The Young African Leaders Initiative has unveiled Bill Boards that accurately explain the provisions of Bill No 10 which seeks to amend the Constitution.
During a press briefing held at Mika this morning, YALI President Ntewewe said his organisation’s continues to engage the public in civic education on Bill 10 for them to appreciate the provisions and intentions of Bill No 10, contrary to what those opposed to Bill 10 have been championing.
“The idea was to simplify the essence of the Bill even to those living in the per-urban areas without access to traditional and digital media platforms,” he said.
He said YALI is targeting high density communities such as Bauleni, Chawama, the communities from Dambwa in Livingstone and that all citizens living along Great East Road, Along Chilumbulu Road will be able to see the messages.
“In Kitwe all those coming into town Parklands area will be able to gain insights on what really is in Bill 10. And all those living in Kapiri including those traveling to the Copperbelt, Northwest, Luapula, Muchinga and Northern Province inter-crossing the Junction will be able to read and understand the 5 basic important elements of Bill 10,” said Ntewewe.
In those communities, resolving of succession wrangles involving chiefs is important to safeguarding the dignity and honor of the chiefdoms while also promoting peace and development in their communities.
YALI has isolated 15 messages about what is in Bill 10 and the five messages include Bill 10 reaffirming Zambia as a Christian Nation.
“It is only true that once enacted, our Constitution will reaffirm the Christian character of our nation under the supremacy of God Almighty. This will, not in any way, stop other persons from exercising their right to religion and worship because that right will remain protected by the Rights enshrined under Part III of the Constitution and recognised in the revised preamble itself,” he said
Other messages include that Bill 10 will change the current electoral system to a multi member electoral system for electing our members of Parliament. This means that our Parliament will be a multi-member Parliament with guaranteed seats for women, youth and persons living with disabilities.
This proposal is meant to ensure our electoral system lives upto the principles set out in article 45 that require gender equity and representation of special interests groups in Parliament, that is, the youth and the disabled.
Mr. Ntewewe also says Bill 10 will continue to support delimitation of electoral boundaries, thereby contribute to creation of constituencies and wards, where existing ones are too big.
But by introducing a new electoral system, the framers of Bill 10 made it clear that new constituencies will be created, on an equal basis in provinces, as safer seats for women, youth and persons living disabilities.
He said when constituencies are made smaller, it is easier to deliver development as we have seen when districts have been created.
“Bill 10, colleagues, will allow our chiefs through the House of Chiefs to be involved in resolving disputes in chiefdoms, contrary to what you have been told that the President is the one who will be empowered to deal with these issues,” said Ntewewe
The proposed Article 165(3) clearly states that:
“Where there is a dispute in respect of an appointment or election of a chief and the dispute is not resolved in accordance with the culture, customs and tradition of the people to whom it applies the dispute shall be resolved by the House of Chiefs”
Mr Ntewewe also says Bill 10 will increase the days of hearing a presidential petition from 14 days to 30 days. This will afford ample time to those who lose an election as it happened in 2016 to present their petition to the court and for the court to determine the same.
“In fact, the Judiciary which includes the judges who hear these petitions were of the view that the petition require a minimum of 45 days for the court to dispense justice by hearing and evaluating the evidence. So this is good for all parties in an election rather than those who are already in government”