UNITED LIBERAL PARTY President Sakwiba Sikota S.C
UNITED LIBERAL PARTY President Sakwiba Sikota S.C

ULP Submissions To The Parliamentary Select Committee To Scrutinise The Constitution Of Zambia Amendment Bill No. 10 Of 2019

The united liberal party would like to thank the chairman of the select committee and the committee for according the party an opportunity to submit a memorandum on ramifications of the proposed amendments.

We wish from the onset to state that the united liberal party and its membership are in full support of the constitution of Zambia amendment bill no. 10 of 2019.

We believe the bill is very propgressive in dealing with various concerns such as wasting public resources through unnecessary by-elections, political violence and gender equity that have been raised by several stakeholders regarding the governance of the country and particularly on how we conduct our elections.

We also wish to emphasize that the ULP respects the views of other stakeholders who have raised concerns on the bill and it is our position that our presentation to the select committee will help clear the fears raised on the bill.

We will focus on the following proposed amendments:

1. Concerns Raised By A Few Stakeholders On The Proposed Introduction Of Mixed Member System Of Electing Members Of Parliament Under (P) Article 47(2)

Our position as a party is that this will address the independence old problem of equal representation in the National Assembly between men, women, young people and persons with disabilities.

It is a known fact that the National Assembly has been dominated by men ever since its first sitting. And this proposed article is designed to ensure fair representation of all categories of our society in parliament.

The NDF resolutions to introduce a mixed-member system under proportional representation to ensure political parties have an opportunity to include women and youth in the selection of Members of Parliament.

2. Fears By A Few Stakeholders That Amendments To Article 144 On The Removal Of A Judge Will Dilute The Independence Of The Judiciary

Article 144(1) of the constitution states that, “The removal of Judge may be initiated by the Judicial Complaints Commission, or by a complaint presented to the Judicial Complaints Commission based on the grounds specified in Article 143.

The proposed amendments to Article 144(1) states that, “The removal of Judge may be initiated by the Judicial Service Commission.”

The contention by some stakeholders is that the proposed change in the institution that handles the removal of Judges will lead to dilution of independence of the Judiciary.
The position of the party is that this does not dilute the independence of the judiciary but will enhance independence of the judiciary, especially that the same institution responsible for the welfare of the judiciary will also be responsible for holding Judges accountable of their actions or omissions.

It is also standard practice among commonwealth countries from which we derive most of our practice that the Judicial Service Commission is responsible for initiating removal of Judge.
It is also standard practice among other public commissions in Zambia such as the Police and Prisons Service Commission and the Public Service Commission despite have complaints bodies (Police Complaints Authority), The Police and Prisons Service Commission is responsible for initiating removal of a Police officer or Prisons/Correctional Services officer.

3. Fears By A Few Stakeholders That The Words “AS May Be Prescribed By Parliament” In Various Articles Of The Bill Means Increasing The Powers Of The Executive?

The party position is that this actually gives power to the National Assembly to come up with legislation that protects the integrity of the Constitution and ensures that none of the three arms of government will act arbitrary in executing its functions.
Allowing Parliament to decide on how various public institutions conduct affairs including the courts will not any anyway transfer power from the National Assembly to the President?

4. Another Contentious Issue Consitently Referenced By A Few Stakeholders Has Been The Number Of Days In Which The Constitution Court Could Hear A Presidential Petition.

The NDF resolved to extend from 14 days to 30 the number of days in which the constitutional court can hear a presidential petition.

The proposed amendment in Article 103(2) states that, “The Constitution Court shall hear and determine an election petition filed in accordance with clause (1) within thirty days of the filing of the petition.

The party believes this is adequate time in which to determine the presidential petition.

5. The Other Matter Of Contention By A Few Stakeholders Is The Election Of Mayors And Chairpersons; Some Stakeholders Contend That It Would Be Undemocratic To Reintroduce Of The Election Of Mayors And Council Chairpersons By Councillors.

The current constitution in Article 154 (2) (a) states that, “A Mayor and Council Chairperson shall be elected – (a) directly in accordance with 47(3) during elections for councilors, as prescribed;
The proposed amendments in Article 154(2) (a) states that, “A Mayor and deputy Mayor or Council Chairperson and a deputy Council Chairperson shall be elected – (a) by councilors among themselves, as prescribed;

The party believes this amendment is necessary to stop the wastage of public resources of electing Mayors and Council Chairpersons by public ballot because the general public would have participated in the elections through their councilors. This proposal also reduces the risk of political violence which accompanies most by-elections.

We should as a country also look at those with whom we share common democratic values such as the United Kingdom whose democratic credentials are among the most respected in the world.

Each time a vacancy has occurred in the office of prime minister of the United Kingdom, the new prime minister has been elected only by members of the party from which the previous prime minister was elected. This is true with Mr. Boris Johnson the current Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

When Mrs. Theresa May resigned from the position of Prime Minister of the UK, it was the Conservative Party only that was given the opportunity to elect the current prime minister.

We should bear in mind that the Prime Minister of the UK has more responsibilities to govern a country as compared to the Mayor of Lusaka even the Mayor of London and yet to find a replacement only slight over one hundred thousand members of the ruling conservative party were involved in electing the prime minister.

6. The Other Article Which Has Caused Concern By A Few Stakeholders Is The Forming Of A Coalition Government By A Presidential Candidate Who Has Acquired More Votes Than Other Presidential Candidates But Has Not Received More Than Fifty Percent Of The Valid Votes.

Article 101 (3) (a) of the current constitution state that, “if at the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than 50 percent of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held with thirty-seven days of the initial ballot, where the only candidates shall be the presidential candidates who obtained-

(a) The highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot;

The proposed amended Article 101 (3) (a) states that, “if at the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast,

The candidate with the high number of votes cast shall, within fourteen days of the declaration by the Retaining Officer of presidential election results negotiate and form a coalition government with a presidential candidate that participated in the initial ballot, except that the combined votes of that presidential candidate and the preferred presidential candidate forming the coalition government meet the threshold of more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast.

This the party believes sums up aspirations of the majority of the Zambia population, that is to say reduced presidential by-elections violence, stop or avoid costly by elections and enhance the spirit of dialogue among political players in Zambia.

Conclusion:

There are several provisions that everyone agrees with as being positive and likely to bring happiness. It surprises us that some people say we should postpone everything in the Bill even though they acknowledge that a good number of the provisions will bring happiness.

Let us not forget the wise saying from American entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker, Jim Rohn who said, “Happiness is not something you postpone for the future, it is something that you design for the present.”

A number of things in this bill will bring happiness today that we should not postpone to the future. There are a few examples we wish to give.

Why should we postpone the happiness that would be brought with the savings we would make from not having mayoral bye elections?

Why should we postpone the happiness that we would get from a lesser campaign period to shorten the tensions and disruptions campaigns bring?

Why should we postpone the happiness that a reasonable time for disposal of presidential election petitions in the court would bring?

Why should we postpone the happiness that would come with greater women representation in Parliament by a proportional representation system with gender quotas?

Why should we postpone the happiness that would come with greater youth and other marginalized groups representation in Parliament by a proportional representation system with youth and marginalized groups quotas?

Why should we postpone the happiness that greater and more inclusive participation in the affairs of governance by provision for coalition government?

Some people say that coalition governments should only be used in a parliamentary rather than a presidential system of governance. The first things the proponents for this argument forget is that our political system is neither purely parliamentary or presidential. Ours is a mixture or blending of presidential and parliamentary system. You cannot therefore place our system completely into either the “presidential system box” or the “parliamentary system box”

The second thing that the proponents of the fit it into the “presidential system box” or the “parliamentary system box” forget are the wise words of an American motivational speaker who pointed out that, “We are trapped in our own patterns and we are our own worst enemies. Yesterday’s presumptions shape your attitudes today and tomorrow.” This in itself limits us.

We have had several constitutional changes and these always seem to come to naught. This is because we have not heeded what Einstein stated thus, “You cannot solve a problem with the same thought process that was part of creating the problem.” This means that if you want to change the system you have to have a solution from outside the system because anything within the system is part of the system.

This means you have to think outside the box. Be it the presidential or parliamentary system box. Thinking outside the box is metaphor for thinking unconventionally, in a totally different manner, or from an innovative perspective. This entails novel or creative thinking.

Some people say, “Instead of thinking outside the box; get rid of the box.” We do not need to place ourselves into the two boxes of “parliamentary system box” and “presidential system box”. If thinking outside the box is good, then thinking outside two boxes is doubly good. Think outside the two boxes or get rid of them.

In short, The United Liberal Party believes Bill No. 10 of 2019 will help lessen electoral violence, increase participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in the governance of the country. The Bill will also enhance accountability and reduce wastage of public resources.

[Read 2,932 times, 1 reads today]
Loading...

29 COMMENTS

  1. Does this party exist? These are parties which only become active closer to election time. Reminds me of my Zambian ex girlfriend who only showed me love closer to Xmas Valentine’s or her birthday because she wanted gifts. Whereas my white wife actually looks more forward to my special days **********

    10

    2
    • Zimbabweans last night questioned how and why Herald and the VOA obtained immediate access to the missing Hospital Doctors Association president, Peter Magombeyi… interrogated him leading to him being arrested and charged. The manner of questioning or interrogating appeared strongly to trap him while he is in this state of being unwell, after going missing for over 5 days.
      None of these two media houses pursued or bothered to investigate evidence of clearly written threats to abduct Dr Magombeyi contained in an Aug 28 SMS message, something that could easily be done by a High School student within minutes.
      It is without question that the doctor is a victim of torture beginning with the threat that he received 3 weeks ago via SMS on his cellphone. No sane journalist repeatedly…

      0

      0
    • … No sane journalist repeatedly interrogates such a person for answers concerning his health (same question over and over) after going missing for over the 5 days.
      For goodness’ sake, the man even narrates saying he was electrocuted. This means interviewing such a person is unethical and even illegal until after they have been clinically cleared.
      It is because of those two interviews that police have since arrested Dr Magombeyi. There is clear video recorded evidence that VOA Zimbabwe is working for Mnangagwa. We even have official VOA correspondence proving this. Another piece of evidence is Marvelous Nyahuye Mhlanga announcing she is now working for Mnangagwa to do Social Engineeering work for him. Thursday’s video programming work comes in perfect timing with the UN summit in what…

      0

      0
    • … Thursday’s video programming work comes in perfect timing with the UN summit in what appears to assist ED so he is not challenged on Dr Magombeyi’s abduction once in the US at the weekend.

      0

      0
    • You should have been UPND president.
      You’re very wise and categorical.
      On the 50% + 1 threshold, the good example is the happenings in Israel. Even after a rerun, candidates have failed to garner electoral prescribed munition necessary to form Government. Winner takes all was brilliant for our likes. When I said there is danger for worst case scenario of an endless rerun, some characters on this podium didn’t figure it out. They took it literally. Zambia hasn’t got money for reruns believe me.

      6

      10
    • Chikkala Sakwiba littole fye…
      Good human body given to extremely lazy di*ck.
      I can’t even read, but I know whatever he submitted is GOOD, but That is some worsted Politician, a very very useless lazy grown man.
      Can you imagine he is brother-in-law to Vice-president Inonge??
      Why worst a name of SIKOTA pali uyu chikkala?

      3

      2
  2. A party with no representation in parliament has time to convene and come up with one consensus for a national matter but a party with 30% representation are failing to sit and choose to listen to the dictatorial commands of its tribalist fanatical leader to abandon their constititional duty to debate this bill and walk out of Parliament (and still draw taxpayers’ allowances…). WHAT A SHAME.

    5

    8
    • They are a dark spirit of doom and stagnation. No objective heart for the nation.
      What do expect from witchhunters? Witchhunting day in day out.
      Indeed shameless impes.

      4

      5
  3. It’s very tiresome reading some comments here. I wish there was even a semblance of intellectual maturity. Commentator’s are only interested in their perceived author’s character and not in the substance or lack thereof his argument, so sad!

    11

    0
    • Don’t be sad naimwe ba Sikota. And don’t insult my people here.
      There are people whom we know and listen to.
      If Sinkamba writes we stop and READ, even if it’s useless topic we read.
      If Sinkamba make submission on constitution, we will read.
      If Sakwiba makes submission, we don’t read.

      3

      0
  4. When is Sakwiba Sikota going to leave us alone. We tired of this guy because his brain stopped working a long time ago. He should leave us sober people to decide the fate of this country. The fool has been part of a group of people that have caused a lot of damage to our country.

    0

    0
  5. Bo Sakwiba, in the unlikely event that Lungu wins with a simple majority vote but falling short of 50+1 and with 100+ MPs, you as ULP president comes in a distant second with only Livingstone as a parliamentary seat, and then HIS HONOR (HH) comes in at third with 58 MPs, what logic would that be that you and Lungu should form a coalition? To circumvent this conundrum, I submit that Zambia needs to choose between Presidential or Parliamentary system! Trying to adopt a smart system is surely only lead to mayhem considering the general intellect levels of the voters!

    5

    0
  6. But may I hasten to add that these are
    very well thought out submissions and one can only pray and hope the “stakeholders” can sober up and look at the problem and try “not to postpone the happiness” for later. My other prayer and wish is that Lungu should associate himself with your ilk and not with acquaintances to kaweche and goswami!

    1

    2
  7. My heart breaks. I used to mistake this guy for a genius each time he was in court so I was mistaken. If
    Just read his statement – A few this, a few that, so him Sikota is in the majority – kikikikikikikikiki
    The candidate with the high number of votes cast shall, within fourteen days of the declaration by the Retaining Officer of presidential election results negotiate and form a coalition government with a presidential candidate that participated in the initial ballot, except that the combined votes of that presidential candidate and the preferred presidential candidate forming the coalition government meet the threshold of more than fifty percent of the valid votes cast. What? Negotiating with someone who got 0.8% of the total votes cast. This is criminal and shameful to say the…

    2

    4
  8. Forgive this man Sikota (Which also means The Rejected Tree aka nincompoop). UPND did very well to reject this Gold digger! He has seen an opportunity to salvage his one man party using a coalition arrangement with PF! Be careful PF with some of these tuma parties! The people have said NO to your illegal Bill! If you truly want peace, drop that Bill as it does not have the blessings of the people! The Mwanakatwe and other Constitutional Review Commissions already did their job of getting people’s submissions on what they want in the statutes! All Bill 10 proposed changes are at great variance with what people submitted! If you insist that we are no longer a Democracy of the people, for the people and By the people, then go ahead and set a deadly snare and trap for yourselves!

    2

    2
  9. NONSENSE
    Thank God, he left to form his own party which is now a surrogate of the PF.
    The same thing would have to any other political party he would have led.
    From 3 MPs to Zero .

    0

    1
  10. SAKWIBA SIKOTA HAS PRESENTED A WELL REASONED ARGUMENT AS TO WHY PARLIAMENT SHOULD PASS THE AMENDMENT UNLIKE DICTATOR HH WHO HAS JUST IMPOSED HIS SHALLOW VIEWS ON ALL UPND MPs. LET ALL MPs FOR ONCE USE THEIR SMALL BRAINS TO DISCUSS THE NDF RESOLUTIONS AND IMPROVE OUR CONSTITUTION

    3

    3
  11. A well presented contribution that is non-partisan something UPND under their deluded leadership will never do for they don’t know how to play effective balance and checks as the main opposition. HH is dull politically. Let him stick to business for he has brains there

    4

    1
    • Abena Sikota,
      How on earth can a lawyer think that votes cast for candidate A can magically be transformed into votes for candidate X?
      Here is a man who knows deep down that even Muliokela will beat him at the polls and his only mission in life is to ensure that HH loses by hook or by crook!
      Since when did the people of Zambia reject the submissions made to the various legitimate Constitution Review Commissions in favour of the sikolongingo NDF of only 400 selected pipo?

      1

      1
  12. @ two learned (LOL) members of ntelligentsia (LOL)
    Do you imbeciles know the difference between:
    a) maybe, and
    b) shall
    Same question applies to the SC. Sikota in addition to:
    Do you realise risks that inclusion of “as prescribed” poses?
    Shame, once brilliant legal mind reduced to scavenging and soul selling in order to survive.

    12

    1
  13. ba lungu is an underdog for this position.Bachepa
    Zambians took chance to vote for a kachasu chap.
    Please zambians our country is zambia only.
    We can not suffer like wild dogs in a desert.

    4

    0
  14. Kangwa and Nostradamus you are shallow thinkers you focus on Hon Sakwiba Sikota as an individual, the two chaps have failed to see the points in ULP submissions. I will however comment on David N’s comment. The coalition government is not about individuals, state counsel Sikota is one the very brilliant lawyers we have in this country, he leads a political party devoid of any tribalism. The ULP submissions are in line with the aspirations of the majority of Zambia who believe by elections are a waste of resources. A coalition government will also promote accountability in government. If ULP and PF form government in 2021 via a coalition then it means they agree on various policies apart from tribalism.

    0

    0
  15. Mubanga has a point people should focus on issues not individuals, the constitution does not mention individuals, if HH can today convince the people of Zambia that the UPND is no longer party of “ONLY A TONGA CAN BE PRESIDENT OF UPND” may be UPND will be number 3,. We the people of Zambia have not forgotten that Sakwiba Sikota did not lose to Hakainde Hichilema at the UPND convention, there was tribalism, changing of voters registers and delegate lists. This was confirmed by the man who incharge of the scheme late UPND SG Tiens Kahenya. I believe the United Liberal Party make a lot of sense. This country is bigger than one individual or tribe. Well articulated ULP and President Sakwiba Sikota

    0

    0

Comments are closed.