PRESIDENT Lungu has declared today half working day for civil servants to enable them attend the ceremony at which he will assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
Secretary to the Cabinet Roland Msiska said in a statement yesterday that the President has given all civil servants half day.
The President encouraged members of the public to attend the event that will mark a turning point in the country’s democracy.
Among the new clauses in the bill are the 50 percent-plus-one, running mate and dual citizenship, including having a definite date for general elections.
Meanwhile, a cross section of Zambians says President Lungu’s decision to assent to the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill and Constitution of Zambia Bill today is commendable and should not be politicised.
Senior Chief Chikanta of the Tonga in Southern Province is happy that President Lungu has decided to publicly assent into law the bills and has urged politicians to appreciate the decision.
The chief said in an interview yesterday that the decision to assent to the bill at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka will accord many Zambians chance witness “this memorable act.”
“It is a very good move that President Lungu has decided to sign the Constitution bill into law at a public place, which is the stadium. This decision is very commendable because it will allow many Zambians to attend and witness this move, which will go into our history books,” he said.
The traditional leader said signing of the document should be supported by all because it is a national programme and not political.
Chief Chikanta urged all Zambians to attend and witness the signing ceremony.
He said many citizens have been anxiously waiting for the publication of a new constitution, and the signing ceremony of the document is timely because it will help the country address some governance issues.
Chief Chikanta said he will attend the ceremony because it is an important event which affects all citizens regardless of political affiliation.
MMD president Nevers Mumba said yesterday that it is a momentous occasion because there are many progressive clauses such as the 50 percent-plus-one, running mate, and dual citizenship.
And scores of Chingola residents have described today’s signing of the bills as a milestone in the history of constitution-making.
One of the residents talked to, Eastwood Mubanga, cited the 50 percent-plus-one clause as having received a lot of support from the people and other concerned stakeholders.
He said the new constitution will stand the test of time for Zambians as per their desires which have been taken on board.
Martin Mukuwa said people from all walks of life should be in support of the President regardless of their political affiliations.
“This is one of the best historical moments for the country, all Zambians should support this cause,” said the 71-year-old former miner.
Noah Sipanje said most people that he has interacted with are in support of the President.
“From what I have gathered so far from people of all walks of life, most Zambians are in support of the signing of the Constitution Amendment Bill,” he said.
A businesswoman, Noria Kuseka, said President Lungu’s consideration of the views of the people is commendable.
“This shows that the constitution will be a people-driven document for the nation, whose democracy is in its infancy,” she said.
And CHALI MULENGA writes that Livingstone residents have welcomed the signing of the bills as it will help the country have quality leaders who will make informed decisions.
Former Livingstone town clerk George Kalenga said the decision to adopt the constitution in phases is welcome as the country has economic challenges.
“We are looking forward to President Lungu’s assent to the new Constitution of Zambia Bill at Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
“The new constitution will help the country have leaders that understand issues,” he said.
United Party for National Development (UPND) Katombora constituency chairperson Terriford Lisapo welcomed the 50 percent plus one clause.
UNIP Southern Province chairperson Robert Mukengami said the new constitution is a present to Zambians.