The UPND are ready to participate in the upcoming parliamentary by-elections in Malambo, Mulobezi and Petauke Central on June 30 2015 alongside our allies and supporters. Because by the current defective constitution, these elections must be held.
By the time these elections take place the people of these constituencies will have been without a representative in Parliament for over two years. While we are glad the situation will soon be resolved this delay is unacceptable and the victims of this delay are the constituents. Long delays and by-election after by-election have become defining characteristics of the PF Government, which continues to play politics while the needs of Zambians across the country are neglected.
In the history of Zambia, the 2011 elections have had the highest number or petitions. Yet this is the same electoral system that elected Edgar Lungu.
Once again, despite the tight budget Government find itself working with, more and more money will be spent on by-elections that would be better invested in improving the quality of education or the access to healthcare. When people ask us why we need a new constitution, its exactly this kind of wastage we are trying to avoid.
To ensure that in the future such revenues are not wasted on politics but are instead invested in the Zambian people it is essential that judicial reform is undertaken to increase the independence of the judiciary.
A few weeks ago Chief Justice Mrs Ireen Mambilima called for the full independence of the judiciary, both operationally and financially. We support this call wholeheartedly. By ensuring the judiciary is fully empowered the Courts will be able to resolve such matters with greater efficiency and will be better protected from any political interference or pressures. As the current Government is no longer hiding that they will not deliver the new constitution before the 2016 elections in its entirety let them at least deliver some positive change in this respect.
UPND Chairperson for Information and Publicity