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‘It’s best Constitution’

KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
FORMER Constitution Review Commission (CRC) vice-chairperson Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta has described the amended Constitution of Zambia as the best document which meets the aspirations of Zambians.
“For the first time after many years of searching for a people-driven constitution, the country finally has a constitution that addresses the aspirations of the Zambian people,” Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta said.
He said in an interview yesterday that the CRC went to all parts of the country to collect information that people wanted to be included in the Constitution.
“It is a plus to the Zambian people that issues they have always wanted to be in the Constitution of Zambia are now part of the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Act Number 2 of 2016,” Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta observed.
He said the idea for the running mate in the Constitution was borne from the desire to avoid presidential elections when the incumbent dies, which he noted Zambia has experienced after the deaths of President Levy Mwanawasa in 2008 and President Michael Sata in 2014.
Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta said when presidents Mwanawasa and Sata died, expensive presidential elections were conducted but that this will never happen again with the introduction of the running mate clause.
“With this provision, one hopes that we can do away with presidential elections after the death of a sitting President. If a President is incapacitated for whatever reason, the Vice-President, who is a running mate, will be able to take over and continue,” Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta said.
He, however, said it is the wish of the nation that whoever becomes head of State completes his term of office without any hindrances
And Senior Chief Yeta said the 50 percent-plus-one vote threshold for the winning presidential candidate is a very progressive clause in the Constitution.
He said the clause is intended to produce a popular President.
Senior Chief Inyambo Yeta new Constitution is good and only has one challenge, which is a re-run on presidential polls.
He, however, said that not everyone can be happy with the new constitution.
On January 5, President Lungu assented to the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, making it into law.
The decision has won the President local and international acclaim.


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