MEMBERS of Parliament should rise above partisan politics and exhibit patriotism and support the Constitution Amendment Bill that has been tabled in Parliament so that the country can have a new and people-driven Constitution before the 2016 general elections, the Young African Leaders Initiative has said.
YALI president Andrew Ntewewe said his organization was heartened that the Constitution Amendment Bill 16 and 17 had been tabled in Parliament and that his organisation had unanimously resolved to support Government’s roadmap of enacting the new Constitution.
Mr Ntewewe urged President Edgar Lungu and all the MPs to put Zambia first and ensure that the country could have a new Constitution before the end of December this year.
He said it should be known that the responsibility and duty of making, repealing and enacting laws was exclusively vested in Parliament through article 62 and 78 of the Constitution of Zambia and that Zambians had no choice but obey and adhere to the Supreme law of the land.
Mr Ntewewe challenged MPs who would attempt to frustrate the enactment of the new Constitution by opposing the Constitution amendment Bills in Parliament to resign because they would have failed to be the true representatives of the electorate.
He stated that MPs were the representative of the people and should therefore endeavour to help the electorate understand the implication of the contents of the Draft Constitution and the failure for them to represent the interest of the people.
Mr Ntewewe appealed to the MPs to avoid the temptation of putting their political feelings and affiliation in the constitution-making process because should they take up such an attitude, the country risked wasting the opportunity to have a new and people-driven Constitution.
“YALI would like to remind our Members of Parliament that the duty to make, repeal and enact laws is vested exclusively in the House through Articles 62 and 78 of the Constitution of Zambia which is the supreme law that must be obeyed by all. We therefore call on those Members of Parliament who may not want to discharge their mandate as the people’s representatives, to resign from the House and make room for those who understand Parliament’s duty to the people who constitute the electorate,” Mr Tayali said.
Mr Ntewewe reminded President Lungu that while the Patriotic Front (PF) was enjoying the power of numbers in Parliament, the ruling party should not use the advantage to subvert the will of the people in the Constitution Amendment Bills.
“President Lungu has an opportunity to show Zambians that he means well on the Constitution by urging his party’s Members of Parliament to enact all progressive clauses as contained in the Bill irrespective of whether the PF agrees with them or not,” Mr Ntewewe said.