Sata closes constituion making debate


PRESIDENT Sata yesterday cleared the air around the constitution-making debate by categorically stating that Zambia is not experiencing a constitutional crisis that must warrant a hasty change instigated by interest groups whose motives remain unclear.
President Sata also took time to explain that he is serving Zambia as head of State and Commander-in-chief of the armed based on the current constitution because it is the one he took oath on when he won a popular 2011 poll.
He was speaking in Lusaka yesterday when he swore in Transport, Works, Supply and Communications permanent secretary Dr Bwalya Ng’andu, who moves to the ministry from the Bank of Zambia where he was the deputy governor of the central bank.
President Sata told the media to “go and tell them [people of Zambia] that we took oath under the constitution…we have a constitution and we have had six elections under the same constitution and we are going to uphold the constitution”.
In recent weeks, sections of the civil society have angered President Sata by continuously calling for the release and even enactment of a new constitution even before the entire process and road map is concluded.
In response the President has restated that he would not be pushed to put in place a ‘half-baked’ document just because sections of a paid-for section of civil society – backed by foreign interests in some cases – wanted a change even before the process was exhausted.
Meanwhile, Dr Ng’andu has pledged to come up with a “robust” programme aimed at enhancing operations in his new portfolio and help boost development.
Dr Ng’andu said that he is going to “prioritise” areas that need immediate attention as he settles down in his new and challenging job.
Recently certain sections of civil society have been demanding the release of the final draft constitution.
President Sata on November 30, 2013 in Mansa stated that there is no need for a new constitution, adding that the current constitution only needs to be “amended”.