Good laws better than good President – VJ

VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga says Zambia does not need a good President but a constitution which will be appreciated by all Zambians.

Dr Mwaanga said it was unthinkable and unacceptable for the country not to have a clear road map on the new constitution-making process.

He was speaking yesterday on a live radio programme on Lusaka’s Millennium Radio.

Dr Mwaanga said Zambians deserve to be given a new constitution by the PF government because it was a promise made by the ruling party when they formed government in 2011.

He said there was need for the new constitution to be released to Zambians so that issues of power can be decentralized.

“It is unthinkable and unacceptable that there is still no clear road map on the constitution and government is still dillydallying to release it even after the technical committee handed it over to the government. We need a decentralization of power and equitable representation not only in Parliament but also in councils where people are able to decide for themselves. What we have now is essentially a one party constitution,” said Dr. Mwaanga.

“Government is now saying it should not be pushed over the constitution. I don’t accept that argument myself. Zambians need the constitution because the process has been going on for 11 years now. It is unacceptable for the country to continue using a one party constitution,” said Dr. Mwaanga.

He said Government was not being pushed because they promised the people of Zambia a new constitution within 90 days and when you look at the old constitution the now police service is still being referred to as state police.

Dr. Mwaanga further charged that politicians should be held accountable for their promises so that they could fulfill what they promised.

“The people of Zambia must hold the PF accountable on promises they made. Three years of being in power, they still don’t have a road map on the constitution?” he asked.

He said there was no need for government to intimidate citizens when they complain of something wrong because citizens have the right to complain.

“The overall objective of the constitution is to uplift people’s lives and growing the economy with creation of employment,” he observed.

Dr. Mwaanga commonly known as VJ has encouraged those involved in the constitution making process to engage in meaningful dialogue over the final draft constitution.

He said it was unfortunate that the Zambia Centre for Interparty Dialogue was now dormant.

And commenting on the privatization of the country’s mines, Dr. Mwaanga said that there was nothing wrong for the MMD government under the leadership of President Fredrick Chiluba (late) to have taken such a step.

He said that privatization managed to raise the country’s economy from zero to seven percent.

“It is a pity that the country’s mine industry went through privatization but it managed to raise the country’s economy from zero to seven percent. Those who were responsible for privatization did their best for the country. Yes, there may be some mistakes but what we have is a growing economy,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Mwaanga declined from commenting on Wynter Kabimba’s dismissal by President Michael Sata and instead advised politicians to respect each other’s opinion.

“I don’t want to talk about Wynter Kabimba because I have a principle of not talking about individuals. That is an internal issue within PF,” he said.

On political maturity in the country, Dr. Mwaanga said he would like to see politics of maturity being exhibited in Zambia.

“Politicians should learn to respect each other’s opinion. Politics is not about insults and violence but competing with ideas. I would like to see politics of maturity in Zambia,” he said.

Dr. Mwaanga condemned the growing arrogance by some PF ministers.