Grand Coalition cannot interfere with amending constitution

Sunday Chanda
Sunday Chanda

THE Patriotic Front (PF) says the Grand Coalition on the Campaign for a People-Driven Constitution cannot usurp or interfere with the powers of the legislature by standing in the way of its mandate.
PF Media vice-chairperson Sunday Chanda said Parliament has powers to amend the law.
“It is unthinkable for the Grand Coalition to argue for Parliament to abdicate its powers to civil society groupings. The excitement by Grand Coalition to exaggerate their prominence on matters of the constitution is not informed by nationhood,” he said.

In a statement released yesterday, Mr Chanda said it will therefore be irresponsible for Zambia to surrender legislative decisions to civil society organisations.
He charged that the Grand Coalition knows too well that Zambians remain divided on the content of the final draft Constitution.
“We wonder therefore why a civil society grouping such as Grand Coalition continues to underplay the importance of consensus before it is subjected to a vote,” Mr Chanda said.
He said the Grand Coalition knows that the logical route to go is that what can be amended in less costly ways.
“It must be a source of concern that the Grand Coalition does not want to discuss or debate contents of the final draft constitution but would rather the process is rushed into a referendum when the

majority of our citizens have not been allowed to debate what concerns them the most,” Mr Chanda said.
He said if the Grand Coalition seeks to remain relevant to the constitution-making process, it is called upon to focus on things that matter and not merely dwelling on peripheral issues of process.
Mr Chanda said it is misleading for the Grand Coalition to assert that the approach to handling clauses that can be amended is against the expectations of the people of Zambia.