICE. INSTEAD OF MARCHING FOR LUNGU THE MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES COULD SPEND THE DAY HELPING WITH CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS AT HEALTH CENTERS. AGAIN I ASK “ARE PEOPLE GOING TO EAT CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL?”

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    • @loadist
      From the way you have raised your concerns and opinion I strongly presume you’re on the opposition and grand Fimo Fimo side who tried so had to shoot down the bill amendment in parliament after chewing Hungry Hyena’s T-bones and Mabisi, Well
      You have to get back to him and explain that
      The People have overwhelmly voted.
      And then compromise on how you have to back what you got from those Freemansons
      Otherwise they will come after you.

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    • What FDD are saying is just pure trash. Yes we agree that the ceremony is a waste but to claim it is an MMD/PF constitution is just total hogwash. Iwe ka Mwanza, leave Zambia since this is not your constitution. It is silly to label a law as belonging to the parties that voted for it. What about all the laws passed by UNIP before? Are they UNIP laws and UNIP constitutions?

      FDD and UPND have failed to arrest progress. We have 80% of the clauses and these dumb a$Ses want to focus on the small 20%.

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  6. Its a big score for the country, if you not interested in attending just stay away. Its a significant day that will always have a foot print in the country’s history.

    Opposition is not equal to yapping for the sake of it more over there is nothing left to oppose on the constitution. Get a life Antonio

    Yes the economy is not doing fine but does not mean we should be groomy about everything even when we have reason to smile.

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  7. @loadist

    Just in case you haven’t had a chance to be informed there’s an advert for a running mate at the
    Briefcase Party for the General.
    You may as well apply as you’re mostly
    Likely to be considered since you seem to
    Have the same disjointed intelligence

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  8. This virgin also, u think its easy to rule. Wait election de its not time to oppose carelessly like hh.

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  9. People just learn to appreciate. You were crying for a new constitution with those contentious issues but now you have changed your cries to food and drinks that will be consumed at the signing ceremony. This is a national event and not a political party event. Let His Excellency do his Job! Let us be issue-based please!

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  10. Where is the Grand Coalition and their allies the UPND? Totally ashamed that the big day is just hours from Zambians making history.
    President Lungu promised us the Zambians a people driven constitution during his inauguration ceremony at the same venue and barely less than a year, he is signing the mimentus document of the land in the same venue and same month, we all need to be proud of this humble and President of the people.
    My ENTIRE CLAN will vote for President Lungu and the PF Government come 11 August 2016 and we will escort him back to State House rejoicing, singing and praising God.

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