(27-04-18) The opposition United Party for National Development has vowed not to support the fraudulent constitution making process which is being championed by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF).
UPND Chairperson for legal affairs Jack Mwiimbu told journalists at a media conference at his office of Friday that the constitution amendment bill which justice minister Given Lubinda intend to submit to Parliament for ratification is not a product of consultations.
He said the PF may have the numbers in parliament but without the contribution of the MPs from the opposition UPND the constitution cannot pass. To pass the constitution, you need two third valid votes which unfortunately the PF does not have at the moment.”
He said during the the consultative process, the Commonwealth that came up with the idea of dialogue identified three issues believed to be the main causes of political tension in Zambia.”
He added that the dialogue was designed to deal with electoral and institutional reforms and to remove ambiguities causing problems in the constitution which he said were responsible for political tension in Zambia. “We must agree as a nation on issues the should be removed from the constitution and those that must be added in the constitution during the dialogue process organises by the Commonwealth.”
He wondered why the minister wants to take the constitution bill to Parliament for debate before agreeing on what should be included or subtracted in the constitution.”
He said the four hours planned by the minister of justice to meet the opposition to discuss the content of the constitution before presenting the bill to Parliament is not enough. ‘It is not possible to meet for four hours and agree on the content.”
He said the Commonwealth initiated the dialogue process to enable the people resolve the issues causing problems and of the issues to be resolved is the constitution.
He said UPND is willing to be part and parcel of the progressive dialogue as planned by the Commonwealth at the time when Zambia was engulfed in turmoil.”
The bill should not be taken to Parliament before the cocensus has been reached to agree on the content
He accused the PF of not interested in the dialogue and that was the reason why it was pushing government to move parliament to enact the constitution without agreeing on the content. “It appears to me that the PF are not the only stakeholders in the constitution making process. When constitution is devoid of consultation is fraudulent.”
He alleged that the the government is not interested in consultation to come up with a better constitution because it has in mind the idea of controlling Parliament. “This is evident by government failure to actualise the Parliament service commission as enshrined in the constitution.”
He the government is also deliberately not presenting the debt contracting bill to Parliament because the government want to contract debts without following the provision of the constitution.