THE amendment of Article 101 (3) of the Constitution by the just-ended National Dialogue Forum to provide for a coalition government is a lot of nonsense meant to perpetuate PF stay in government, says Chishimba Kambwili.
Reacting to the NDF technical committee consensus on amendment of Article 101 (1) of the 2016 amended Constitution to provide that where presidential candidates fail to reach the 50 per cent plus one threshold, they shall be given 14 days to negotiate and put together a coalition government with a political party that participated in the initial ballot, Kambwili said this was a bad law which should not be entertained.
The Wynter Kabimba chaired technical committee proposed the amendment and the Forum later reached consensus on the amendments.
Article 101 (1) of the 2016 amended Constitution states that a President shall be elected by registered voters in accordance with Article 47 (1) and Article 101 (2) states that the returning officer shall declare the presidential candidate who receives more than 50 per cent of the valid votes cast during the election as President-elect.
101 (3) states that if at the initial ballot a presidential candidate does not receive more than fifty per cent of the valid votes cast, a second ballot shall be held within thirty-seven days of the initial ballot, where the only candidates shall be the presidential candidates who obtained – (a) the highest and second highest number of valid votes cast in the initial ballot; or (b) an equal number of the valid votes cast in the initial ballot, being the highest votes amongst the presidential candidates that stood for election to the office of President.
101 (4) states that a person may within seven days of the declaration made under clause (2), petition the Constitutional Court to nullify the election of a presidential candidate who took part in the initial ballot on the ground that – (a) the person was not validly elected; or (b) a provision of this Constitution or other law relating to presidential elections was not complied with.
But Kambwili, a former Roan member of parliament, said the actions of the NDF were predetermined to suit the PF.
“It’s all nonsense, it’s nonsense…like we said it’s meant to serve the PF, to perpetuate their stay in government. That simply means that if PF had 46 per cent and FDD had 5 per cent, they can ask FDD to add their 5 per cent and form a collision government. This means it’s not the people of Zambia that have voted the government into office by popular vote but it is a small party that makes PF form government. It doesn’t make sense,” he said.
“They know these dynamics that they cannot meet 50+1 so they can get two or three small parties and form coalition government. This is a bad law and cannot be entertained. Let’s just go back…if nobody has reached 50 per cent +1,we go for a re-run, that’s all. What they are planning is a lot of nonsense. Just like members of parliament are scared of district commissioners, that saying that they must wait for two years is because they are just scared. Usually what happens is that district commissioners take advantage of the absence of MPs and start campaigning and when it comes to picking who should stand, they are picked as candidates. So the MPs were doing this to protect themselves.”
Kambwili further criticised the NDF resolution that civil servants wishing to take part in partisan politics would have to resign and wait for two years to do so.
He said the members of parliament who deliberated on such a law were lazy and scared of district commissioners.
Kambwili said the civil service had the best brains and crafting a law to stop them for two years was nonsensical.
“This is typical of members of parliament who are lazy. This is also stupid and also unacceptable that civil servants must stay for two years before engaging in politics. All you are trying to do is eliminating the educated from politics because the civil service has got the best brains, so why would somebody resign, stay for two years? Why not say three months off and three months they take part in politics? Why give them two years? That’s denying civil servants…you just want civil servants to be voting for you but you don’t want them to be involved in politics,” said Kambwili.
“Everything being done at the NDF is for the sake of voting PF into office. Like we said, this was pre-determined and we have been vindicated and that’s why some of us refused to go there. And these small parties like, small parties like ehhh, this one for Kabimba, this party, what do you call it? Rainbow, think they can use their small percentages they usually get to get into government, it’s a lot of nonsense, a lot of nonsense!”/