A letter to Minister Kapeya, End of Game

 By Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda

On 12th April 2013, in response to a statement by the Deputy Minister of the Information and Broadcasting, Hon Mwansa Kapeya, I undertook to respond to his challenge within 24 hours, subject to his responding to my counter challenge. It is more than 24 hours and the Minister has not responded. I am thus ending the duel because it is not worthwhile to debate alone.

Suffice to say that I had no ill motive raising a fundamental question regarding the making and writing of our Constitution. I do not and have never considered cheap publicity as a reason for debate. Debate of national issues is important as long as there is substance and it is devoid of rancour and character assassination. The whole idea is to exchange knowledge, provide leadership and to bond together as civilised human beings. That way we gain fresh insights into new or other ideas that we had not visualised.

Government must not be overly sensitive and defensive. As citizens we are free to dialogue with our Government and participate in national issues either as individuals or as members of a group, including the group commonly called “The Opposition”; it is part of our system to oppose and challenge executive decisions and actions that do not meet expected outcomes.

However what I urge and always hope for in such discourse is a productive outcome that increases our knowledge and understanding of issues as well as compelling the executive to truthfully provide answers. See how many Zambians actually believed the PF 90 day myth and now are frustrated and disillusioned!

The Deputy Minister has tacitly conceded that there is no provision that has been promulgated to establish either the “Committee of Experts” or “The Technical Committee on the Drafting of the Zambian Constitution”.

Hence there is no legal framework vis a vis the route the submissions by the Committee will take and what happens to the document; it is at the discretion of the Executive. It is too late to do anything about this since the National Convention is scheduled to end now. From my side this debate and chapter is closed – NO WINNER, NO VANQUISHED.

GODFREY MIYANDA,

BRIGADIER GENERAL,

HERITAGE PARTY

[16TH APRIL 2013]