The Referendum Issue: Why the President and his Dissolved Cabinet Got it Wrong!

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Minister of justice Ngosa Simbiyakula and HP President Party General Godfrey Miyanda
FILE: Minister of justice Ngosa Simbiyakula and HP President Party General Godfrey Miyanda

THE REFERENDUM ISSUE: WHY THE PRESIDENT AND HIS DISSOLVED CABINET HAVE GOT IT WRONG!

[By Brig Gen Godfrey Miyanda – 29th May 2016]

OPENING

This is an abridged (shortened) version of my paper of the same title. The paper arises from a robust “blog debate” on the Lusaka Times on 27th May 2016, following my article titled “Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda Responds to LT Bloggers”. I undertook to submit this as a follow up paper. I learnt a lot, including a new phrase which I liked “Keyboard Warriors” (courtesy of @A Phiri anabwela on 27th May at 12.23 pm). I shall regard these as guerrillas on the internet since they follow no rules, respect no rules and respect no one; I shall stay out of their line of fire!

I suspect that the Constitutional Court (CC) will come like a thief in the night, probably after the election or just before – hence I am rehearsing my case in the Lusaka Times Court (LT CC)! I know that the judges in the LT Court are ruthless, especially the Deputy Chairperson, Her Ladyship @Mushota. Many of these LT judges pass judgement without considering the Applicant’s submissions.

I have arranged this paper as follows: Introductory; Nature of My Referendum Argument; The Law as to Referenda in Zambia; The PF Government’s Case; Why the President and His Dissolved Cabinet Are Lost Over the Election-cum-Referendum Clone.

INTRODUCTION

The decision to combine the 2016 general election with a referendum is rather casual and too serious to be left floating all over the country unchallenged. This is an undemocratic, inconsiderate and insensitive political ploy by the PF Government to get votes.

THE NATURE OF MY CASE

On or about 15th March 2015 the Cabinet declared the holding of the ‘Referendum alongside of General elections in 2016’. The Cabinet also approved amendments to the Referendum Act 1967 to cure some alleged inconsistencies. The amendment was actualised through Act Number 5 of 2015, whose purpose was to amend the Principal Act in part. This Act was assented to by the President on 14th August 2015. Since 15th March 2015 nothing tangible has been done to effect the Statutory Order to hold the Referendum contemporaneous with the President’s opinion and decision – they are still fidgeting today, 15 months later!

The President assented to the “new constitution” on 5th January 2016. On 11th April 2016 I filed a petition in the Constitutional Court established under Article 128 of the Amended Constitution.

The Petition contains 17 challenges; the Referendum issue is just one of them. It is my position that these challenges should and ought to be heard and determined BEFORE the combined election and referendum is conducted otherwise the case will become a mere academic exercise.

Meanwhile the President and his Vice President, who are a party to the case, have been publicly canvassing and insisting that the Referendum will go ahead simultaneously with the 2016 elections. Also the Vice President informed Zambians in London on 26th April 2016 about the forthcoming combined General election and referendum.

The ECZ recently announced the purported referendum question consisting of a “Two-In-One” question:

“Do you agree that the Constitution be amended to expand the Bill of Rights and to amend Article 79 of the Constitution?” (not exact words).

On or about 21st May 2016, during the launch of the PF manifesto, the President answered his own question and said he was going to VOTE YES and directed the audience to do likewise because the PF Central Committee had so decided; he repeated this instruction on another live broadcast during the Africa Freedom Day at State House on 25th May 2016.

I object to this cloned election-cum-referendum because the whole process is inconsistent with the Constitution and the Referendum Act, even as amended. The President has abdicated his heavy responsibility of complying with the Referendum Act and is attempting to annul the entrenched Article 79, a protective provision, without alerting the citizens about the implications of VOTING YES for this multi-dimensional question. The question goes against the public policy rendered to the National Assembly on or about 30th November 2015 concerning single issues by the Minister of justice. At that time he indicated that only single issue questions should be subjected to a referendum and NOT multi-dimensional ones. Once again the Zambian people have been deceived and are being manipulated by the Custodian and Defender of the Constitution who, having decided in March 2015 to order the holding of a referendum, has refused or neglected to comply with the provisions of the Referendum Act. THIS IS MY CASE.

THE LAW AS TO REFERENDA IN ZAMBIA:

The law regarding the holding of referenda in Zambia is found in the Republican Constitution as well as the Referendum Act CAP (Chapter) 14. In the said Constitution the relevant provision is Article 79 (3); in the Referendum Act the relevant provision is Section 2. The Executive have since amended in part CAP 14, to suit their electoral schemes in total disregard of the letter and spirit of the foregoing provisions.

THE GOVERNMENT CASE THUS FAR:

In their public justifications the Executive do not seem to have a constitutional or legal basis for their decision to try to clone the general election with the referendum. The only reason given publicly and defended vehemently is one of COST!

GODFREY MIYANDA’S CASE:

For ease of reference I have classified my “referendum argument” in two parts. I have named Article 79 (3) as “The Mandatory Referendum” (excuse my layman’s language). I have named Section 2 of the Referendum Act as “The Discretionary Referendum”:

a. The Mandatory Referendum: Article 79 gives power to Parliament to alter the Constitution, subject to restrictions indicated in the provision. The relevant and specific article for my argument is Article 79 (3) which provides that “A bill for the alteration of Part III of this Constitution or of this Article SHALL NOT BE PASSED unless before the first reading of the bill in the National Assembly it has been put to a National Referendum with or without amendment by not less than fifty per cent of persons entitled to be registered as voters for the purposes of Presidential and Parliamentary elections.”

I contend that Article 79 (3) is a protective provision to ensure that no one, not even the President, tampers with Part III, which I submit is the fortress of the current Fundamental Rights and Freedoms. The Executive are not only trying to amend Part III but, by their mischievous Double Tobela question, they want to remove the protective. This is tantamount to a parent advising his children NOT to put a lock on the money safe while the robbers are around. Article 79 prevents even Members of Parliament from making any changes to Part III without consulting the citizens who are the masters and employers. This scheme by President Lungu and his dissolved Cabinet is an attempt to overthrow THE PEOPLE who are the “Class A shareholders”!

b. The Discretionary Referendum: The power to order a referendum under the Referendum Act is vested in the President. The relevant provision is Section 2 (1) which reads “The President may, IF IN HIS OPINION it is necessary or desirable so to do, by Statutory Order, direct that a referendum be held on any question or questions specified in the order.” This power is exclusive to the President and to no other person or body. I contend that he may consult but must make the decision and issue the order under his hand.

Additionally, I contend that the question conjured up by the Minister of Justice, in collusion with the ECZ, is definitely NOT a single issue, hence it is not suitable as an issue under the Discretionary Referendum. The current Part III contains at least 32 articles and thus is multi-dimensional. These articles will increase should the proposed clauses, which are not yet published, be added. The majority of our citizens are illiterate so they will do as they have been directed by the President without knowing what they are voting for. What stubbornness is this, following the mess that has been created in the last voting in the National Assembly during the passing of the so-called new constitution?

WHY THE PRESIDENT NAD HIS DISSOLVED CABINET ARE LOST OVER THE ELECTION – CUM – REFERENDUM ISSUE:

I submit that the President, who is the Custodian, Protector and Defender of our Constitution, has failed to carry out his duties in terms of Section 2 (1) of the Referendum Act. The Act grants power to the President to order or direct that a referendum be held on any question that he has specified in a Statutory Order; I further contend that he has no power to delegate the powers under Section 2 (1) to another person or body. Further, since it is him who decides whether to hold a referendum or not, the President has the initiative and the time to choose when to hold it and to mobilise funds before he orders the referendum to be held. No one was holding a gun to his head to call for a referendum in the manner that he and his dissolved Cabinet have willingly acquiesced.

I contend that under this Discretionary Referendum, formulation and determination by the President of the referendum question is a condition precedent to the ordering of the referendum.

Last but not least I submit that in terms of Section 2 (1) the Double Tobela question schemed by the Minister of Justice and the ECZ is unconstitutional and illegal. It is irrational for the President to ask other persons or bodies to formulate an opinion on his behalf. This defies logic and is inconsistent with Section 2, the power to order a referendum. This amounts to refusal to carry out the President’s constitutional and legal obligations.

Those bishops urging citizens to VOTE YES are equally lost and are misleading their flock.

CONCLUDING THE MATTER:

The live directive by President Lungu to the whole nation at Heroes Stadium, sometime in May 2016, is inconsistent with the cited provisions herein. This was done in bad faith as part of the PF campaign strategy and message, turning the Referendum issue into a partisan PF affair. It is strange that the very person who wants to know the answer to a question he formulated has provided the answer and is telling citizens to vote accordingly; he did so on at least two occasions (at Heroes Stadium and State House on Africa Freedom). I regret to describe this act as duplicitous and a betrayal of the people’s trust.

CONSTITUTIONALISM, CONSTITUTIONALISM, CONSTITUTIONALISM!

I REST MY CASE

GODFREY MIYANDA,
BRIGADIER GENERAL,
A VERY CONCERNED CITIZEN
[29TH MAY 2016]

66 COMMENTS

  1. 0
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    A candidate can campaign for a particular outcome over the constitution. HH can also direct his people to vote “yes”. Now look, we have a much more serious problem. Let us say if I vote for everything but not for the constitution, does that invalidate my vote?

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      @ST DESPERACIOUS at 12.22: you missed it.
      1. The President should issue a Statutory Order or S.I. as soon as he decides that it is desirable to hold a referendum on a specified question that he indicates in the same Order. He has NOT done so since 15 months ago when the decision was made; in short there is NO STATUTORY ORDER which is a mandatory requirement under CAP 14. Mandatory means compliance with the law or as late Pres Mwanawasa would put”Rule of law and NOT of men”.
      2. As to his campaign for VOTE YES, the serious point missed is that we are deciding on a matter affecting Fundamental Rights and Freedoms where it is necessary to take off our partisan dress and hunger for votes; he never talked about article 79 nor did he explain to citizens what is being changed and the…

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      I am quoting “Analyser” from another story on this website. Gen Miyanda “Make yourself more relevant. I believe you have more to give than to reduce yourself to small debates with less analytical bloggers. I will not be looking forward to your referendum article. I would rather look forward to you advising the government in the background, the very least. Some of your outbursts remains just vuvuzelas even if they may be logical and have good intentions. SHUT UP.” This sums up you and your article. You are a keyboard addict who spends time admiring your own writing like the man in the mirror. Go and register and see how unpopular you are. It has become clear that you are a political failure seeking relevance.

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      General where do you find time to write such essays. Are you in business or you are practicing law? I am just asking please.

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      I just picked up on ‘The majority of our citizens are illiterate.’

      Majority means more than 50%, but according to the known statistics, the literacy rate in Zambia is 61.4% which means that only 38.6% are illiterate, not even 50%.
      The problem is not illiteracy General Miyanda, it is just apathy. This is the case everywhere else in the world. People do not care much about you politicians because most of you just lie.

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      [email protected] Ngoma at 6.55 pm: Sorry I had penned off at 8 below. I withdraw my use of the word ‘majority illiterates’ and substitute it with ‘many of our people are illiterate’. President told the whole country on live TV to vote YES but didnt say why YES. Now even if illiterates are only 38.6 % they would sway the vote one way or the other. Hence we shud enlighten them on why they shud vote this way or that way. Their vote matters so let us NOT take advantage of them on account of their illiteracy.

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    Have you paid your nomination fee? I hear its been reduced to ZMW 60,000 otherwise we sontaling at the same constitution as one of the many progressive things PF & ECL have done. Come Aug 11 we are voting YES

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      @W153 CH!3Z at 12.37 pm: the topic is on Mandatory Referendum v Discretionary Referendum. I would like to learn from you. Are my opinions on the failure of the President correct as regards CAP 14 and Article 79? Do you agree with the President that Article 79 be removed from the Constitution so that those in power can change our Fundamental Rights and Freedoms without a referendum? Citizens will be voting for the leader they love and NOT for the serious amendments that require further explanation before voting. That is today’s topic. Go and vote but dont do so with your eyes closed again///

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      Anwer the gentleman’s question before you can pose yours. Why should it only be you, you and only you to be attended to first!

  3. vote

    Miyanda, a man many dont recognize to be a genius because he is a cut above the rest. we will still vote because in many people’s minds what he is raising is only judged to be relevant to the lusaka elites and not the rest of the country. pleaase let us do the right things. do you know that to vote in the referendum, all you need is NRC and that you will need at least 50% of all the zambians above 16 for the results to be valid?

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      @3 ine wine at 1.11 pm:
      1. First I am NOT in any contest against any one on this site. I am in a contest to exchange knowledge. If you disagree with my presentation give a reason so that we can all learn from your genius.
      2. NRC yes, but what will you be voting for? E.G. in Part III there are 32 Articles including: right to life, right to personal liberty, protection from slavery, protection from inhuman treatment, protection from deprivation of property, privacy, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, discrimination, etc. These are already in the Part III but government wants to remove Article 79 so that changes can be made without a referendum. The new rights NOT yet published. You are saying YES to what? Be careful when you give someone a blank cheque,.
      3…

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    The Referendum question is not a ballot paper or is it? My priority will be to elect a President and his Running Mate, an MP, Mayor and Councilor of my choice. I will refuse to answer the Referendum question and walk away after casting my 4 votes. Simple!

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      [email protected] at 1.32 pm: to vote YES or NO in referendum you need a ballot paper showing an eye for YES and an ear for NO. You vote to add new rights and also to remove Article 79 which protects the the Fundamental Rights. No ballot if not voting in referendum. ? How to decide on contentious issues such as abortion, death penalty, homosexuality as clauses are lumped together but asked as one question. How will the YES or NO decide which issue to support and which not? By removing Article 79 you are signing and giving a blank cheque to those who frequently cheat you. Better to separate the elections from the referendum as well as specify/list the issues point by point to avoid G12 blunder.

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    Brig. Thanx for the education… I’m indeed scared for what is to come. This actually sounds abit similar to how the KK’s legacy started, well, atleast according to stories told to me. I’m wondering why people, bloggers to be specific don’t seem to follow these your articles very seriously. I’m also wondering why others in opposition are not concerned about this!!! Anyway, keep up the good works. And kindly tone down with that legal lingo for my illiterate sakes.

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    Anyways, to answer your question I will answer NO because I can not accept anyone taking my place when it comes to decision-making. If it matters to you, I’m also voting lungu out for the sake of my country – manipulators will always have no vision and I just hate them.

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      5 and [email protected] at 1,34 and 1.49 pm: 1. Part of our history is unpleasant. Our founding fathers were hacking each and burning opponents with petrol bombs. This a story better forgotten but it happened in KK’s time. I insist on respecting our laws and the rights of others to prevent arbitrary actions; why prevent others from expressing their opinions? Feel free to vote as you wish in elections. But insist that better preparation be made for the referendum.
      2. Lingo language: I am NOT a lawyer but concerned for the average citizen. Forgive but this particular debate invites legal arguments because a decision has already been made. President. Will simplify in future.

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      Miyanda’s flickers of hatred for KK showing here. He is exposing himself as a person who holds grudges. The hacking and killing continued in the FTJ’s reign in which he served and was somehow implicated. Leave the old man alone. He’s just as imperfect as you and the rest of us. Let me put it politely: Let sleeping dogs lie.

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      [email protected] Pro at 7.02 pm: Sorry I had signed off at 8 below. Regratable you have a penchant for personalised debatse devoid of subsatnce. I do NOT and I have NEVER hated KK; he had always been my role model though I disagreed with his One party and Humanism. @Chalwa 5 at 1.34 pm introduced the name KK and I provided some negative history. I did not accuse KK of anything in my comment; it is a figment of your fertile imagination. Ever heard of one late Munukayumbwa Sipalo a member of UNIP who was petrol-bombed and disfigured for the rest of his life?News was that it was an internal battle. Give your facts to dispute what I stated///

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    Well articulated article General, however, i am of the opinion that very few Zambians , especially in far flung areas are informed on these matters. why dont you mobilize like minded concerned citizens to defeat this ‘butchery’ of the constitution? As long as we remain armchair, we lose. Lungu and his team have mobilized and are going out their telling the people what to vote on as regards the referendum questions, you and i who know what is at stake are here blogging….how many people have access to the internet in Shangombo, Kaputa, manyinga, chama, sitwe, ? I doubt the constitutional court will be of any use as they will pathetically be biased towards the appointing authority. Get up, stand up, children of the motherland and fight to protect your country, your constitution, your…

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      [email protected] at 2.12 pm: Thanx and noted. Look at mobilisation at two levels: for votes, which primarily is “politicking” and for cross-pollination and imparting knowledge and information. Political mobilisation is easy for those in government bcoz they use state facilities even when not doing GRZ business. This latter mobilisation starts with a simple idea passed on to the next person as now from you, always ensuring that it is NOT a partisan approach or meant to look for votes. This is NOT easy bcoz our people have changed and our politics are now dependent almost entirely on money; and we have become a hate-peddling nation, sorry!

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    @all: signing off now for other chores. Enjoy the rest of the day and I may join later in the evening. And pse thank LT for the platform which some of us cant get from our public media. Blessings. Godfrey Miyanda///

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      Other chores? Miyanda doing other chores? Maybe my prayers have been answered and the man has remembered that he is a president of a party that still needs him.

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    Often wonder why LAZ and others have not raised these issues that are of national interest. Does it point to what President Lungu often referred to as poor reading culture in our country? ECZ is headed by one of the respected legal product in the name of Justice Essau Chulu. Couldn’t have said “sorry Mr. President my commission has no constitutional powers to do what you want?” The Constitutional Court should quickly reorganize itself to commence seating and provide the much needed interpretations to these very important issues. I salute you Sir.

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      [email protected] at 2.53 pm: Sorry I had singed off at 8 above. I salute. Point is knowledgeable citizens, lawyers or lay persons, must speak out when those in authority do wrong. Removal of Article 79 is A BLANK CHEQUE to anyone in authority after 11 Aug to change the protected provision without reverting to the people. It is deception to combine the two: those who like ECL, especially some Christians, will vote YES even for the Referendum Question which they dont know nor understand.

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    Oh no not again! This time waster again? Please general, find something to do. Organize your party and go and campaign. I will not stop asking you about your party, what is happening on that front bwana? You have an obligation to tell the people that look up to the Heritage Party for deliverance. Why do you find all the time to spend on other (trivial) matters while neglecting your household issues? This is not a classroom. If I want to be educated about something, surely I will not wait for a certain miyanda to write another treatise on God knows what next. I will tell you again, I have not bothered to read your article because you have not taken time to tell the nation what is happening to you party. Amen!

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      [email protected] True General at 3.10: you have lied. If you have not read my article how do you know that I have not discussed Heritage? You have read it but you have NOT understood it. If you have understood discuss the issue and persuade me that I am wrong; if you make convincing points against the legal issues I have raised I will concede and say so here. This is NOT a Heritage or partisan discussion but is for those concerned Zambians who care for their country and who want to ensure that their Rights and Freedoms are not jeopardised by those whose only passion is seeking votes even in their sleep!

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    Very insightful article. This news needs to filter through to the masses as only a few really know whats at stake. Thanks for the data General

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      [email protected] at 3.10: Sorry I had signed off. You are welcome. Remember major concern is that citizens dont know why they should agree with the President to vote YES in the referendum. Why combine it with the general elections? It will be confusing; let the elections run on their own. Later the Government must outline the question or questions for the referendum. And they must justify the removal of Article 79. Let President speak in the Heroes Stadium or live interview on radio and TV and callers to ask questions.

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    I would definitely appoint the General to head the constitutional court. The Man has integrity like no other and he’s fearless. If only we had 10 such elders in Zambian politics… the outcomes would be different.

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      @gringo. Your naivete is scary. You remind me of Trump followers who like sheep are singing praises for a dangerous man. Please always judge one’s intellect by what he does and not what he writes. Look at Miyanda’s history in perspective and care to ask those like me who have worked with him. His writing is deceiving. Just a reminder as Vice President he can be ranked as one of the most useless. FTJ fired him. As a politician, he is a sorry sight.

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      [email protected] Pro at 7.12: for @gringo do not be discouraged or intimidated by Media Pro. See his postings at 6.2 and 12.1 – he has sad nothing about the topic. His contribution is what is called Argumentum ad hominem. Those with nothing to offer discuss people to hide their inadequacies. If Media Pro worked with me let him not be a coward but reveal who he is so that I can authenticate that he worked with me. I served in the 2nd Battallion from 2nd Lt to Lt Col and commanded that unit. Was he there and in what rank? I established the training academy and became the first Commandant at Kohima. Was he there and in what rank? I was at Headquarters as Col GS, was he there? I led a team at MSB as Chief of Logistics, was he there? Ignore the person as he has nothing to contribute to this serious…

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    Thax very much general, you have open my eyes i did not know anything about that.please continue educating zambian people, so that they know what is happening to this government of ECL and the PF part.

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      [email protected] at 3.14: I had penned off. let every Zambian who case look out for actions that may endanger our future and the future of our young ones. Any one can create problems for the nation, not just ECl or those in PF. What you must look out for are signs or symptoms of behaviour that points to potential dictatorship. As I have said, for instance, removal of Article 79 is suspicious. Remember the story of the Arab and the Camel? Dont give anyone a BLANK CHEQUE. tell people to insist on a separate referendum. If they remove article 79 and pass new rights all those will be easily removed if Article 79 is annulled.

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    I like the photo and will take the opportunity to remind general that the man he is sitting next to is a lawyer, yes a qualified lawyer. Maybe find time to argue your points with him and not blogging, nothing will come out of your incessant blogging.

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      [email protected] True General at 3.16: unlike u that picture has no negative. Reminds me of two things: the occasion of the burial of late Matty P whom I knew; the last time I saw him alive was when he was struggling to walk and his good lady said to me “look at your friend he is unable to walk properly”. The second is that Minister Simbyakula gave me, from his wallet, a Guitar Plectrum! I said how come? He said I know you play a guitar. I will post below his speech in Parly///

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    The thought of the referendum makes me sick, for I know that it has a high probability of going through like the “Grade 12 constitition” i.e. Passed without thought and being read.

    Thanks General for the article, and you are not alone in battle. I have started my “No Campaign” it seems to me it is the only option remaining!!

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      [email protected] at 3.16: Good to know am not alone. Remember this is NOT a partisan battle. Clarify that we are not against the referendum per se, but against taking advantage of many citizens who maybe uninformed or illiterate and do not even know what they will be saying YES to. Before I sign off I am posting below the statement of Hon Simbyakula in Parly.

  16. vote

    WILL THE REFERENDUM ALSO ACCORD THE PEOPLE A CHANCE APPROVE OR DISAPPROVE THE SO CALLED “NON CONTENTIOUS CLAUSES” THAT WERE HURRIEDLY SIGNED TO LAW AS ” THE JAMESON AMENDMENTS”. IF THIS IS THE CASE WHAT THEN HAPPENS IF THE REFERENDUM FAILS AND NO CANDIDATE GETS THE 50% PLUS 1? DO GO TO A RERUN OR CAN ONE ARGUE THAT SINCE THE REFERENDUM FAILED WE SHALL DECLARE A WINNER BY WHO GETS THE MOST VOTES? THIS IS A RECIPE FOR CONFUSION! BETEER TOSEPARATE THE ELECTION FROM THE REFERENDUM, AGREE ON THE RULES THAT THE ELECTION WILL BE HELD UNDER, ELECT A GOVERNMENT WITH A FULL MANDATE AND HAVE THAT GOVERNMENT HOLD A REFERENDUM!

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      [email protected] at 3.16 pm: 1. Contentious issues already assented are now law and can only be changed by amending in Parly. 2. NOTE the difference of the two 50 %s – one is for the elections of President, MP, Councillor and Mayor. This one is calculated on the basis of the VALID VOTES cast, meaning if 1000 people vote, and 100 votes are disallowed the fifty % will be of 700. For referendum the fifty % is of all those who are eligible to vote even if they have not registered as voters. This is not just confusion but deliberate confusion for ill motives.

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      16.1@ THE GENERAL. THANK YOU FOR EXPLAINING. AS THINGS ARE THE MATRIX APROACH THE PF IS TAKING IS GOING TO CONFUSE A LOT OF VOTERS. LIKE YOU HAVE NOTED THIS IS DELIBERATE. THIS ELECTION AND THE CONSTITUTION IS TOO IMPORTANT FOR THE CITIZENRY TO SIT IDLY BY AND WATCH THIS CROOKED ATTEMPT AT FIXING THE ELECTION. HOWMANY BALLOTS EACH VOTE GET? THIS WILL REQUIRE AN UNPRECEDENTED LEVEL OF MONITORING. COME TO THINK OF IT I FIND IT VERY SUSPICIOUS THAT THE JUSTICE MINISTER WOULD NOT MAKE IT TO HIS FILING FOR NOMINATION IN AN ELECTION THIS IMPORTANT. SIMBYAKULAS NOT FILING ALL HAS SOMETHING TO DO WITH THE PUSH TO USE THE REFRENDUM TO CREATE AS MUCH SMOKE SCREEN AS POSSIBLE.

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    General you seem to have too much time on your fingers. Use your time wisely than wasting it on writing this trash. Trust me only less than 1% of the population will read this. I suggest you go to Kaputa and Gwembe to explain this. These are the wages of running tuntemba aka Nashala Neka parties

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      Now here is someone saying something sensible to this retired general.

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      @Zebige, Just because the stuff is above your comprehension doesn’t mean it’s trash. I doubt you even read a paragraph. It’s ****** like you who have messed up our country by not educating yourselves and refusing to listen to the wise. Next time you come across articles that are above you, remember to shut up.

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      @gringo, sadly Zebige is right. Miyanda formed a political party which is still in existence. It is election time. The so-called “brilliant” man should be out campaigning and not wasting time writing “trash” to a small audience. He needs to become an MP and raise such issues in parliament. Of course no one will vote for him. He has tried before in Feira.

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      [email protected] at 3.53 pm: Though irrelevant I choose to respond.
      1. GOD IS TIME and he has given each one of us time; how to use it is our business. E.G. Satan uses time to discourage, intimidate and to divide and rule as well as to spread hate speeches and lies.
      2. 1 % is better than nothing. Over 2000 have viewed this posting. If they network elsewhere the exponential outcome can be more than 1 %.
      3. By the way, ur also using your time to answer me. Is that wise or not? See? I refuse to trust you!

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      [email protected] at Media Pro: just seen the blog at 17.4. This is another lie by Media Pro; I have NEVER tried to stand in Feira. Feira, why? I have only stood once for Parliamentary election in Kabwata Constituency in Lusaka, when late MMD Secretary Sata relocated to Mpika because Kabwata had become untenable for him and us in MMD. So I was adopted there, stood and won. This is what happens when you do not debate issues, you start looking for things to say and lie in the process///

  18. vote

    General after casting my votes for my choices am I forced to answer the Referendum Question? My mind is only on choosing new leaders and not answering Yes and No questions. I will put my Xs and spoil the Referendum Paper. Who can stop me? I don’t want to be destructed from voting for my preferred candidates. Period.

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      [email protected] at 4.13 pm:
      1. No one can force you to do anything. Just be clear what you want to do in the voting booth and go and do it. IT IS YOUR CHOICE.
      2. But my concern is that the choosing of preferred candidates is mixed up with referendum question which is dealing with our fundamental rights and freedoms. The two must not be mixed up because elections are partisan in nature.
      3. Then there is the issue of removing Article 79. Dont give them a BLANK CHEQUE.

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    I strongly feel its not fair on the citizenly, they will be voting in the referendum without understanding what they are voting for in that there hasn’t been enough Civic education. THE NGOs’ are sleeping, the Law Association of Zambia is not doing enough and the Government is happy things are going their way. We need proper education on this matter. People have no clue at what is going on apart from the government “arming” its self with the law. President Lungu and his former ministers are not being honesty. General Miyanda cannot be all over the country to enlighten the electorate. More needs to be done by Civil Society. Don’t say you were not warned.

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      [email protected] at 4.56: That is the way to go, stirring up everybody to be alert. They must separate the voting: elections on 11th Aug 2016; referendum at another time but with a properly worked out road map. NOTE: removal of Article 79 is dangerous. See how long and tragic it took to remove the One Party system! Suppose you remove Article 79 and introduce new rights, what guarantee is there that they will remain on the statute books?

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    I salute you General for taking time to educate us on the matter that is being swept under the carpet whilst the general public is fast asleep. If the the majority on 11 August 2016 vote yes for the referendum and ECL loses the presidential elections, which he is likely to, ECL will be the first one to complain when the constitution is amended at midnight by mps who will be half asleep as it was when the current constitution was amended.

    Thank you General for bring to light this matter in your paper.

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      [email protected] Kalango at 5.17: it is important to understand what the outcomes of the general elections and referendum are: 1. General elections: leaders are chosen at the levels of President, MP, Councillor and Mayor. Either a new government will be brought in or the same will continue. In short the election answers the same question always “who do you choose to lead you?”. 2. Referendum: this question changes depending on what issues have arisen. In the present situation the Cabinet decided in March 2015 but did not decide on the question until now when they are blaming COST. Insist on government separating the two events and publishing the question/s in full.

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    The general has done his part. True patriots have received and appreciated the general`s efforts. Some selfish cadres have instead called the general names and disrespected him instead. It`s cadres such as the so called”true general” that Africa continues so behind in development, human rights, governance etc.. I don`t think this cadre is an educated but simply too selfish to reason clearly. For a few crumbs from our taxes the PF are throwing at him/her has turned into a monster, so heartless and unconcerned about the future of this country. Should this this country go to the dogs,not even you, the so called true general will be spared. One day you will remember this article from general Miyanda. I know you`ve read it because you don`r sound illiterate, just fullish.
    Let all well…

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      @ Mwansa Mulyati. “True General” is as educated as they come, and has made a lot of sense. What part has Miyanda done? You need to understand politics and law to see a pile of bull in his article. Any lawyer or law student can easily take him to task. The legal fraternity has chosen to ignore his attempt at law. It is semi-literates like you who lick his wounds.

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      [email protected] Mulyata at 5.24 pm: I agree with your summary of implications if Zambians adopt a laessez-faire attitude. Ignore @Media Pro. at 7.24 as he/she is a professional advocate of Argumentum Ad Hominem. He has failed to debate or give reasons why he opposes my article. He must let the “legal fraternity” speak for themselves. This is not a contest to prove what I have done or not done in advancing the jurisprudence of this country but I have a record in this regard. Ignore him///

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    General, are you saying that if we vote on this referendum issue, then we are supporting the misdirection that the President has done by putting forward a ‘double tobela’ question? If so, what are you proposing we do as a citizenry? Because at this late hour, that question will not be dropped and your suit before the CC will not be heard in time.

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      [email protected] at 7.23: 1. I am saying: President has NOT complied with Section 2 (1) of the Referendum Act; he did not publish a Statutory Order in March 2015 when he decided to hold a referendum. 15 months later there is NO such S.I. 2. In May 2016 he publicly advised people to VOTE YES to a question that is NOT clear. President Lungu must separate the general election from the referendum if he means well. 3. He MUST hold a live debate to justify why we must remove Article 79 from the Constitution and answer questions from the public. 4. It is not late. At the 11th hour we made KK change from One Party System to multi-party//////

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    @ Ba Zebige, @ “trash” article, kano nga ninsele, ninshi efyamano, no wonder we shall remain as polarized country, with characters like you! People like the General who stand for the truth are never respected, or accepted, unless those who come with forked tongue, I never seem to understand us Zambians, we seem to have a penchant for wrong things, e.g some1 glamorizing criminals, jerabos, bandits etc this because of having majority of the population not having jobs, all hustling on the streets!! May God deliver our country, I rest my case.

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      [email protected] Reloaded at 8.29: sorry I had signed off at 8 above. Appreciate you understand this matter is serious and should be debated as a national issue and not a partisan one. As I am signing off now I will post the Ministers speech to the National Assembly. Because of space I will limit it to the specific issues of the Referendum so that you may judge whether the decision to treat Part III of the Constitution is a single issue according to his own public statement in Parliament. Thank you and byeeeeeeee for now; Godfrey Miyanda///

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    @TO ALL: Part of the speech by the Hon Min of Justice NOV 2015: “…. Mr Speaker, there is no doubt that the best manifestation of the expression of the will of the people on an issue is through a direct vote of all voters in a referendum, I repeat, on an issue. In other words a referendum is the most democratic way of deciding single issues” END OF QUOTE. Can the Bill of Rights be considered a single issue with several clauses some of them contentious? For Your Information and digestion. GODFREY MIYANDA///

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      Miyanda is as thick as they come. Thank god he never had a chance to rule. We would be stuck with the world’s worst authoritarian. In as far as he is concerned his word is final. Some one give me a day in Miyanda’s life when he has publicly apologized for anything. And yet he is always at the height of controversy. He even does not have the audacity to apologize for wasting people’s time in his senseless Heritage Party. One can tell from comments that the majority who agree with him are academically challenged. Some could be friends and close relations. Other commentators are simply HIM debating himself. Watch this man.

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      You have hit the nail on the head. The man is beyond himself, can not apologise for anything. He has cheated his supporters and has just decided to keep quite as if all is ok.

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    Miyanda…tell me why HH, Kabimba or Nawakwi are not saying anything on the the issue of the referendum? it is no longer a campaign issue…It can work for them in case one is President. However, you are not telling us the enhancement of the Bill of Right to include Economic, Social and Civil rights is wrong by the PF govt….I do not think so….you guys in the MMD failed to do what Chagwa is doing and so you had to find something to confuse the LT readers with….Civil Society advocated for ESC rights…they have been added…be more clearer on why you oppose the repealing of Article 79…otherwise…nonsense!

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    The general here is partly doing a shibukeni (wake up) program.
    May I also ask, what are we going to vote for in a referendum?
    What is the wording?
    What is the contents of the bill of rights? Why is it not being availed to the public?
    No law should be broken just to please an individual.
    Why should we vote for something we don’t understand?
    May government stop playing around with people ‘s intelligent.

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