The PF’s true colours regarding the introduction of the new constitution are becoming more evident everyday. The latest delaying tactics are nothing short of comical. The statement by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice claiming that the 10 copies of the draft constitution that were submitted to the Ministry have been lost, require one to completely suspend belief. In any normal country such an admission would be immediately followed by a resignation from public office and an apology to the nation.
The fact that nobody has been reshuffled or fired for losing such an important document confirms that this sorry and sad state of affairs has the full backing of the President who normally needs no prompting to fire civil servants. So we ask the question, why has no one been fired for losing such an important document? We ask: why has no one in the PF simply requested that new copies be printed? It should by now be clear to any sane individual that the PF will do everything within their power legitimately or illegitimately to prevent Zambians from ushering in a people-driven constitution before the 2016 general elections. In fact, the President’s comments yesterday, instructing his officials to ignore constitution-making debates, pretty much confirms what we have always suspected.
One of the PF’s favourite new excuses for denying the people of Zambia what is rightfully due to them is that we need to prioritise development before a new constitution. They argue that people need roads, hospitals, clean water, schools and jobs before a new constitution can be enacted. What they fail to admit is that ordinary Zambians are lacking these things mainly because our current constitution gives too much power to politicians whose selfish aim is to retain power at any price. When politicians focus on enriching themselves, development suffers and so do the people.
The new constitution is intended to give more power to the people through the establishments of provincial parliaments that will be more directly accountable to local communities in order to ensure that national development is not selective or based on the tribe of the President in power or the party that the Member of Parliament in an area belongs to. Developing our country should not be a lottery awarded only to those who happen to support the party in power. We are all Zambians and therefore we are all entitled to development. Only a new constitution can guarantee this, not the false promises of a heartless party.
We urge all Zambians to do everything in their power to demand a people driven constitution that will reverse the years of incompetence that have seen the kwacha deteriorate to its lowest value in our nation’s history and that has forced ordinary Zambians to have to experience the chaos of panga-wielding cadres and illegal land grabbing without a single word of condemnation from our head of state, not even on his Facebook page. Let us collectively demand a new constitution with the unified cry:‘‘No Constitution No PF’’!!
National Restoration Party
9 April 2014