Zambians applaud new constitution

PRESIDENT Lungu (left) being congratulated by Minister of Justice Ngosa Simbyakula. PICTURE: JEAN MANDELA

CHALI MULENGA, Livingstone
ZAMBIANS across the social and political divides are cheered that they now have a new constitution that meets their expectations.
Chief Nyawa of the Tonga people of Kazungula district in Southern Province has welcomed the new constitution, saying it will contribute to the economic development of the country.
Senior chief Madzimawe of the Ngoni says the new constitution is a progressive one that the country could keep improving on over time, as the case is in developed countries.
In an interview, Chief Nyawa said there is no doubt that the amended constitution will contribute to the general well-being of ordinary Zambians and the development of the country.
“President Lungu is a progressive leader who needs to be supported; the new constitution is progressive as it will help in the development of the country.
“I want to urge people to accept the new constitution as most of the articles are progressive,” Chief Nyawa said.
He is also hopeful that the new constitution will help promote democratic governance.
And Senior Chief Madzimawe has congratulated President Lungu for assenting to the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill, DARLINGTON MWENDABAI reports in Chipata.
He said the President has done a good thing considering the good content in the supreme law of the land.
In an interview yesterday, Chief Madzimawe said there is no country in the world, including the United States of American, that produced a perfect constitution in one instance, but rather this is done gradually.
He said Zambia now has a constitution with progressive clauses and everyone should support President Lungu.
“We do not have to make noise over the new constitution on account of political affiliation. We should be content with what we have now. So far, this is a good constitution,” Chief Madzimawe said.
The chief said developed countries have continued to amend their constitutions and Zambia may do so in future to suit the prevailing social, political and economic needs.
He said Zambians are generally happy with the new constitution and opposition political parties should not make “noise” based on selfish political interests.
Senior Chief Madzimawe urged those opposed to the new constitution to look at things from a broader perspective, not their narrow political interests.
Green Party youth league national secretary Dan Sichilongo said there is need to educate masses on provisions of the new constitution and how it will impact on governance of the country.
Mr Sichilongo said the amendments have brought a lot of progressive articles into the constitution.
“People should be informed that the new constitution amendments will help to refine the type of leaders that will be in Parliament,” he said.
Kitwe businessman and politician Joe Malanji said President Lungu has fulfilled what he promised the Zambian people, HONE SIAME reports in Kitwe.
Mr Malanji said Mr Lungu has given the people the constitution, which they have been yearning for.
He said the 50-percent-plus-one-vote threshold for one to be elected president and running mate clauses demonstrate President Lungu’s commitment to meeting the aspirations of the people.
Mr Malanji noted that President Lungu has passed into law contentious clauses which other leaders were hesitant to append their signatures to.
“President Lungu is on the right track. Dictatorial tendencies are not in President Lungu. He is a man of the people. All people should rally behind him,” he said.
Mr Rodgers Mutale, a Kitwe resident, is particularly happy about the 50 percent-plus-one-vote clause in the constitution.
He said having a republican Vice-President elected as running mate will help the country avoid costly by-elections in an event of a vacancy in the highest office on the land.
“This is a landmark decision. This is what we wanted.  I commend President Lungu for what he has done. He is a great leader who has proved to the rest of the world that he means well for this country,” Mr Mutale said.
The National Traders and Marketeers Association of Zambia (NATMAZ) says the country has finally been given a perfect jubilee gift  which Zambians have been waiting for since independence, CHRISTINE CHIHAME reports in Kitwe.
NATMAZ president Goodson Mofya noted that Mr Lungu is the only President that has given Zambians a good constitution, although different constitution review commissions were constituted in the past.

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