Lubinda breaks rank, demands draft constitution release

Kabwata Member of Parliament, Given Lubinda, has backed calls for the immediate release of the final draft constitution.

“Zambia requires to end the constitution making process like yesterday and government should ensure that whoever is holding on to the draft constitution must release it to the President and the people of Zambia,” Mr Lubinda who is Patriotic Front member said on Tuesday.

Mr Lubinda said this at Pamodzi hotel in Lusaka during the launch of the Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) state of Democratic Accountability in Zambia.

He said Zambians should not abdicate their responsibility of demanding for the new constitution.

Mr Lubinda was reacting to Alliance for Better Zambia Secretary General Shula Mulenga who proposed that the member of Parliament should be given a Green Ribbon so that he could demand for the immediate release of the constitution to the people of Zambia.

The Kabwata legislator said he still maintained his position on the constitution and that he was still a strong advocate of a people driven constitution.

“I want to say to the whole country that my position is the same, the same as I had in 2002. Zambia requires ending this process, and ending it yesterday not tomorrow. We cannot continue to waste time, effort and resources. We ought to bring it to a close in Parliament.  I have not changed positions, I didn’t agree to a motion that government should give a road map because that will be contrary to the aspirations of the Zambians for a people driven constitution.

“The amendment I proposed to my friend Garry Nkombo is to let the motion lead, Can government ensure that whoever is holding on to the draft releases it to the Head of State and to the people so that the stakeholders may come up with the roadmap leading to the giving of the Zambians a people driven constitution, that is my stand and no one and no circumstances shall change that because that is me and what I believe in and I am afraid others don’t believe in that but that is me,” Mr Lubinda said

Meanwhile, the law maker appealed to the Civil Society Organisations to provide a fora for elected leaders to meet their electorates.

Mr Lubinda said it was not easy for elected leaders to meet with the electorates as it was with the CSOs because people were no longer interested in listening but to see things being done.

He revealed that the Lusaka City Council had failed to organise monthly town hall meetings for the members of the public to interact with their elected leaders.

“It is important for elected leaders to meet the electorates but such meetings are not organized. I therefore appeal to the CSOs to engage the LCC and other councils to anchor such meeting. Important issues are discussed during these meetings and these are open meeting that members of the public are free to attend.

“A lot of political parties are assessed by doing so and I would like to urge FODEP to encourage citizens to take keen interest in councils and deliberations of the councils in development issues so that they are well informed. The public gallery at the council is most of the times empty, if they don’t come where else will they get the information,” Lubinda asked.

He said this would enhance the standing of the country in the region as Zambians deserved this right.

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