The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) says it totally opposes the manoeuvres by Members of Parliament to selectively amend the constitution.
Andrew Ntewewe, the YALI President said efforts by the PF Government to selectively amend clauses of the constitution will undo all the positive expectations that people have as the move is motivated by selfish interests, greedy and lack of of patriotism.
Mr Ntewewe said President Lungu who is the CEO of the country should stop the rot in his Government.
“The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) has resolved to totally oppose manoeuvres by Members of Parliament to amend the constitution barely a year after the President assented to the amended constitution on January 5, 2016. The organisation passionately appeals to the President to exercise leadership and stop these selfish and self-serving efforts which will certainly bring his name and that of his administration into disrepute.
T”hese efforts by the PF Government to selectively amend clauses of the Constitution will undo all the positive expectations that people may have for this term of office because they are motivated by selfish interest, greedy and lack of patriotism. The Government is walking on dangerous waters and the President who is the Chief Executive Officer of the Country will do well to stop the rot before the situation degenerates into political mayhem,” he said.
He said his organization believes that the country should invest it’s energies in matters that will promote economic emancipation as opposed to unnecessary political bickering and squabbling which is retrogressive to national development.
He explained that YALI is of the view that the Minister of Justice comes up with clear road map that validates the constitution and subject the Bill of Rights to consensus building so that the whole Constitution is subjected to a referendum.
“In this regard, the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) proposes that the Minister of Justice comes up with a clear road map that validates the constitution and at the same time subjects the Bill of Rights to consensus building so that the whole constitution is subjected to a referendum at once.
“This we believe is a prudent approach which will ensure that the constitution reform process is brought to an end once and for all. We would like to remind the government that much as constitutions are not cast in stone, it must be noted that the constitution is sacred document and cannot constantly changed at any time. In fact, it is an agreed principle that a constitution must stand a test of time and that it will not always be changed to suit the interests of few individuals in the country as has been demonstrated by our MPs.
“A quick perusal of the Private Members motion in Parliament clearly demonstrates without any reason of doubt that what the MPs are trying to do to the constitution is simply to meet their selfish gains.”
He added that MPs have realised that they have been confined to making laws and are unable to control funds meant for their constituencies.
“For instance, Members of Parliament have woken up to the reality that they have been confined to making laws in Parliament and leaving Local Government to delivering development to the people across the country. It is therefore clear to see that they want the control of the Constituency Development Fund and allowances they get when they sit in Council meetings back in order for them to use CDF for patronage purposes.
“The MPs further want to create offices for Deputy Ministers so they can reward themselves with government jobs and they want to remain in office after dissolution of Parliament because they have tested the benefits of doing so during campaigns. This clearly demonstrates that the MPs and the government are up to no good. For Parliament and Government to wantonly disregard the people in moving these amendments and only proposing amendments which benefit themselves is an act of betrayal and an exhibition of selfishness and greedy of the worst kind among our MP,” he said.
He further challenged President Lungu to do the correct thing and take up leadership in order to stop the dangerous approach and path taken MPs.
“Finally, we challenge President Lungu, to do the correct thing and take up leadership and stop this dangerous approach and path which his MPs are taking on selective amendments of clauses aimed at benefiting themselves and its political establishment. We would like to remind the President that he owes no one an appointment to gain access to the public purse which is already under pressure BUT he has a responsibility to the 15million Zambians who expect this country to move on the path of economic development,” he said.
Mr Ntewewe was commenting on the proposal by PF MPs to amend certain clauses in the constitution.