Zambians do not need a good Constitution but a good leader because with bad leadership, the constitution will only be a useless book, Vice-President Guy Scott has said.
Dr Scott said Zambians should not fall into the trap of the combined efforts of opposition political parties, the church, civil society organisations, trade unions and student of demanding for a new Constitution because it was not a magic bullet that would guarantee solutions to their social and economic challenges.
Dr Scott said even if the country had a good Constitution, the document would be a useless book with a bad leader stating food, health and jobs would not be provided using a new and good constitution.
The Vice-President was speaking on the Zambia National Broadcasting Cooperation (ZNBC) Sunday Interview programme hosted by Grevazio Zulu.
Dr Scott said if Zambia did not have good people in leadership, the new and good Constitution would not govern the country stating that the Supreme law of the land would be nothing but just a book.
He said although Zambians were demanding for the release of the draft constitution and its road map that would lead to the enactment of the new Constitution, what they should know was that the document would not be able to guarantee food and good health to the citizens.
The Vice-President stated that the new Constitution would not mean anything if the country had bad leadership arguing that it was nonsensical to indoctrinate citizens with beliefs that the constitution would bring food on their table.
He said Zambia was not in a constitutional crisis and did not see reasons why the Grand Coalition along with the opposition political parties were agitating for country wide peaceful mass demonstrations.
Dr Scott has cautioned that the Patriotic Front (PF) as the party in government was growing in strength in Parliament and could easily change the constitution unilaterally if Zambians kept on pushing for the new Constitution.
He bragged that the PF had gained 10 more seats from the last 22 by-elections and that President Sata had managed to win 10 more MPs from the opposition MMD and UPND who were serving in government as deputy ministers, making the ruling party dominant in Parliament.
He alleged that the Grand Coalition in collusion with the opposition political parties were playing politics over the constitution making process warning that those pressing for the release of the draft constitution could not do that to the PF because it was a sitting government.
“What is it that can change in the new constitution Zambians are demanding for that cannot be changed in the current and functional constitution? You do not need a good Constitution but a good leader. If you do not have good people in government, the Constitution cannot govern, it will be a book. The Constitution cannot guarantee food, jobs and good health care. I do not want to get into the constitution debate but would rather retire,” Dr Scott said.
Dr Scott also said he did not know how the traditional leaders that have been lined up to discredit the draft constitution had seen the draft they had been condemning because according to him, the document together with its report was still with the Technical Committee.
The Vice-President has reaffirmed government’s position that those who leaked the draft constitution to online media should be investigated and punished because government had not yet received the document.
He said it was government’s position that the draft constitution and the report should first be seen by President Michael Sata for further consultations before it could be released to the public.
He said the draft constitution was not a constitution but advice to government on what do with the recommendations and the submissions the Zambians have made.
Dr Scott said he could not guarantee that the constitution would be enacted through a referendum because the process was extremely costly adding that those demanding for the referendum would not be able to fund the process.