KABWE residents have told their member of parliament, Tutwa Ngulube, that they would support his support his stance to amend the Constitutional of Zambia if the deems the amendments will help strengthen democracy and improve governance in Zambia.
During a fully-packed Public Forum organised by the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) with the backing of the Constitutional Reform and Education Coalition (CRECO) held at 3 Seasons Hall in Kabwe on Friday, the Kabwe central lawmaker explained in detail the various provisions contained in the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019 and emphasised that President Lungu strives to leave a legacy where the Zambian people themselves determined the kind of supreme law they would want to have.
“Speaking as a lawyer and lawmaker, the current Constitution has serious ambiguities and challenges, which both the opposition parties, including the UPND, identified after 2106 elections and we all agreed the Constitution needs to be amended as matter of urgency. Surprisingly, the UPND leadership has continued on the same path since its formation of not wanting to support progressive efforts to perfect the constitution as long as it is not them driving the process,” said Mr. Ngulube.
Mr. Ngulube alleged that Mr. Hichilema and some UPND members of parliament have always being treacherous when it comes to amending the Constitution because they believe the constitution must only speak to what they personally want and never reach out to draw consensus when it comes to refining the country’s supreme law.
Explaining some provisions, Mr. Ngulube said the PF administration believes that Zambia must remain a Christian nation while upholding the right of other people to practice their religion. He said those opposed to entrenching the declaration of the Christian Nation wants to use the inconsistencies in the Constitution’s preamble to legalise gay behaviours and so have been funded to oppose the Bill which discourages these repugnant practices.
He also applauded the Chiefs, Bank of Zambia and Drug Enforcement Commission for making submissions which were all taken on board and never questioned by the National Dialogue Forum.
“Those who cry that Constitution wants to introduce a recognition of chiefs don’t know what challenges chiefs now have because of power hungry subjects who have brought wrangles in chiefdoms. Others are lying that Government wants to abolish the Financial Intelligence Centre but they must ask the Drug Enforcement Commission who made submissions to change their name to include the work they do in combating financial crimes but not to abolish FIC which the PF Government operationalised,” he said.
Meanwhile, YALI President Andrew Ntewewe said it was saddening that a named professor was flown into Zambia to coincide with the introduction of amendments to the Constitution in Parliament so they could spread lies that amendments to the Zambian Constitution have departed from international norms and practices on the Constitution when in fact the proposed amendments will fall in line with Constitutions that have stood the test of time.
“Only our parliament has the mandate to change the Constitution on your behalf and that is reason you elected them to speak on your behalf. You have heard lies in the past about this Bill from some evil-minded that the Bill will weaken the judges powers when it has been made to provide security of tenure when it comes to removal of judges but it will also ensure the Constitution lasts a lifetime without future amendments,” he said.
And CRECO Chairperson, Hyde Haguta, who is also MISA Zambia Vice Chairperson lambasted some opposition leaders who feel they must continue to bulldoze and frustrate the process of enacting the constitution just because they have so much money.
“As CRECO, we will do anything with the little resources we have to tell Zambians this Bill does not represent the views of Mr. [Edgar] Lungu or his government but it represents the voices of majority Zambians who spoke at different times and through the submissions they made. Those advocating for withdrawal of the Bill must go to Parliament and tell MPs which provisions they don’t want instead of throwing the Bill that has all good provisions.” Said Haguta.