Constitution bill 2019 belongs to the graveyard- CiSCA

By staff reporter

THE Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) says Constitution bill number 10 of 2019 is a dreadful one and that it should be buried in the graveyard of all other dead Constitution manipulations by successive governments.

CiSCA vice-chairperson Judith Mulenga, at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday, described the bill as a failed project.
CisCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo, Zitukule Consortium executive director Nicolas Phiri and Governance, Elections, Advocacy, Research Services (GEARS) Initiative Zambia executive director McDonald Chipenzi were the other personalities at the press briefing.

Mulenga noted that while previous governments tried, in varying degrees, to manipulate the outcome of each Constitution-making process, the PF administration had taken it to a level never seen in this country.

“The blatant gerrymandering exhibited in this process is unprecedented in the history of the independence of our country. We are lost for politically correct words to describe bill 10 except to call a spade a spade; bill 10 is dreadful and we call upon the people of this country to outrightly reject this bill,” Mulenga said.

“We must not be fooled into the so-called narrative of focusing on progressive provisions….”

She added that a Constitution could not have provisions that negate essential elements of democracy like the doctrine of separation of powers by removing the oversight role of the legislature on the executive.

“Therefore, we find it hard to believe that the bill could be presented to the same legislature whose authority the same bill intends to remove! It is our considered view that bill 10 is a failed project and should be buried in the graveyard of all other dead Constitution manipulations by successive ruling parties,” Mulenga explained.

Mulenga also indicated that the fact that the PF was desperately circumventing the due process of amending the Constitution was confirmation that the PF’s moral compass is pointed against Zambians.

She noted that the PF government had: “fear of losing power,” no wonder the rush to carry out Constitution amendments.

“We would like to graciously inform the PF that the funeral dirge they hear in their heads is real, though there is still time to redeem themselves and deliver to the people of Zambia a Constitution that commands everyone’s respect and loyalty,” she indicated.
Mulenga urged members of parliament: “who genuinely represent the will of their electorate” to reject bill 10 by not opening the Constitution to any form of amendments by defeating the bill.

Meanwhile, Mulenga told Zambians to take keen interest in bill 10.

“The Constitution affects us all! Talk to each other about it while at work, on the mini-buses, on footpaths, in barber shops, at hair salons, at kitchen parties, at cilanga mulilos, weddings, funerals etc,” said Mulenga.

“Let us keep talking and talking and talking till President Lungu, his Minister of Justice [Given Lubinda] and his Attorney General [Likando Kalaluka] respect the will of the people.”