LAZ warns of constitutional crisis

THE Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) has warned that Zambia is on the brink of a constitutional crisis if the current political instability is not resolved.

LAZ president George Chisanga said although there was no constitutional crisis at present, the country was t0ttering on the brink of a constitutional crisis because of the high expectations of citizens from those in leadership.

Mr Chisanga said the glaring inadequacies in the current Constitution had created a “constitutional impasse” and warned that if the country was going to fail to have a new and people-driven Constitution, there was a danger that Zambia could slide into a constitutional crisis.

He told journalists at a media briefing yesterday that many of the challenges the country was going through could have been avoided had the new Constitution been enacted.

Mr Chisanga said with what the country was going through after the death of President Michael Sata, there was a possibility that the nation could be tittering on a constitutional crisis unless drastic measures were taken to avert the situation.

“We do not have a constitutional crisis but with what we are going through, we are tottering on the brink of a constitutional crisis. The expectations people put on the leadership are too deep and Zambians must be given what they have been demanding for a long time. The death of President Sata has revealed glaring inadequacies in our Constitution and that is why we want a new Constitution.

“Many of the challenges the country was going through would have been resolved if we had the new and people-driven Constitution,” Mr Chisanga said.

Mr Chisanga said it was the demand of LAZ that the presidential candidates for the January 20, 2015 presidential election should pledge to enact a people-driven Constitution through a referendum.

“Our experience as a nation after the death of President Michael Sata is merely one example of the need to reform the current Constitution and how the needs and aspirations of the Zambian people could be better met,” Mr Chisanga said.

And Mr Chisanga said LAZ was studying the action by Secretary to Cabinet Roland Msiska who made reshuffles at Permanent Secretary level which saw Chanda Kasolo being transferred from Luapula Province to the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting Services.

The transfer of Mr Kasolo saw Bert Mushala being taken to Cabinet Office and assigned to special duties. Mr Chisanga said the association would soon, after studying Dr Msiska’s action, give a comprehensive statement on the transfers. LAZ has also advised political parties that the selection of presidential candidates by various political parties should be done in an orderly and peaceful manner.

Mr Chisanga said the association was awake to the fact that political parties were private clubs whose rules and procedures were best handled by their members.

“However, it is the expectation of LAZ that this process will be smooth and orderly and will not spill over to adversely affect the lives of the Zambian people.  “LAZ also calls upon the law enforcement agencies to maintain law and order in the country without fear or favour and without regard to social and political affiliation of persons that will be found to have breached the law,” Mr Chisanga said.