News / Africa

Zambia Minority Lawmakers Demand New Constitution

Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Zambia's President Michael Sata speaks to journalists at the 18th African Union summit in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, Jan. 2012 file photo.
Peter Clottey
Opposition and independent parliamentarians in Lusaka say they will launch a protest in parliament on Thursday to pressure President Michael Sata’s government to outline its plans for the new constitution it promised to citizens, according to Jack Mwiimbu, a legislator from the opposition, United Party for National Development (UPND).

The minority in parliament protested Wednesday after accusing Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba of failing to disclose the administration’s roadmap for a new constitution, prompting the speaker of parliament to adjourn until Thursday.

“Members of parliament have decided that and have resolved that even tomorrow [Thursday] if no tangible direction pertaining to the constitutional making process, the members of parliament will continue with the protests,” said Mwiimbu.

He acknowledged that the planned protests will disrupt parliamentary proceedings.

The ruling Patriotic Front promised to deliver a “people-driven” constitution to Zambians within 90 days in power, during the last general election campaign. Opposition and civil society groups, say now after three years in power the administration has reneged on its promise.

Mwiimbu says opposition and civil society groups have run out of patience with government statements on the issue. 

“Contradictory statements have been made by the president and other senior leaders of the Patriotic Front government to the effect that they don’t need a new constitution. Hence the movement by parliamentarians and other interested parties like the church and civil society, to agitate for the enactment of a new constitution through a referendum,” said Mwiimbu.

Zambia has yet to get a new constitution after 19 years and four different attempts by constitutional review commissions at a significant cost to the taxpayers, according to Mwiimbu.

Supporters of the ruling party say the government needs time to establish a new constitution --  but Mwiimbu disagrees.

“They have been given the adequate time they had requested. They informed members of the public and assured that within 90 days of them assuming office, they were going to deliver the constitution to the people. This is now the third year in office and nothing has been happening,” said Mwiimbu.

Recently, a constitutional review commission’s draft proposal was leaked to the press, which observers say prompted the government to stall on the entire process.

But Mwiimbu says the government needs to act on a roadmap that can be understandable to the public. 

“I don’t think issues would have arisen where if they had given a definite roadmap that is clear and acceptable to all members of the public, [and], that is where the bone of contention is. They have never done that,” said Mwiimbu.
Clottey interview with Jack Mwiimbu, UPND parliamentarian
Clottey interview with Jack Mwiimbu, UPND parliamentariani
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mupelwa Chileshe from: Lusaka Zambia
February 27, 2014 9:03 AM
That's how thi government want zambia to be:they promised and they have failed youths. Are suffering for jobs lack good adress by the president wat kind people are they;in 2016 kuyabebele PF is a dead party I encourage the opposition to continue wat they are doing without fear I for my self will keep encouraging people to change the government in 2016;its so close very;

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid