Catholic slight

The decision to declare periods of national mourning rests with the President.

There are many reasons why the President may have decided not to give late Cardinal Merdado Mazombwe the honour of a national mourning.

It is not for anybody to question Presidential prerogative.


Constitution in limbo

 Our draft constitution is in Limbo.

According to Catholic theology Limbo is that region that straddles hell and heaven. It is the place where unbaptized but innocent or righteous souls, as those of infants or virtuous individuals who lived before the coming of Christ are reposed.

 This is the place where our constitution is currently nesting, waiting for an initiative that      will move it forward or forever keep it cocooned.

One thing is for certain. The Patriotic Front has no intention whatsoever of embracing let alone adopting the draft constitution, given the “contentious” clauses that Vice President Guy Scott has already spoken against.

Unless somebody, a collective or institution takes full ownership of the “leaked” drafts and charts a clear way forward the constitution is likely to remain in Limbo.

This is where unity of purpose becomes important. The Constitution is a national document and the leaked draft presents sterling effort that should not go to waste.

Using Solons wisdom the draft must be made to live, to come out of limbo and gain the place it so richly deserves.

The PF is opposing the 50+1 clause for very obvious reason. Ironically it is for the same reason that Zambians want the clause because it will put an end to minority Presidency. This clause will ensure that a President will have allegiance to a national rather than sectarian cause.

Our current demographics are so evenly balanced that no single tribe, not single grouping and indeed no single class will gain ascendancy purely on the grounds of their affiliation.

The reality is that the MMD, like the PF won the elections because they espoused and stood on a popular agenda which gained resonance across the breadth and width of the nation.

Zambians are very quick to identify with progressive ideas. The youths of all shades voted overwhelmingly for the PF because of the promise of more jobs and more money in the pockets.

It is a pity that once in power the election promises have been forgotten, the PF has instead gone into mega projects that are benefiting Tenderprenuers rather than the many un-employed youths.

As we have said before, the constitution will form the bedrock of our nascent democracy. It should provide a level playing field for all contestants seeking office in 2016 and unless opposition parties and civil society come together to pressure for the enactment of a new constitution, the abuses of Police and other institutions will continue thereby disadvantaging opposition parties.

The challenge therefore is for Narep President Elias Chipimo, a lawyer to work together with his colleagues to find a way forward.

This is not the time for quibbling and equivocation. It is a time for collective decisive acation to ensure that our country is saved from tension, strife and political acrimony whioch have become  commonplace.