CIVIL Society for Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) chairperson Bishop John Mambo says it will be disaster for Zambia if the PF constitution-manipulation gimmicks succeed. In an interview, Bishop Mambo said the 2019 constitution amendment bill would draw the country backwards. He said if Zambians wanted a constitution that could stand the test of time, they would have looked at the drafts from previous review commissions which reflected the will of the people. Bishop Mambo urged members of parliament to vote against the National Dialogue Forum constitution amendment bill when it comes to Parliament.
“The constitution of Zambia amendment Bill of 2019 should not see its day in Parliament. 55 years of independence, our MPs should stand to the challenges of putting the country, Zambia, first rather than representing their interests. Both the opposition and the ruling party, independent members of parliament, should seek their conscience and go back and look at the technical committee report.”
“This constitution amendment will draw us backwards. Those that in the past fought for our rights, now you want even to rubbish them…This is foolishness in the Christian nation. If this gimmick on the constitution goes through, with stubbornness in numbers, it will be disaster for our nation. I will live to see into it that we have change of government. We are going back to the drawing board…my question is when are we going to have a constitution that will stand the test of time?”
Bishop Mambo said politicians must for once stop insulting citizens as the NDF resolution was too costly the nation.
“What we are doing is an academic exercise which is very costly at the expense of the country, Zambia. We need a supreme law of the land in the name of the constitution which will prevent all of us, which will remove these name callings, which will remove this cadreism, which will bring about sanity,” he said. “Also portray Zambian as a Christian nation, of people that fear God. If MPs are going to debate using their blood rather than their hearts, this will not help us. For the first time they should stop insulting the people of Zambia.”
Bishop Mambo said Zambia was a democratic country and it should not shrink the democratic space of civil servants who aspire to lead. He said the absence of free and fair playing field for political activities would curtail the tenets of democracy.
“We are saying abash to deputy minister and other proposals. As a country, do we have the means to meet those proposals? Whatever we want to put forward should advance the future aspirations of the people and the country, not taking us backwards,” he said. “Why should someone whom you have not paid his dues, having served, be removed from the payroll? Why should a civil servant who chose to serve the people of Zambia be forced to resign two years before aspiring to stand? Democracy means that be free to serve at all times. Now, in this case we will end up having worse civil servants than ever before…”
Bishop Mambo said Zambians had gone through many storms and that the oneness should not be taken for granted.
“Please Zambians before this thing shows its ugly face into Parliament, our MPs both in the ruling party, opposition, independent, they must for the first time give Zambia fresh air to breathe before the 2021 elections,” said Bishop Mambo. “Now, if you are saying this is what you want to take to see us into an election that will give us peace and stability in 2021, I think it will be mockery. Our friends in the region are wondering what has gone wrong with Zambia. Malawi was known to be the most-friendly country in Africa, the most docile people, the most acceptable people, probably in the world. Today, look at what is happening? They are our neighbours, we were a federation as Rhodesia and Nyasaland. We are the same village. The young nation is showing us that we should not tamper with people patience. Now this does not mean that it should come to Zambia no! But it’s merely a warning that when your neighbour’s house is on fire, you can’t sit by and fold your arms. Get a bucket and quench that fire.”