PF playing populist agenda on Constitution Bill – Mumba


GOVERNANCE activist, Francisco Mumba, says the governing PF is trying to play a populist agenda by rejecting some of the proposed amendments in the Constitution Amendment Bill 2019.

On July 15, PF secretary general Davies Mwila issued a press statement, claiming that the April 24 to May 16 National Dialogue Forum (NDF) was not a gathering for the ruling party.

Mwila said the PF was against the re-introduction of deputy ministers.

Mwila’s press statement detailed some of the resolutions made by the PF central committee meeting held on July 8 and claimed that the NDF was a sitting of Zambians.

He stated that the deliberations and resolutions were informed by wide consultation that had been taken within the PF structures, as well as with Zambians.

Mwila also clarified on the PF’s position on respective NDF resolutions.

He stated that the PF supported the proposal to change the electoral system for election of members of parliament under Article 47(2) by the inclusion of a mixed member proportional representational system to include marginalised groups like the disabled and women.

He, however, stated that the proposal to amend the system on voting of the President to include the possibility of forming of a coalition government was not supported by the ruling party.

But Mumba argued that the NDF, the ‘producer’ of the Constitution Amendment Bill 2019, was not people-driven.

He stated that the absence of representation of some key stakeholders at the NDF reduced the exercise to another: “wasteful spending.”

“Constitution-making in Zambia has faced this serious challenge since 1964 because the documents are driven by a few self-interest members of society, as the case maybe now,” Mumba’s press statement issued yesterday read in part.

“The outcome of [the] NDF can best be described as PF-driven and not people-driven. This position is buttressed by the Forum’s inclusion of some discussions such as bringing back deputy ministers, which was rejected by the people before and the sneaking in of a proposal on [formation of a] coalition government. This was not a people-driven idea.”

Mumba stated that it was a foregone conclusion that the contents of the NDF were subjected to both a PF caucus and the party’s central committee before tabling it for open deliberations.

“It is clear that the PF government is trying to play a populist agenda when it rejected some parts of the document which PF had [earlier] agreed, especially when faced with rejection of some resolutions from a cross-section of society,” Mumba stated.

“The rejection of some resolutions from PF came as a surprise, not only to the general secretary of the Rainbow Party, Wynter Kabimba, but to many Zambians.”

Meanwhile, Mumba stated that the absence of the three church mother bodies at the NDF was a serious indicator that the Forum’s resolutions would be opposed many citizens.

“To suggest like Honourable Brian Mundubile, the PF chairman for legal affairs, that representation to the NDF was balanced is difficult to appreciate,” stated Mumba.

“The absence of the church mother bodies is against the spirit of ‘we the people of Zambia’ in the preamble of the Constitution because the church represents the largest constituency of people and their voice to the document could have boasted its legitimacy. Zambia needs a people-driven constitution!”

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