Saturday, 30 August 2014

VJ Says Ministerial Changes Give Hope For New Constitution

Vernon Mwaanga addressing delegates
By Paul Shalala

Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga, who is popularly known as VJ, says the recent changes in the Patriotic Front-led government may just lead to Zambia finally having the final draft constitution which is yet to be released.

Dr Mwaanga, who was speaking in Lusaka during a general meeting held by the Grand Coalition for a People Driven Constitution, says these changes may just be the hope Zambians have been waiting for.

"You the Zambian people through the Grand Coalition have a constitutional right to demand for the constitution which is yours," said Dr Mwaanga.

On Thursday, President Michael Sata sacked his Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba who presided over the constitution making process from 2012 till last week.

Mr Kabimba's handling of the constitution making process made him an enemy of the civil society which has been critical of the way government has handled the process from its legality to the roadmap.

During the same meeting, Oasis Forum spokesperson Father Cleophas Lungu said the best gift government can give to the people of Zambia for the golden jubilee is a new constitution.

"This is the year of jubilee, a year of a new beginning, a year of justice. The best give government can give us is a new constitution," said Fr Lungu who is also Secretary General of the Zambia Episcopal Conference.

Meanwhile, Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia President, Suzyo Zimba, says no amount of suppressing divergent views will stop the grand coalition from pushing for the supreme law of the land.



"Kaunda came with his tactics and we kicked him out. Chiluba came with his third term, we kicked him out. Rupiah Banda came with his money, we kicked him out," he said.

And speaking on behalf of sixteen opposition political parties, Zambia Development Conference (ZADECO) President, Langton Sichone said political Parties will embark on a countrywide campaign of chants for a new constitution.

Mr Sichone asked all Zambians to start chanting and making noise about the constitution wherever they are adding that: "political parties have the numbers and we can do it."

He further disagreed with Mr Kabimba's recent statement before his dismissal that the final draft constitution had been tabled in cabinet before it is released for actual enactment.

"The constitution must be released simultaneously to the people of Zambia and President Sata. It is our document and it should be given to us, not cabinet," the opposition leader added.

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