Why amend Constitution again? MPs asked

THE PF government must explain to the Zambian people why they want to amend some provisions in the amended Constitution, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection has demanded. JCTR media and information officer Tendai Posiana said her organization wants the Government to engage stakeholders in identifying which ‘‘critical and contentious clauses that ought to be re-looked at for possible amendment so that the Constitution reflects the will and desire of the Zambian people and not those of few elite and self-centered individuals’’. She said JCTR wished to state that the action by PF Members of Parliament last week to unanimously agree to amend the Constitution through the motion moved by Mwansabombwe Member of Parliament Rodgers Mwewa was not only unfortunate but could also amount to ‘‘constitutional mutilation’’. Ms Posiana said the proposed constitutional amendments violated democratic principles and Zambians should not accept the attempt to introduce ‘‘selfish’’ provisions in the Constitution through a rubber-stamp legislature rather than by national vote. “JCTR notes that Parliament as one of the key State institutions in a democratic system of governance has a critical role to play in promoting democracy and good governance. ‘‘As the democratically elected representatives of the people, parliamentarians have the honorable task to ensure Government by the people and for the people in the performance of their key functions of legislation, representation and oversight. Parliament can actively engage in the development and implementation of laws, policies and practices that promote democracy and good governance,” she said. Ms Posiana said the Constitution belonged to the people of Zambia, saying any individual provisions would not be accepted. She called on all well-meaning Zambians to come together to stop the mutilation of the Constitution. “JCTR acknowledges that our Constitution is not perfect, nor the best, but it has provisions which the Zambian people have been crying for, for a long time,” she said.