Constitution making process not abandoned – Scott

Vice President Guy Scott
Vice President Guy Scott

—Vice President, Guy Scott, has assured the nation that government has not abandoned the constitution making process as being espoused by opposition political parties and civil society.

Dr Scott says the delay in enacting a new constitution has been necessitated by government’s resolve to come up with a constitution that suits and meets the dynamism of the country in meeting the aspirations of the people.

He said this yesterday in Livingstone when he addressed a Patriotic Front (PF) party meeting at the Civic Centre.

He said the Technical Committee Drafting the Constitution has failed to justify proposed wholesale changes to the current constitution as reflected in the draft copy.

The Vice President said there has been no strong reason advanced for demands to change the British style of governance that has nominated and elected members of parliament forming Cabinet and to the American style of Cabinet where cabinet composition is drawn from outside the circles of parliament.

The British system has worked for over 500 years. It has got its own weaknesses and the owners have not complained, and it has been working here,” he said.

Dr Scott said government is strongly opposed to enacting ideological fantasies from the draft constitution such as the right to food because they are unrealistic and inapplicable.

The Vice President also urged party members to bury their differences and focus on reorganising and strengthening the party in Southern Province in order to gain political foothold.

He noted that Southern Province is a difficult province but advised PF members to point out the developmental projects being undertaken by the government in order to woo members.

Dr Scott reminded the party that there are four by-elections in Petauke Central, Malambo, Kasenengwa and Vubwi Constituencies in Eastern province that need to be won.

And speaking earlier, Foreign Affairs Minister, Harry Kalaba, dispelled conceptions that President Sata has deliberately made Southern Province lag behind in development.

Mr Kalaba said President Sata moved the provincial capital from Livingstone to Choma in order to accelerate development in Choma and the rest of Southern province.

He said the province has received the highest budgetary allocation in the 2014 national budget to spur development in the region.

Also speaking at the same meeting, Southern Province Minister, who is also PF Provincial Chairman, Daniel Munkombwe, implored the Vice President to compel Ministers and Members of Parliament to visit PF structures than wait for 2016.