South UPND backs constitution

THE United Party for National Development (UPND) in Southern Province says President Edgar Lungu should not pay attention to political parties which are not satisfied with the new Constitution and that he should sign it because it is progressive.

Deputy chairperson of information and publicity Kandindi Phiri told the Daily Nation yesterday that political parties which were jittery over the Constitution were exposing themselves as individuals who entered politics for personal benefit and not to serve the people.

Mr. Phiri said clauses such as qualifications of candidates to stand in an election, the 50 plus 1 majority vote, 1000 registered voters for presidential candidates’ nomination and the running mate which some parties were opposed to were all progressive clauses that those who meant well for the country needed to embrace.

He said time to bring sanity in the country’s politics was now by giving no chance to jokers to join politics because most of those who were complaining about the Constitution were from briefcase political parties which were in politics for survival.

Mr. Phiri said no serious political party which was aspiring to lead the country would fail to present 100 registered voters from each of the 10 provinces.

He said time for political parties to only register their presence during an election and then go into oblivion after the election was over and that only serious political parties should be allowed to participate in an election.

“We urge the President to sign the Constitution now so that those parties which are not serious are separated from those which have something to offer to Zambians.

‘‘We have a lot of ‘nashala neka’ parties in Zambia whose presidents don’t want to stand in an election but always want to endorse and support presidents of other parties but this should come to an end.

“This Constitution is very progressive because it will enhance not only intra-party democracy but will ensure quality leadership at national level as only serious politicians who have the heart for people will participate. It is time to separate the boys from men,” Mr. Phiri said.

He said the Constitution was not discriminating against any party or individual but was merely aimed at enhancing democracy.

Mr. Phiri urged President Lungu to sign the document so that the hullabaloo over it could come to an end as agitation was caused by people who did not have an agenda for Zambia.

He said those petitioning the President should never be given a platform because they were jokers who needed to level the political arena and try something else because they were a misfit.

Mr. Phiri said the UPND supports the new Constitution and was eagerly waiting for the Head of State to append his signature to it.