NATIONAL Restoration Party (NAREP) president Elias Chipimo has called for the immediate abolition of the constitutional clause that requires a by-election when a member of parliament changes political parties.
According to his latest Parallel Universe Series issue number five posted on his Facebook page, Mr. Chipimo observes that doing away with the clause in question will help to save loss of resources that arises on “unnecessary by-elections.”
Mr. Chipimo said every Kwacha spent on unnecessary by-elections takes away money from planned investments in infrastructure, health, education and from addressing the persistent load shedding and lack of access to safe, clean energy.
“We call upon everyone who wants to fight this abuse of our national resources to support our call for an immediate abolition of the clause in our constitution that requires a by-election when an MP [Member of Parliament] changes political parties,” Mr. Chipimo said.
“A back bencher in Parliament can present a private member’s bill seeking an amendment of Article 71(2) (9). NAREP will play its role in soliciting skills to draft the amendment bill,” Mr. Chipimo said.
He urged civil society organisations to help in sensitising communities “about the cost of inaction.”
Mr. Chipimo said ordinary Zambians can ensure that unnecessary by-elections become a topic of discussion whenever they experience load shedding, travel on a bad road or whenever a Zambian dies “from the consequences of political greed and neglect.”
“The Church can and must speak more loudly on the injustice of placing priority on politics at the expense of development. If everyone plays their part, we can put an end to unnecessary and costly by-elections once and for all,” Mr. Chipimo said.
And Mr. Chipimo has observed that the appointment of United Party for National Development (UPND) Itezhi-Tezhi Member of Parliament Greyford Monde as agriculture deputy minister could trigger another by-election.
He said the explanation by the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) that they have been appointing opposition parliamentarians to government positions because they want to work with everyone, is allegedly meant to “hoodwink the masses.”
“It is very telling that no member of the opposition appointed by the PF has been considered high-calibre enough to sit in Cabinet. Deputy Ministers play a very limited role in governance and their function has become mainly political rather than developmental.
At least when former President Levy Mwanawasa poached Dipak Patel from the FDD, he put him in Cabinet,” Mr. Chipimo said.