VJ, LAZ Cautions Over Constitution

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga says it will be very difficult for the Patriotic Front government to convince the masses to vote for them in 2016 if they do not deliver a people driven constitution.

And Law Association of Zambia, LAZ, Vice President Linda Kasonde says the newly launched green ribbon campaign could succeed just like during the anti third campaign when President Frederick Chiluba was halted from going for a third term.

Featuring on Muvi Television’s The Assignment programme, Mwaanga said he did not see any political will from the government to deliver a people driven constitution.

Kasonde appeared on the programme sporting a green ribbon.

“It may be difficult for leaders to swing the votes if there is no new constitution. It could work both ways this is capable of working both ways. If people are promised a new constitution which they are not given this could be a negative for the people who make those promises,” he said.

“It would be very difficult for them to convince people that they fulfilled their promises because they would have reneged on the constitution promise which they made. Not just in the manifesto but in a speech which was made and of all places in parliament by the President of Republic of Zambia on October, 2011 that there will be a new constitution in 90 days.”

Mwaanga said, “I did not expect a new constitution in 90 days but this is a promise which was made, which is making people angry. I do not see the political will on the part of the PF to give Zambians a new constitution before 2016.”

The veteran politician said he did not accept Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba’s suggestion that the Technical Committee did a disjointed job.

Mwaanga wondered how Kabimba had seen that the document was disjointed when he claimed he had not seen the draft constitution.

“Those are the contradictions, if he has not seen it then how does it become disjointed? That is a slur on the Technical Committee, it is a pity that they are not able to respond to that because of the various oaths they have taken. I honestly believe that the Technical Committee did a good job,” he said.

“The Technical Committee comprised honourable men and women who are passionate about Zambia and eager to see a new constitutional dispensation for the country. I doubt very much if we are talking about the kind of people.”

He added: “If what we are seeing on the internet is anything to go by there is nothing so disjointed about the document that came out on the internet? If that is what the final draft is looking like then it is not disjointed.”

Mwaanga also said the excuse that process was expensive was cheap as the PF knew about the cost from the beginning.

“Democracy is expensive, no one has ever said that democracy is cheap and the alternative to democracy is dictatorship and dictatorship is more expensive than democracy. When PF made that commitment in 2011 in their manifesto they must have been aware of the cost implication and when the President announced to parliament that there will be a new constitution he was obviously made aware of cost implication,” he said.

“There are number of cooperating partners that have indicated that in the event that they are approached to fund a national referendum they would consider such a request. Why did the PF and MMD spend so much money up to now? Why did they bother going round to the districts and national conference.”

And Kasonde said it would be a disaster not to see out the constitution making process.

“What we are saying as a grand coalition is that this time we want to see this process from the beginning to the end. We have voted out two Presidents through the ballot and we also had the third term debate which was very effective in preventing President Chiluba from standing,” she said.

“That goes on to show that we don’t necessarily need the will of the politicians it is the people if they actually decide that they can actually effect change through expressing their discontent.”

“I think that is a mistake that the Zambians will sit back with their arms waiting for the government to give them a people driven constitution that is the purpose of this coalition,” she said.

“We are fighting to make sure that this document is delivered to us in the same manner as the anti third term and we are very sure that the people of Zambia will triumph. Power resides with the people of Zambia.”

Source : Zambia Reports

Leave a Reply