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Bemba Royal Establishment backs constitution

HENRY SINYANGWE, Kasama
THE Bemba Royal Establishment (BRE) has commended President Lungu for his promise to assent to the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill and putting an end to the long debate on the matter. And Advocacy for Justice and Human Rights says President Lungu must go ahead and assent to the bill, while the Copperbelt University Students Union (COBUSU) has taken a swipe at the Grand Coalition and opposition party leaders opposed to the amended constitution.
Speaking to journalists in Kasama yesterday, BRE spokesperson James Mulenga said the constitution-making process has been a thorny issue for a long time and President Lungu’s decision to sign the bill is welcome and must be respected by all well-meaning Zambians.
“The President should be allowed to sign the bill in accordance with the powers vested in him,” Mr Mulenga said.
He said it is good that Mr Lungu will assent to the constitution bill in full view of the people at National Heroes Stadium in Lusaka.
And Mr Mulenga said the Chitimukulu and the Bashilubemba are not party to tribal remarks being attributed to them on social media.
He said the BRE enjoys cordial relations with the government.
Meanwhile, AJHR director Kenson Kangaso says the on-going controversy over the constitution with some political party leaders petitioning President Lungu not to assent to the bill is uncalled for and frivolous, KELVIN CHONGO reports in Lusaka
Mr Kangaso said the constitution bill passed through Parliament, which is the highest law-making body in the country, and that it is therefore surprising that some people do not want it enacted into law.
He says he agrees with the government’s position that Zambia currently has no money to hold a national referendum.
And COBUSU president Humphrey Mwenya says students are disappointed with attacks against President Lungu by some opposition party leaders and the Grand Coalition for committing himself to signing the amendment bill into law, HONE SIAME reports in Kitwe.
Mr Mwenya said the landmark passing of the 50-percent-plus-one threshold for a winning presidential candidate, the running mate and dual citizenship by Parliament represent the aspirations of majority Zambians.
He said the conduct of some opposition party leaders and the Grand Coalition leaves much to be desired.
He said the passing of contentious clauses has vindicated President Lungu and the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) that they have no hidden agenda in the constitution-making process and that they need to be supported.
“As students from the Copperbelt University and nation at large, we are very disappointed in the manner some opposition members are behaving with regard to the issue of the constitution,” Mr Mwenya said.
He said it is not good to always politicise everything and that the practice should come to an end if the country is to develop.
He said it is sad that even the Grand Coalition, which had been advocating the inclusion of the 50-percent-plus-one threshold for one to win a presidential election and running mate in the constitution, has suddenly changed its position.
“For the past 30 years, Zambians have been demanding for a constitution and billions of taxpayers’ money has been spent which could have gone to the construction of hospitals, schools, sponsor more students and construct more universities.
“We, therefore, appeal to the republican President to give us the constitution that will stand the test of time,” Mr Mwenya said.


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