Monday, February 26, 2024

The parliamentary legal Committee never validated the new constitution-Cornelius Mweetwa


INFORMATION and Broadcasting Minister Chishimba Kambwili (r) and Choma Central Member of Parliament Conelius Mweetwa laugh and applause the dance by St. Mark’s Secondary School culture group (not in picture). This was during the Youth Day celebration at Choma stadium
FILE: INFORMATION and Broadcasting Minister Chishimba Kambwili (r) and Choma Central Member of Parliament Conelius Mweetwa laugh and applause the dance by St. Mark’s Secondary School culture group (not in picture). This was during the Youth Day celebration at Choma stadium

Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs Chairperson Cornelius Mweetwa says the confusion on a number of clauses in the amended Constitution have arisen because the document was not validated by his committee.

Speaking when he featured on Muvi TV’s the assignment program Mr Mweetwa said his committee rejected the document and advised Justice Minister to work on some of the lacunas in the document after stakeholders made submissions but that Mr Simbyakula did not heed to the recommendation.

He said what the Minister presented to parliament was a document which was not validated by the legal committee hence the confusion that the country is seeing today.

He said as chair of the committee he can only report to the house on issues that stakeholders had made submissions on and that MPs were suppose to deliberate on specific issues that the PF had proposed to be added the current Constitution.

“When you report to the house as chair of the committee you report on matters that you receive submissions from yet when it come to amending the Constitution, when the committee was done with its work, the Minister brought the whole document unlike those specific items which stakeholders made submissions on. They brought the whole document which had not been validated and said that this whole document is what should be become into law that is why there are issues of people who were voting for the Grade 12 certificate clause when they don’t have one,” he said.

Mr Mweetwa further said the MPs addressed their minds to what was earlier proposed as amendments to the Constitution as opposed to the whole document.

And when asked on the growing lose of confidence in politicians Mr Mweetwa who is UPND Choma Central MP said the public can not be faulted in losing confidence in politicians because recent history indicate that they cannot be trusted.

“First of all Costa I wouldn’t blame you and you are not the the only one to feel that politicians of these days can not be trusted because the recent history and there are available facts pointing to the fact that politicians can not be trusted. I have given you the list of promises that PF made and immediately they got to power they did a U-turn on many of them including stating to the public that the 90 day promise for the Constitution was just a joke,”

And Mr Mweetwa accused the PF of shooting down the motion to amend the Public Order Act because it came from the opposition.

“I glade to be reminded that we can discuss this issue of the POA and that we cannot continue to give hot air statements that contains no substance in them, what we say as leaders must have meaning to the people who vote for us to take as something that could change Zambia for better. I think Zambia can be a better place under the leadership of people who respect the vote that took them to where they are.

I’m the one who moved the motion in the house to cause the POA to be amended and the debate was quite intriguing and interesting because the colleagues on the other side, the PF agreed that the act needed amendments but they said even if we agree the person who has brought the motion is from the opposition so will not vote for it,” he said.


  1. Hon. Mweetwa, this same Constitution is an enactment of the draft that was prepared by a Technical Committee after analysing & consolidating views of Zambians over 2 generations. It was converted into wholescale amendments by an experienced team of draftsmen @ the Ministry of Justice who are experts & specifically trained in this respect. I have read the official version of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) 2016 a # of times & I cannot see the so called many errors. Would your care to list these errors sir so that we can see them? Unfortunately the G12 issue you mention is not an error. As with any provision of the law people will want it to be what they want it to be. Thats why we have courts & thankfully the Constitutional Court to interpret.

  2. our politician are cmpletly useless. can you tell us whats wrong with the document. if it does not reflect your personal desires, it doesnt make it bad. everything in it is what we the people wanted. stupid mps. for now just forget about it.

  3. That is the problem of MPs who are members of Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs including the Chairperson having a habit of either sleeping in Parliament or walking out Parliament in protest for being stopped from sleeping. You only come to realise the problem when some members of society have been caught up in the tragedy. Any way there is no law in the world including the Holy Bible that can accommodate every one. Thieves for example cry that it is not fair to bar them from stealing.
    Just encourage Kaingu and GBM to attend some Grade Twelve night school before nominations for elections. Exams are in May this year and Kaingu has got a time table already. It is never late.

  4. When the draft was availed to the MPs, what did this Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs “boss” tell his electorates about the contents and in particular the grade 12 requirement? He should have made sure things were in place before shouting hear hear hear and already budgeting on the allowances. You are allowed to cry but the answer shall come in the second week of August 2016.

  5. What Mweetwa is saying doesnt make sense, is it the duty of the parliamentary legal committee to recomend what should be and what shoundnt be in the constitution? No wonder he is not a lawyer even though he studied law at UNZA.

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