Minister of Justice Given Lubinda says the tendency by the opposition political parties to clamor for participation in the governance of the state is misplaced.
Mr. Lubinda says the role of the opposition anywhere in the world is to come up with alternative programmes and not to be participants in the governance of the country.
He said for any given time, there is always one governing party that is accountable to the people of Zambia.
“For the time being, the only one who is accountable to the Zambian citizens is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and not opposition leaders, it is him the people will demand answers from, if things are not working out as expected in the country, the rest can just oppose without saying “let’s sit and govern together”, he said.
He appealed to the opposition political parties to desist from trying to find back door processes of governing but rather concentrate on winning the hearts of the electorates through their manifestos.
Mr. Lubinda said President Edgar Lungu had a constitutional mandate to govern the country and deliver on his electoral promises that included the refinement of the National constitution.
He said Government has no hidden agenda with regards the refinement of the National constitution as has been insinuated by some political stakeholders.
“We have no hidden agenda, if we had bad motives, we could have published the constitutional amendment bill and sent it straight to parliament as required by Article 79 of the Constitution, but President Lungu wouldn’t want to use article 79 without giving Zambians an opportunity to contribute towards the process”, the Minister said.
And Mr. Lubinda has disclosed that the Public Order Amendment bill will be published in the first week of March adding that government’s intention is to publish the Public Order Act before the Constitution Amendment Bill.
He said the Act would be released to the Parliamentarians, the political parties and the Church Mother bodies for consideration.
Mr. Lubinda said the Government will thereafter release the 2018 Report of the Constitution refinement process prepared by technocrats who met in Siavonga and later call for a national validation meeting to validate all submissions.
Mr. Lubinda was speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia when he transited to Brussels to attend the European Union 7th International Congress on Ending the Death Penalty.
The Minister who was met by Zambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, Her Excellency, Ms. Susan Sikaneta said President Lungu had so far commuted 332 prisoners on death roll to life imprisonment.
This is contained in a statement issued to the media by First Secretary for Press and Tourism at the Zambian Embassy in Ethiopia Inutu Mwanza.