9.5 C
Alba Iulia
Sunday, April 11, 2021

UPND had to Amend Its Constitution to Position Itself to Face the Challenges of Today’s Zambia

Columns UPND had to Amend Its Constitution to Position Itself to Face...

By Charles Kakoma,Member of the National Management.

The United Party for National Development (UPND) Constitution was amended at the just ended General Assembly of the party. We have seen a lot of debates surrounding the UPND Constitutional amendments. What really was amended?

A lot of research was conducted in coming up with amendments to the UPND Constitution. It was necessary to amend the party Constitution to reflect today’s Zambia. The underlying philosophy was to come up with a Constitution that will re-unite and rebuild the country. Re-uniting and rebuilding the country also became the theme for the General Assembly. The party looked at the constitutions of various political parties in Zambia and other countries in order to come up with a constitution for UPND that will reposition the party to face the challenges facing the country today and in the future.

We found the Constitution of the African National Congress (ANC) of South Africa particularly inspiring. Being the oldest political party in Africa, born in 1912, we needed to learn something that has kept ANC together for such a long time. We drew heavily from the ANC model to come up with the UPND constitutional amendments. In the ANC model, many of the party executives get elected to a pool and thereafter are assigned to various portfolios. Apart from the president and a few people who are elected directly to some positions, everybody else gets elected to the pool.

The concept that was relevant to the UPND was ” election to the pool.” Therefore, apart from the UPND President who should be elected directly by the electoral college to the position of party president, everyone else who wants to be a member of the National Management Committee gets elected to the pool. After being elected to the pool, the winners can then be assigned positions in the National Management Committee.

The UPND Constitution, even before this year’s General Assembly, already provided for the election of members to the National Management Committee under Article 52 and 60. Due to misinterpretation in the past, some people were vying for specific positions in the National Management Committee. It became necessary to amend the Constitution to delete an article that referred to portfolios in the National Management Committee. These portfolios will now come under subsidiary regulations of the party rather than the party Constitution.

It was also necessary to amend the UPND Constitution to provide for only one vice president. In the past, the UPND Constitution provided for four vice presidents. These were vice president (administration), vice president (politics), vice president (economy) and vice president (gender). The position of vice president in charge of gender matters was never even occupied by anybody in the past. The existence of many vice presidents created unnecessary confusion among occupants of the positions as some of them thought that they were more senior than the other vice presidents. The chain of command was also difficult to follow as there were different centres of power.

The Constitution was also amended to include mayors and council chairpersons as delegates to the General Assembly. At the time the old UPND Constitution was formulated, the country did not have mayors and council chairpersons who were directly elected by the people. As people’s elected representatives in the local government system, it became necessary to amend the UPND Constitution to provide for the mayors and council chairpersons to be part of the electoral college at the General Assembly.

It also became necessary to amend the UPND Constitution to align it with the Republican Constitution in terms of values and principles of equality, gender representation, regional representation and non-discrimination. In this regard, the UPND Constitution was amended to increase the number of women and youth in decision-making positions in the party structures. For example, the member of vice women chairpersons was increased from two to three at provincial, district, constituency and ward levels to align it to the national level where the women chairperson is already deputised by three other women. Similarly, the constitution was amended to provide for more youth in the party structure as described above for women.

The constitution was also amended to give some powers to the president to nominate people to the National Management Committee to take care of any shortcomings arising from intra-party elections in terms of gender and regional representation as well as skills and persons living with disabilities.

All the Constitutional amendments were subjected to a vote at the General Assembly. For the Constitutional amendments to pass through, it required a two-thirds majority of all the delegates at the General Assembly. It actually took almost the whole day during the General Assembly to vote on the constitution. It partly explains why the General Assembly took long to conclude because the constitution had to be passed first before proceeding to elect members of the National Management Committee.

The final product is that the UPND now has a constitution that unites the party and the country. The UPND has now positioned itself to face the challenges of today’s Zambia.

30 COMMENTS

  1. That is the way to go. The Party showed that it has a Vision. Constitutions are man made and should be reviewed to reflect changes globally and in Zambia. The UPND Virtual Convention was a model which other Political Parties can emulate. It was good that the Party Constitution was aligned to the Republican Constitution. Good wishes for HH and UPND Alliance in the upcoming Elections on August 12, 2021.

    3
    3
  2. NOW THAT IS A START… WHICH MEANS HOPE WHICH MEANS WE MAY BE SAVED.. WHICH MEANS WE MAY MAKE ZAMBIA GREAT AGAIN

    6
    6
  3. Mr. Kakoma is telling us that in the past the UPND was not well positioned to face the challenges of Zambia in the past and may this can be attributed to the past losses during elections. Going forward why is the Party taking long to announce the various positions that are supposed to be filled up by the members of National Management Committee and also the 30 members who are supposed to be nominated. The UPND think making statements in Lusaka will win them elections instead of moving fast to go into top gear.

  4. Still doesn’t take away the fact that hh has been president since 2006, 15 years!!! Facing the challenges of today’s Zambia??????

    9
    2
  5. The South African constitution allows for a recall of MPs including the President . The Zambian constitution does not provide for recall. How are harmonising the two?

  6. WHO CARES IF 90% ARE HIS APPOINTEES AS LONG AS IT WORKS !!!!!!!!!
    ISNT THAT WHAT THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT IS DOING
    WAKE UP WE EITHER DROWN OR WE SWIM >>>>>>>>>>
    YOU LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS

    3
    4
  7. They changed their constitution to allow tribal hh to stand for the 100th time. This is what tribalism can do

    9
    5
  8. The PF is surprised that the most populary voted members of the NMC in the UPND are from the northern or bemba region.
    Mutale Nalumango and Patrick Mucheleja polled the highest votes beating the southeners.

    5
    4
  9. SOME MOTOR MOUTH IS POSTING UPND IN EVEERY SENTENCE
    NOW IF THEY ARE A FAILED PARTY AND PF IS WALKING THE NEXT ELECTION
    WHY BRING THEM UP ALL THE TIME ?? JUST SHOWS YOU STARTING TO SHAKE IN YOUR BOOTS
    AND RIGHLY SO

  10. I feel for Zambian voters; elections are in 4 months and both the UPND and PF don’t have manifestos yet. The PF doesn’t even have a website! When Chiluba and Sata ran for elections, everyone knew what their agendas were, even children, but in the case of HH and Lungu, its still a guessing game. This leads to tribal voting and its dangerous for the nation.

  11. Every time UPND goes to the convention, they bring impromptu changes to their constitution. But nothing looks to be all embracing because it lacks inclusiveness. There is nothing new the party brings forth as it repositions itself for another August electoral loss!

    1
    2

  12. For a long time, we have raised questions about your Charter and have you often resulted in calling us names here and there.

    Therefore, it’s a good thing that you have moved from a Monarch and Tribalism mentality to a Democratic and Consensus outlook. This itself confirms you have not been ready for the big occasion.

    It also appears like a lot of UPND bloggers have been blind or not bothered to look at the UPND Constitution. And because of that, they have often just used insults when confronted with the truth. Put it simply, HH was running UPND like is a personal corporation or Kingdom. It’s about time, power was given to the whole UPND Family.

  13. Whether they amend the constitution or re-write it altogether. How does it matter to people of Zambia? It is the constitution of a political party, run by an autocratic individual. Let him do whatever he wants to, with his party. Anyway, he will not come to power.

    1
    1
  14. Instead of conducting ‘lot of’ research to amend the constitution, they should have researched on why people are not supporting UPND. That would have been more beneficial to the party. And what’s the outcome of after the so called research….. centralization of power with one man who is president! In fact, they need not do the research for this. It is already in the organisation. Now, it has got endorsement of party constitution.

  15. The way constitution has been amended, it is not difficult to imagine their idea of‘re-uniting’ and ‘rebuilding’ Zambia. Hakainde Hichilema wants to keep the party in his control. He will do the same with us if comes to power.

  16. Everyone else in a ‘pool’ (or should we call puddle), but only HH will contest for the post of President! Great! Amending the constitution just before elections was a nice move to keep the party leaders in dark and prevent them from filing nominations for the post of party president!

  17. Yes. Only one vice president, so that there is no one to challenge supreme leader and party owner Hakainde Hichilema. He turned out to be more cunning that most of the people ever thought.

  18. What on earth is electoral college? Who are the members? Has anyone in the party seen them? What does the college do, only ‘Yes Sir’ to whatever HH says?

  19. No matter how many times the constitution is amended. The ultimate truth is that the party will remain under sole control or Hakainde Hichilema. He is the lifetime President of the party.

  20. Even if there is no constitution, the party will have no problem. Hakainde Hichilema is the only constitution of UPND.

  21. Enough of the democracy talks. You should have allowed nominations for the post of party president. The fact that there was a nomination fee of K1000 for the post of president, proves that you give a damn to democracy and transparency.

  22. What was the need of such a long article when everyone in UPND is comfortable with the amendment? What are you trying to prove? Why the desperate efforts to convince people about the amendment? What does a common Zambian has to do with your party’s amendment and what happens to it!

  23. I wonder what research was done when the outcome was already know. Sajani wrote the constitution a long time ago. Only a Tonga….

  24. Kawasaki! Where are you to go with a chicken costing K105? You guys swallow your pride. Vote HH for prosperity and sane development.

  25. Bane, it is about a constitution of a party and instead of discussing the merits and demerits of it, some are bringing in tribal issues. It seems even so called intellectuals cannot read and understand what is in the article. Please debate the content and if you are biased, it is ok to keep quiet. Instead of exposing your hate for individuals. Some guys cannot see anything through objective lenses. I know there is freedom of expression but keeping ethics in doing so is important for nation building.

Comments are closed.

- Advertisement -
Loading...

Latest News

Educational and Cultural problems cannot be isolated from our overall socio-economic situation

By Fred M'membe President of the Socialist Party Underdevelopment is, among other things, lack of learning and lack...

More Articles In This Category

- Advertisement -