SENIOR Chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province has urged the Patriotic Front (PF) to include the 50 percent plus 1 presidential threshold vote in the constitution.
And Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) executive director MacDonald Chipenzi has said that there would be no going back on the 50 percent plus one vote.
In an interview, Senior Chief Madzimawe said that the people of Zambia have spoken and therefore, traditional leaders must support the calls of the 50 percent plus one to be included in the new constitution.
He said that there was no need for those in leadership to move or run away from what they advocated for, adding that the leaders must realize that laws should protect people now and in the future.
“We shall go with what the people of Zambia want and we shall support that. If our people demand for the 50 per cent plus one vote for presidential threshold vote to be included in the constitution we need to support it because that is what the people want,” he said.
He said that leaders must always bare in mind that the constitution did not represent few people in authority but the entire nation, hence the need and important to listen to the people’s wishes.
“We are aware that some people are not comfortable with the 50 per cent plus one vote but that is what the people want and it is therefore important that you respect the wish of the people. You need to look at it in both ways not because you are not in the opposition today then you want to throw it away. It is not right to go that way,” he said.
And FODEP said that there was no return on the 50 per cent plus one clause in the new constitution because the people of Zambia have already spoken about it.
Mr. Chipenzi said that the PF when it was in the opposition promised the people of Zambia that a constitution could only be a constitution with the full participation of the people.
“There is no looking back, there is no going against what we agreed with the PF when they were in the opposition, we have made our points known that we need to enact a constitution that would and must stand the test of time. We want to have 50 per cent plus one enacted, we want to have cabinet appointed outside parliament, we want Vice president running mate, and we want the actual date for the presidential election noted in the constitution. We want to have an independent Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ), we want a constitution which will stop these unprecedented by-elections because of greediness by those in leadership,” he said.