HH orders UPND MPs to oppose the Constitutional Amendment bill
By Staff Reporter
JUSTICE Minister Given Lubinda says the Constitution refinement process will go ahead next month with or without the participation of the Opposition Alliance.
UPND president Hakainde Hichilema on Monday said his party would not support the constitutional amendment bill when it is tabled in Parliament.
However, Lubinda said the constitution refinement process would commence as scheduled in the second week of March.
He said the government was confident that once this process was complete, the Constitution Amendment Bill which requires a two thirds majority vote in Parliament would go through.
Lubinda has expressed optimism that some Members of Parliament from the opposition would vote with the ruling party to pass the Bill.
Lubinda told Parliament on Friday last week that cabinet approved the roadmap for the constitution amendment process.
He said government would spend K2 million on the process and asked stakeholders who include political parties to participate and support the process.
Hichilema however told a media briefing in Lusaka yesterday that the PF was dodging the dialogue process to reach a consensus so that they manipulate the constitution in parliament.
He said that the UPND would not participate in the process if the PF did not want to dialogue to iron out various issues of national interest.
“Parliament cannot represent the interest of all Zambians, the 17 million Zambians must decide what goes in the constitution not parliament which is the child of the people’s constitution”, he added.
Also present at the briefing was National Democratic Congress Consultant Chishimba Kambwili who accused government of wanting to manipulate the document to pepertuate their stay in Power.
“We need to dialogue and agree on what should be contained in the document so that when the document goes to parliament, we don’t waste time debating it,” he said.
And Kambwili said K2 million is too much tax payer’s money to use on such a process.