Bregedier General Godfrey Miyanda
Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda

Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda, in his capacity as a Zambian national concerned about the intended constitutional amendments, has petitioned the Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Patrick Matibini to use his Office to advise or persuade the Government to withhold tabling any Constitutional amendments until the legal process in the said Petition is finally concluded and attendant consequential reactions are acted upon.

Below is the Petition submitted to the Speaker

THE PETITION OF BRIGADIER GENERAL GODFREY MIYANDA (A ZAMBIAN), DATED 21ST FEBRUARY 2017, TO THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF ZAMBIA THROUGH THE SPEAKER, THE RIGHT HONOURABLE DR PATRICK MATIBINI

[21ST FEBRUARY 2017]

The Right Honourable Speaker,

National Assembly,

Parliament Buildings,

LUSAKA

UFS:

The Clerk of the National Assembly, Parliament Buildings, Lusaka

The Petition of Godfrey Miyanda showeth as follows:

PETITION PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 88 (2) OF THE CONSTITUTION OF ZAMBIA (AMENDMENT) ACT 2 OF 2016

___________________________________________________________________________

PETITIONER:

My names are Godfrey Miyanda. I am a Zambian national concerned about the intended constitutional amendments, as initially announced by the Republican President, Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu for the purpose of, as he himself put it, “FINE TUNING” the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2016, which Act he assented to on 5th January 2016.

BACKGROUND:

  1. Following on the President’s foregoing announcement the Honourable Minister of Justice, Honourable Given Lubinda, has called for submissions by so-called stakeholders, but declared that political parties that had no representation in the National Assembly were prohibited from making submissions. The provisions that are to be “fine-tuned” have not been identified nor has it been explained how and why they were to be so “fine-tuned” but the Minister’s declaration is clearly discriminatory. This lack of transparency is what transpired in the debate that ushered in the so-called new Constitution, when the Government refused to indicate the non-contentious clauses that they were taking to the National Assembly.

  1. a. In November 2015 I followed the National Assembly debate on the Amendment of the Constitution aired live on Parliament Radio. Before this debate, as National Assembly records will or should show, I was one of the witnesses who submitted to the Committee on Legal Affairs, Governance, Human Rights, Gender Matters and Child Affairs (LAGHRGMACA), chaired by Honourable Cornelius Mweetwa, MP.

b. After the said debate I came to Parliament Buildings and accosted the said Chairman of the LAGHRGMACA on or about 1st December 2015, requesting him to receive and convey my Petition to the Speaker of the National Assembly, which he agreed to do. He received my covering letter dated 1st December 2015 and the accompanying Petition. I have never received any response from the National Assembly. Incidentally, the LAGHRGMACA had recommended that the Amendment Bill be withdrawn, which I agreed with, but the recommendation to withdraw was rejected, clearly due to the arrogance of numbers.

  1. On 16th December 2015, following a ZNBC news item quoting the President’s statement in Kasama, I decided to petition the Republican President, urging him to seriously study the amendments BEFORE assenting. The Petition was titled “10 Reasons Why President Lungu Must Read With Eyes Open Before Signing and Assenting to the Constitutional Bills”. I personally delivered the said Petition at the State House Reception and I know that the President received it because he referred to it on 23rd December 2015 when the Clerk of the National Assembly presented to him the Certified Copies of the Bills. The President assented to the Bills on 5th January 2016.

  1. a. On 11th April 2016 I filed a Petition and an Affidavit in Support of the Petition in the Constitutional Court of Zambia (Godfrey Miyanda v Attorney General Cause Number 2016/CC/0006); the said documents were served on the Attorney General on 19th April 2016.

b. That on 13th May 2016 I filed a Certificate of Urgency, praying to the Honourable Court to hear the Petition expeditiously in view of the election timetable announced by Her Honour the Republican Vice President in a Ministerial Statement on 11th May 2016. Essentially I was praying that the Petition be heard and determined BEFORE the 11th August 2016 elections.

  1. My Petition was and is questioning the whole Constitutional Amendment, as some of the amendments, inter alia, included the amendment of Part III of Chapter 1 of the Republican Constitution without a referendum, hence being in breach of Article 79 (3) thereof.

GROUNDS OR REASONS FOR THE PETITION:

  1. That by my Petition of 11th April 2016, Petition No.CC/0006 of 2016, in which I challenged at least 17 provisions, I have essentially questioned the whole Constitutional Amendment; this is so again because, inter alia, Part III of CAP 1 of the Constitution has been amended without a referendum.

  2. That the Petition was finally heard on Thursday 18th August 2016, after the 11th August 2016 had been held; Judgement or Ruling was reserved, hence my prayer that the Fine Tuning of the Constitution should not take place while the Petition is active in the Constitutional Court.

  3. That the decree by the Honourable Minister of Justice prohibiting submissions by political parties with no MPs in the National Assembly is unconstitutional as it is discriminatory and in direct breach of Article 23 of the Republican Constitution.

  4. That it is irrational and unjustified that I, the concerned Zambian who brought to the President’s attention some of the many lacunae in the Amended Constitution, be prohibited from presenting my concerns. I had urged the President to engage me before the assent in order for me to clarify any matters as my list in the Petition was not exhaustive, but he chose to ignore me and assented, thereby confirming that he was satisfied with the Certified Bills. How then can he reasonably go back to Parliament in barely 12 months to amend the same Constitution that he operationalized? That since my Petition awaits judgement and attendant consequential reactions, it is contrary to the House Rules that Mr Speaker always, and quite properly, champions and enforces that matters in court should not and ought not to be debated in the National Assembly. I say that the Republican President, the Minister of Justice and the Learned Attorney General are aware or ought to be aware of the said Petition, which has since been heard and awaits judgment as indicated in paragraph (b) above. I thus petition the Speaker, and through him, the National Assembly and Parliament NOT to proceed with the contemplated scheme to FINE TUNE or more accurately MANIPULATE our Constitution in a pre-schemed stratagem by selfishly and selectively preventing some of the voices from participating in this national agenda for the improvement of the welfare of all our people.

PRAYER:

  1. That the Right Honourable Speaker uses his Office to advise or persuade the Government to withhold tabling any Constitutional amendments until the legal process in the said Petition is finally concluded and attendant consequential reactions are acted upon; the President, Minister of Justice and the Learned Attorney General are a party to that Petition and must recognise the authority and mandate of our Courts of Law.

  2. That the discriminatory directive prohibiting submissions by Political Parties not having MPs in the National Assembly be reversed as it is discriminatory and hence unconstitutional.

  3. That, and/or in the alternative, the House defers consideration of the so-called FINE TUNING amendments, if they be tabled, until the said Petition is concluded.

  4. That instead of the intended FINE TUNING amendments, the process be preceded by a transparent review of what transpired in the course of making the constitutional amendments, the holding of the Referendum (which is also part of what I have challenged in the Constitutional Court) and other lessons that may be learnt therefrom. Such review must be devoid of partisan biases and selfishness and put national interest first, which currently is not the case.

CONCLUSION:

That I assure the Honourable Speaker, this august National Assembly and, indeed, the Republican President, that I have no hidden agenda; I mean well as a concerned citizen. That if my concerns over the years, as depicted in the various documents submitted to the Constitutional Court of Zambia, are examined with non-partisan spectacles it will be seen that definitely there was and is need for serious consideration of my concerns and, most likely, the concerns of many silent voices. I am available for any further clarification and/or amplification.

This is the conclusion of my Petition, for the consideration of Mr Speaker and, if he so deems, other persons or bodies identified by him.

Yours in the National Service of our Country and Nation, Zambia – Our Heritage!

GODFREY MIYANDA,

BRIGADIER GENERAL,

A ZAMBIAN

[21ST FEBRUARY 2017]

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38 COMMENTS

  1. Miyanda is always voice of good reason. Don’t allow Changwa to amend the constitution. it was not long that he wasted tax payers money to sign the half baked constitution and now he wants to amend it so that he can go for a third term. Let Zambians says no.

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    • This was written last month. Why I didn’t know about this Ba Miyanda?
      Please always feed us with knowledge promptly, we tired of the PF Secretariat junk.

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    • @KK Airport, please be sincere. Edgar didn’t start the process and remember you people even formed the so called coalition to “force ” him adapt and sign the same consititution you’re calling half baked. How does appending a signature cost money. You may hate Edgar, but please don’t blame even for things that were started long before we there was someone called Edgar C. Lungu. Stick to facts.

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    • Is there an election underway in Zambia that everyone else is not aware of? i.e. why General Miyanda has resurfaced. Sorry, having read the whole piece, he is now a concerned citizen with no hidden Agenda for Zambia (AZ) or for himself. I understand why KK was wary of Miyanda and did what he did to him. I mean the man just wakes up one day and starts talking to the point were you think what does he want now? State House? and you think but I am in State House already. Does he want to oust me or what? General join the right forum, do your maths and you can get there. These things of one man party (HP) or one man commando do not work.

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    • Gen Miyanda opposed the constitution & referendum for no good reason but hate of the incumbent. Now he wants the country to be @ standstill because of a fictitious petition. There’s no petition Gen. no matter how you scream & write. GRZ is functioning under current constitution. That’s why you’re able to write to parliament & sue in Concourt. Let GRZ do what they can in the remainder of their tenure & judge them @ the next election. I’m so tired of this culture of PHD & certain Zambians claiming they are better than others & everyone is always wrong! We’re all Zambians let’s work for the good of the nation & not always trying to prove someone wrong!

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  2. MIYANDA MAY HAVE SOME POINTS. BUT THIS IDEA OF MAKING CONSTITUTIONS EVERY DAY MAKES THE WHOLE PROCESS OBSESSIVE AND QUITE IRRELEVANT. PEOPLE MADE SUBMISSIONS WITHOUT KNOWING WHAT THEY WERE DOING. THEY WERE IN A HURRY. THE OPPOSITION WANTED TO “FIX” THE RULING PARTY, WHILE THE RUING PARTY WANTED TO PROVE THAT THEY ARE NOT AFRAID OF THE AMENDMENTS. IN THE END A POORLY, HURRIEDLY CONCOCTED CONSTITUTION WAS MADE. IT DID NOT TAKE LONG BEFORE PEOPLE REALIZED THAT THEY HAD MADE A BLUNDER. NO ONE KNEW THAT THE 14 DAYS TO HAVE THE PRESIDENTIAL PETITION HEARD WAS NOT PROPERLY UNDERSTOOD BY THE OPPOSITION. HH IS NOW SUFFERING THE CONSEQUENCES. PF MPS DID NOT REALIZE THAT THE GRADE 12 REQUIREMENT FOR ONE TO OCCUPY CONSTITUTIONAL OFFICE WAS GOING TO CLAMP AT SOME OF THEM…. AND THE REST IS PAINFUL…

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    • ..and quite frankly the General himself is irrelevant. Why does he not study Law to a PhD like Dr. Mmembe and start practicing. That will keep him occupied and busy. I like the man and I do appreciate his passion but I am just not in the mood for him at the moment.

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  3. To you General Miyanda I say you’ve no right to petition on anything. I will never forgive you for manufacturing that consititution that effectively stripped Dr Kenneth Kaunda of all his rights. You supported his incarceration on trumped up charges. You only came to our side after the short man dribbled you with the third term nonsense. I shall never forget how supported tyranny.

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    • His past behavior notwithstanding, what about about the points he raises? What do you think about the issues he is raising?

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    • @chilankalipa …A snake whether in the bush or in a zoo remains a snake. Once bitten twice shy.

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    • If I were him I would give up…no one is paying attention to him just as no one pays attention to HH!!!!When he was in Govt they did nothing about ”fine tuning” the constitution, now that njala yamunyokola he wants to bwata bwata…all Politicians are double faced MARABISHI!

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  4. Hope we benchmark our constitution with developed nations where the rule of law is esteemed . Example are USA, Japan , Germany , Norway, and Britain…. If your neighbor is the best man in town , you better learn to know his governing styles…….

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  5. No third term period. Fine tuning to suite who? A lot of nonsense ! Zambians are peaceful but let’s not take it for granted, they can be violent if u push them too far.

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  6. @1.2 & 3.Ndanje Khakis: it is sad my brother, that people have lost all sense of purpose and are now resigned to blaming everything on ECL who has bearly cloaked 2 years in office to have a real effect on this country. The opposition turns round and eats its own vomit everyday and parade themselves in lazy media. How can this perpetual failure Gen. Miyanda who has failed to even run his party be vocal every time a national issue happens and expect people to take him seriously?? Even the bloggers on this fora are just using it to vent their frustrations at ECL-a real sign that the quality of opposition has really deteriorated. Listening to HH blame the govt. and ECL for OYDC yesterday just shows he has no political strategy to challenge ECL (this is the same loser who displaces villagers…

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    • True! All they pray for is Zambia to be trouble so that they can boost their political points. They pray for drought, they rejoined when army worms invaded our crop. Shame!

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  7. Where are other voices on this serious matter, the civil society organisations, the labour movement, student unions, genuine political parties, academicians, professional bodies and the general citizenry? We are all sleeping while PF is busy messing up things. The time we will wake up there will be no Zambia talk about, we have been compromised by poverty and opportunism. We are taking our country backwards.

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  8. …contd.) in his hometown and he wants to talk about poverty in the country-does this guy think we are so dumb??). You are so spot on. God has blessed with rains this season resulting in water levels rising in Kariba and reduced loadshedding. It was Clowns like Gen. Miyanda and HH and some stupid media who told us loadshedding was because of ECL and poor PF management-THESE DEGENERATES DON’T DESERVE TO BE IN OUR POLITICAL ARENA. We need fresh political ideas.

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  9. The PF is riding rough shod and wants to bulldoze its desires! The PF is courting an eruption because the constitution is made by the people, not by Parliament
    1. The PF and Lungu were advised that the Constitution required fine tuning before signature. He ignored this intelligent and sound advice and signed it arrogantly.
    2. The PF andf Lungu were advised to be serious in addressing issues of the supreme law of this country. They ignored this sound and educated advice in preference for their own process that was costly and inefficient.
    3. Lubinda’s directive that only parties with parliamentary representation should submit ideas is ignorant. The constitution is the voice of ALL Zambians and not parties only. Parties are created by the Constitution and not the othe way round!
    4…

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    • Because moron in the opposition and clueless idyats like McDonald Chipenzi forced him thinking they would fix him only to find themselves entangled in the same mess…retrogressive idyats!

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  10. Miyanda! you were quite when HH was hallucinating during his continued attack on ECL that he had failed to give the Zambian people the Constitution they wanted. You were hiding from bringing up your brilliant ideas. By keeping quite meant that you were supporting what HH was saying. You know, the Government may have realised that there were those lacunas and that could be the reason they were taking time to find a lasting solution but you were busy pressing the gov’t in a tight corner. In his usual business of making a profit out of nothing, HH was busy advising Zambians not to vote for PF because they had failed to give them the Constitution they wanted. So, the Constitution was finally given and that is what you wanted. Ask McDonald Chipenzi who even formed a coalition to pressurise…

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  11. @dyonko, you’ve left out Catholic Priest called Father Chiti and how threatened to organize demonstrations if the consititution was not off. Where was this Brigadier?

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    • If there is one very inconsistent id1ot running a one man NGO is scruffy McDonald Chimpanzi! By the way what tribe is he? Mwandi, I know no wonder I am not surprised which person’s agenda he has always been pushing! But this same agenda has always been a FAILED project 6 times!

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  12. ……By the way when upnd and their tribal leader hh were campaigning and busy promising Zambia that they will release the constitution within one month of voted in power, which constitution were they referring to? Is it not the very one they are now condemning. HH OVAL HEAD even signed that stupid paper by chimpenzi and company as a commitment to the promises he was making. Of all the presidential candidates only Ecl refused to sign it. Today these vampires turn against him and singing a chorus of insults against him. Makala yenu.

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  13. EARLIER ON @ 2, I HAD SAID ZAMBIANS ARE NOT YET READY FOR ANY CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGES. WHEN THE CURRENT CONSTITUTION WAS DRAFTED, IT WAS KEPT BY KABIMBA. AND ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE. HH AND ALL SORTS OF NGOs OF DIFFERENT COLOURS, HUES AND SHADES WENT ON ROOF TOPS SCREAMING AGAINST PF. THEY WERE CALLING UPON PF TO RELEASE THE CONSTITUTION. THEY EVEN GATHERED AT CATHEDRAL OF THE HOLY CROSS DENOUNCING SATA AND THE PF. SOME NGOs EVEN DARED THE PF THAT “THEY CANNOT RELEASE THE CONSTITUTION” SOME OF THEM STARTED HONKING AND CALLING FOR DEMONSTRATIONS ALL OVER. TRUE TO HIS WORDS, ECL RELEASED YOUR CONSTITUTION. WHAT DO WE NOW HAVE? TOTAL CHAOS. THE CONSTITUTION YOU WERE CALLING FOR HAS EVEN BROUGHT MORE PROBLEMS THAN THE FORMER ONE. THE 14 DAYS YOU DRAFTED FOR HEARING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION…

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    • There are only a few issues that need to be refined in current constitution. It is a very progressive document. Just give it time to be implemented. It is bench marked against the best constitutions in the world. The 14 days can not be an issue because 13 lawyers handling the petition on behalf of UPND failed to read & understand the constitution. Let’s be focused on what Zambia needs as a collective not only what is good for a political party or an individual. God Bless Zambia

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  14. It is abundantly clear that a whole bunch of you bloggers are devoid of a clear history and or understanding of the immediate post-colonial Zambia and the evolutionary path of its key institutions. Your penchance to rely on daily anectdotes without factual context, and that coloured smoke walls of social media are a healthy and sincere source of anaysis is a fact hard to comprehend. You are ruthllessly vulgar with the fathers of the nation, unrelentingly caustic against those who have followed to try and guide the nation, and certainly unappreciative of the real life sacrifices of true field Generals like The Brigadier who fought battles to protect you and liberate our neighbors. And you have the audacity to belittle the commitment and service of Gen. Miyanda? What have you done…

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  15. What have you done for us lately? Politics of opposition are fair game, have been so since 1964. Yet these cowardly outbursts stinking up our cyberspace with sexist vitriol, unprrecedented tribal and moral executions serve no purpose. 21st century, and we are reneging deeper into the abbys of ignorance and misinformation than at any other time. When breakaway UNIP was founded, it was because of philosophical and strategic differences with Nkumbulas vision. It was not a picnic but yet civil. Some thought Kapwepwe diverted on tribal grounds, no. It was an incipient power struggle that mired crosscountry to Mundia and Umozi KumMawa. The politics remained civil for the greater part.

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  16. Some of the comments written by some readers makes my heart bleed. What is wrong with some people? They cannot think properly. What the General has said is true. Remember The General advised the President not to assent the Constitution with his eyes closed. What followed thereafter was comedy in Zambia. Even the Learned Professionals cannot ready and understand the contents of our Constitution. Please Zambians let the voice of the Wise be heard. I rest my case. Long Live the General

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  17. General Miyanda may mean well but perhaps being a good scholar, I think he needs to look at his Petition in the context of the doctrine of Separation of Powers, particularly the first pillar of the doctrine (as espoused by Montesquieu) that there must be a strict demarcation of function between the three organs of the state. Sir, as a political scientist, I have no doubt that you are all too aware that Zambia has been on this route, especially after 1991. So, asking the Speaker to stop or literally ‘halt’ legislation is untainable under our democratic dispensation. The constitution clearly allocates law making function to Parliament. I have no doubt the Learned Hon. Matibini as leader of the legislature is alive to this fact. Parliament will make law, i.e. including amendments e.t.c…

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  18. Obbie sir, i totally agree with you on your assertion of the basic tenets of a Democracy as typically, should be reflected in the seperation of powers. In my view Zambia”s pursuit in this endevour is still a budding one as time and again we experience critical overlaps between different branches of government. The Speaker though, does have to constitutionally filter what would be tabled and ultimately legislated into law. This is a duty not an arbitrary dispensation, Hacken back to the parliamentary tenures of the Hon. Wesley Nyirenda and Hon Robinson Nabulyato .Select key legislations and navigate through the whole process in the daily hansards. You will most likely find that the Generals request actually passes muster. We have to accept that our process is murky but you will come out a…

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  19. a better scholar of political science . If a proposed legislative matter is tabled in the face of valid questions and doubts from citizens, and if clearly certain segments of society are left out of the loop in the fashionig of language and participation in the processm , it begs the question; What is it being tabled, and for whose benefit? What General Miyanda seems to be suggesting is that if what we desire is constitutional mandate, we need full inclusive input.

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  20. Rt. General Miyanda is simply exercising his right to participate in the political affairs of our nation. His influence is what hasn’t been understood. What motivates him?

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