Katele salutes Lungu, Parley over Constitution

Former Finance minister Dr Katele Kalumba has applauded Members of Parliament (MP) and President Edgar Lungu for providing Zambians with their long-awaited Constitution.

He said Zambians have had a ‘‘confused history’’ in the constitution-making process which included the Choma commission that led to the one-party State.

Dr Kalumba said the last Constitution made in 1996 had brought a lot of confusion as the people of Zambia felt the government had betrayed them, by ignoring their wishes.

‘‘I would like to thank the MPs and the President of Zambia for finally giving the people of Zambia the long-awaited and desired Constitution; the country has had a very confusing process of constitution-making and reviews and this was the case in 1996 when we had a Constitution  people did not accept,’’ he said.

Dr Kalumba said although many clauses were controversial especially the 50 percent+1 vote and running mate that were not supported by the opposition, they  were for the good of the people and would save the country’s resources.

“Although people especially those of the opposition were against clauses such as the 50 percent+1 vote and running mate, everyone should   realise it was for their good; we should have a president elected by the majority and wanted by most people and also we don’t have to spend much money for bye-elections once something happens to the President,’’ he said.

He said it was an illusion for people to think there was a Constitution that would stand the test of time, adding that a constitution in Africa could only survive a maximum of 10 years.

The former minister said there was no constitution that was perfect and Zambians would have to work together and make the Constitution work for them.

“I am happy that President Lungu has made it possible for the Zambian people to have their Constitution and the Zambians should know that there will never be a perfect constitution just like the last constitution in 1996 was not accepted by all. Zambians should work together to ensure the Constitution works for them,’’ he said.

Dr Kalumba said the new Constitution was developed by the people and it was for that reason that it had the potential to be accepted, adopted and supported by most people.