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Lungu’s crazy Constitution changes will destroy our country

One doesn’t need to have the legal or constitutional law knowledge of Professor Muna Ndulo or State Counsel John Sangwa to realise that there is something wrong with the way Edgar Lungu wants to change the Constitution.

A little sight, if that is all one has, is what is needed to see through Edgar’s selfish and evil scheme to change the Constitution.

Edgar’s intentions don’t need long disquisitions to discern. It is clear to all that he wants to address his personal electoral fears. It has nothing to do with the good governance of the country or the welfare of the Zambian people. It is all about Edgar’s political survival.

“This constitution amendment is about power; it is about winning the 2021 election no matter how you try to mask it. It is about winning elections in 2021. The Bill is about reversing whatever advances we made in 2016,” says Sangwa. ” I’m not wearing any partisan lenses or anything like that. There’s one thing I will say, though, which is that I have taken the liberty to examine every provision in the Bill. And I can tell you without any doubt that there’s no single progressive provision in that Bill; zero! What you’re trying to do is to undo the progress we have made, which you shouldn’t. It [current Constitution] is not the best, but it’s something we can do with; it’s better than where we have come from. The making of a constitution has always been a political decision. Whoever is in power makes that decision and they have themselves in mind when drafting the constitution, or their enemies in mind. They never have the general interests of the country at hand, that is the problem. So, we need to find ourselves in a situation whereby whoever is in power will put aside his own personal interest and then be able to facilitate a constitutional process that is beneficial to the country, without factoring his own interests into the equation, which is the problem with this particular exercise. So, for me, this [current] Constitution as it stands is more than suitable, more than adequate for the next election. You don’t need to change anything. Why is it that presidents find it so easy to change the constitution? It’s a trend now, every president wants to change the constitution. Now, why is it so? There’s only one explanation: we have elected bad people. We have elected bad people to the office of president. If you put criminals in power, no matter how good your Constitution is they will pull it down. But I have confidence in Zambian voters because they are smart. If they were not smart [Dr Kenneth] Kaunda would have been president after 1991. If they were not smart, [Fredrick] Chiluba would have succeeded with his third term bid. If Zambians were not smart, Rupiah Banda would have won the 2011 elections. And the same can happen in 2021, that’s how smart Zambians are.”

Clearly, what Edgar is trying to do in haste and panic is really crazy.

As Prof Ndulo rightly puts it, what Edgar is trying to do will end up destroying the very foundation of our Constitution.

“The constitution of any country, including ours, has a properly defined structure. We have the Executive, the Legislature, and the Judiciary; that’s is the structure of our Constitution. But this proposed Bill is a project to put more power on the Executive and disadvantage Parliament. Therefore, the whole process is unconstitutional. For example, Article 107 seeks to stop Parliament from inquiring into the physical and mental condition of the President. It is taking away the power of Parliament. When you go further, the Bill seeks to remove presidential tenure limits. We are literally saying we want to have a life president. Secondly, it is taking away parliament’s power to approve debt that the government wants to contract. The Bank of Zambia amendments are also really terrible. They want to take away the Bank of Zambia’s supervisory role over the economy, yet, it is Central Banks that control the economy all over the world,” says Prof Ndulo.
Edgar’s crazy changes to the Constitution will destroy us and our country. They must be stopped.

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