Discard Constitution Bill, Grand Coalition tells MPs

Filed under: Statements |

Fr-Chiti1The Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People Driven Constitution has urged Members of Parliament to reject the Constitutional Amendment Bill 2015 presented to Parliament by Government, and demand the enactment of a new people driven constitution.

Grand Coalition Chairperson Fr. Leonard Chiti in a statement to QFM News says Members of Parliament who will debate in support of a Bill that does not even guarantee the rights of their electorates will be watched closely and that the Coalition will follow them to their constituencies.

Fr Chiti says the tabling of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2015 in Parliament by Government is a clear violation of the democratic practice in the constitution making process and also the PF manifesto.

He says it is the conviction of the Coalition that Parliament has no power to give Zambians a new constitution which the PF government consistently promised them while in opposition and after being ushered into office.

Fr. Chiti says it has become clearer now that engagements government purported to have undertaken through the ministry of Justice were purely window dressing engagements and consultations.

He says the Minister of Justice had already predetermined position of usurping the powers of the people to adopt their own constitution through a referendum.

Fr. Chiti adds that those who participated in these consultations can now attest that Government’s use of a Parliament route to avert the new constitution was already hatched solidly protected and the resultant constitution will be in the image of the PF government.

He states that the Grand Coalition will not support any route that removes from the Constitution and treats the Bill of Rights as a secondary matter.

He says this destroys the very bedrock of Zambians’ existence.

Fr. Chiti has reiterated the Grand Coalition’s long standing view that the parliamentary route of adopting the new constitution is treacherous and that they will not support it, neither will they be part of any process that is trying to validate this route.

He adds that in an effort not to be abused and used by the PF government on this process, the Grand Coalition has decided to decline a request from the National Assembly through the Committee on Legal, Gender and Human Rights to make submissions on the Constitution Amendment Bill.

Fr. Chiti has further instructed all Grand Coalition member constituents not to validate what he has described as a fraud process.

One Response to Discard Constitution Bill, Grand Coalition tells MPs

  1. The New Constitution is too Expensive for Zambia. I have read all the 276 Articles and I am very surprised that the Grand Coalition and the Opposition have been touting it as the best for Zambia to be adopted wholly through a referendum. Here is why it is not suitable for Zambia:

    Articles 57, 72 (9) and (167) do not do away with Parliamentary and Local Government by-elections and ;
    Article 60 (4) (a) introduces a Political Party Fund
    Article 68 (2) expends the size of Parliament to over 250.
    Articles 101 ((3) and 102 (5) introduce a by-election within 37 days in case no presidential candidates more than 50% of the vote or the winning candidate is nullified
    Article 116 provides for a Cabinet selected from outside Parliament. Article 117 provides for Provincial Ministers outside Parliament.
    Article 118 introduces 11 Parliamentary Secretaries in Parliament in addition to other Constitutional Office Holders and various Services, Commissions and Independent offices (Article 225).
    Article 122 and 128 provides for a Supreme Court and a Constitutional Court which rank equal (Duplication).
    Article 131 provides for a Court of Appeal while 134 maintains the High Court?
    Article 141 maintains that the President shall appoint the Chief Justice and President of the Constitutional Court (Separation of Powers)
    Article 153 introduces Provincial Assemblies with over 50 members per province (500 members nationally, with 30 Provincial Speakers, Deputy Speakers and Clerks – Article 158) in addition to support staff.
    Article 178 maintains the House of Chiefs of 50 members and 1 Clerk (Article 180). Why not fuse them into the Provincial Assembly and Parliament?

    This is why the articles need to be debated.

    Pariotic Citizen
    October 30, 2015 at 10:32