Major changes to the Constitution require more than mere majorities, they need overwhelming consensus.
But Stephen Kampyongo, the Minister of Home Affairs, says, “We have been on this route before; the current Constitution we have had people opting not to participate but it’s here so, our plea is that we don’t miss this opportunity. We appeal to the people’s representatives to come on board. This bill is not for the Patriotic Front – it’s for the people of Zambia. So, we all need to cast out emotions….”
This Constitution (Amendment) Bill is not for all Zambians, it’s for Edgar Lungu and his minions’ political survival.
It’s not difficult to prove that there is no broad agreement for the amendments to the Constitution that Edgar and his minions want to make.
Such major changes to the Constitution require more than mere majorities, they need overwhelming national consensus, which is currently nowhere to be found.
Nothing has been done to build up such a consensus.
It is often said that when major political or constitutional change is proposed in a polity with a longstanding and stable tradition, the burden of proof weighs more heavily on those who want the change than with those who don’t. That is why such change more often than not requires broad consensus.
We need a process that is inclusive and not one that is imposed on us by Edgar and his minions.
An inclusive process will attempt to draw in all key stakeholders to the constitutional negotiations. Special efforts will be made to reach out to all segments of society, including marginalised segments of society.
The process must be transparent. It shouldn’t be dominated by the elite in closed conference rooms.
To ensure national ownership, solutions to conflict and division must be found if a durable peace is to have a chance.