Don’t assent to the Constitution – Gen Miyanda

Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has asked President Edgar Lungu not to immediately assent to the Constitution Amendment Bill as there are still contentious issues such as political party funding.

And Gen Miyanda has described the 1,000 presidential supporters clause as an artificial road block.

“What does it prove if you have 1000 supporters when filing your candidature? Does this guarantee that those 1000 will vote for you? What will stop those with money to buy supporters the same way they buy votes? Why complicate our hard won democracy? Does it mean that promoters of 50 percent plus one vote have no confidence in their scheme? Just leave it to voters to decide instead of creating artificial road blocks,” he said.

Gen Miyanda said there was no justification for taxpayers to be funding clubs called “political parties”.

He said this in an open petition to the Republican President titled “At least ten reasons why President Edgar Lungu must read with open eyes before signing and assenting to the Constitution Bills”.

Gen Miyanda also said the Constitution was ambiguous on the declaration of Dual Citizenship.

He urged the Head of State clearly state his position on source of campaign funds for political parties, adding that it was a loophole where those with money, especially foreign interest groups, launder money to control which party won elections.

Gen Miyanda also said combining the referendum with the 2016 elections was another questionable scheme which must not be carried out.

He said the President also needed to clear a address the issue regarding media freedoms before he could assent to the Constitution.

Gen Miyanda said the process required careful examination and even consultation before assenting.

“Why must taxpayers pay for private clubs called ‘political parties’? There is no justification. Since you have emphasised the need to reduce costs, is this not a contradiction? Please explain because your minister did not raise this in his Second Reading statement and many such contradictions,” he said.