STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga has described 2015 as a great year in terms of the constitution-making process but a difficult one economically.
In his New Year message to the nation, Dr Mwaanga said the constitution bill which Parliament passed contains a number of positive clauses.
â€œOn the political front, our Parliament approved a new constitution which contains progressive elements like the 50 percent-plus-one vote for the election of the President,â€ Dr Mwaanga said.
Dr Mwaanga named other progressive clauses as dual nationality, the setting of the election date and the establishment of a constitutional court.
On the bad side of the year, he said global economic factors were largely to blame.
â€œThe economy has not performed well in the face of national and international factors, bringing home the message that our global village is far from stable,â€ he said.
Dr Mwaanga also condemned sporadic political violence that occurred during the year.
â€œSadly, there has still not been dialogue among our political leaders to address such important issues as political violence, insulting each other or calling each other unpalatable names.
â€œLet 2016 be a year of reconciliation. Let them treat elections as a mere contest for power with decency and caring for people,â€ he said.
In an interview, Chief Madzimawe warned that tribal politics if left unchecked could ignite violence.
He said political leaders need to speak the language of unity if they are to succeed in their aspirations.
â€œTribal politics are taking the country backwards and if left unchecked can bring violence ahead of next yearâ€™s elections.
â€œMy advice to those that want to ascend to top office is that they must embrace the â€˜One Zambia, one nationâ€™ culture if they want to succeed,â€ Chief Madzimawe said.
He has advised Zambians to put the country first and invest in peace and stability of the country.
Dr Mwaanga hailed young people for turning up in large numbers to register as voters in readiness for next yearâ€™s polls.
Meanwhile, the North-Western Federation of Business Development (NWFBD) says the dual citizenship clause recently passed by Parliament will enhance economic development of the country as Zambians living abroad will be encouraged to make significant investments, BUTTYSON KANDIMBA reports in Solwezi.
In a statement yesterday NWFBD president Mukumbi Kafuta said the dual citizenship clause will enable Zambians to own companies within and outside the country, thereby maximising their business opportunities.
â€œSuch a scenario would provide a source of increased investment capital for Zambians with a heart to develop their own country whereby they can tap into resources from wealthier countries such as the USA by acquiring financial services like loans to finance the procurement and movement of equipment for industry set-up in Zambia.
â€œIt would be important to note that access to financing in more developed countries may be easier and cheaper than it is in Zambia,â€ Mr Kafuta stated.
STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka