PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu wants to push the constitution-making process down the throats of Zambians by saying whether we like it or not he is going to refine the supreme law of the land, says Josephs Akafumba.
Commenting to President Lungu’s speech during opening of the fourth session of the 12th National Assembly on Friday, Akafumba said the statement was shocking but not surprising.
“His statement merely confirms the suspicions that we have had all along that this refinement of the Constitution is a PF programme and they merely used the NDF (National Dialogue Forum) as a mask to hide a direct recognition by the people that the PF was behind the NDF,” the NDC vice-president said. “Because if it was the people’s establishment there is no way President Lungu can say that whether the people like it or not he is going ahead. This is his programme, it is a Lungu constitution meant to ensure safe passage for him in 2021 [general elections]. The President of his status, who is a lawyer and claims to have been
elected not by those ghost voters in Lundazi, is supposed to listen from the people. It’s not good. How can he say whether we like it or not, is it his country? Is it an offence to give him a chance to lead? It seems now we are being punished, that is why he says whether we like it or not, I am going to push this constitution down your throat. People of Zambia please wake up, this one (President Lungu) is a wrong person, the earlier he goes the better.”
Akafumba said President Lungu’s kind of constitution-making where a leader says whether “you like it or not” has only got roots in highly dictatorial countries.
“And that is what Zambia has become with President Lungu who is a lawyer at the helm,” he
Akafumba said a constitution by its nature was a people’s document and that submissions to amend any clause comes from the people.
Akafumba, a lawyer and former justice permanent secretary, said in a normal society it is the people who must demand any refinement or amendment to specific clauses in the constitution.
“This PF scheme to secure victory for President Lungu in 2021 at all costs will not succeed. I don’t know, up to now I am not too sure whether it was the slip of the tongue for him to say whether people
like it or not he is going to refine the Constitution,” he said. “Therefore, this is not the people’s constitution, it is a Lungu constitution and he will go with it, he will go with it in 2021 and he has only got 23 months. We are calling upon all members of parliament who were present yesterday (Friday), they heard it for themselves, that voting for this constitution bill in Parliament when it comes up will be merely abandoning the people and supporting the view of an individual who is President Lungu who wants to prolong his stay in 2021.”
Akafumba urged MP’s to side with the people and refuse to be used as rubber stamps by President Lungu.
He reminded the members of parliament that allowing President Lungu to get away with his selfish desires by passing the constitution bill presented to them by the NDF would be subjecting Zambians to continued poverty, high unemployment rates and allowing corruption and theft.
“Our MP’s have a chance to say no to this dictator in President Lungu or they will be subjecting Zambians to further misery,” said Akafumba.