Paramount Chief Mpezeni of the Ngoni people of Chipata has observed that the raging constitution debate should not be stifled because it is politically healthy for both citizens and the Patriotic Front (PF) government.
Mpezeni has commended President Sata for having allowed the debate on the constitution stating that Zambians had the right to openly discuss matters that directly affected their lives and the governance system.
Speaking through his chief Induna George Zulu, the Ngoni Paramount Chief said in an interview that he had keenly followed the debate on the constitution and was of the strong belief that the PF government was right to not being in a hurry to keep its promise of delivering a people driven constitution within the promised time frame.
Zulu said Mpezeni believed strongly that President Sata had taken the correct stand on the constitution in directing his ministers and other senior government officials to ignore the raging demands for the immediate release of the draft constitution so that citizens could be free to express their views.
Zulu who is Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary said that Paramount Chief Mpezeni was of the view that the constitution should not turn Zambians against their own government.
He said President Sata had directed his ministers and other government officials to ignore the demands for the enactment of the new constitution because he had reserved his voice to speak last after citizens had exhausted their debate.
Mpezeni said the Head of State did not need to respond to each and every citizen demanding for the new constitution because as President of the country, he was expected to listen and only speak when enough submissions had been made.
He said as long as the demands for the new constitution remained civil and non-violent, President Sata should allow the debate to last as long as would be necessary so that people’s emotions would not be seen to be bottled.
“The Paramount Chief Mpezeni has keenly followed the current raging debate on the enactment of the new constitution and he thinks that government has taken the correct position by not being in a hurry to end the process. The chief believes that President Sata has taken the correct position to listen to the demands of citizens and that he should be last to speak. The President cannot be respond to every individual talking about the constitution. The chief says that as long as the debate is devoid of malice, insults, innuendoes, it must not be curtailed or stifled,” Zulu said.
According to Mpezeni, President Sata was a statesman whose position on the constitution was meant for the good of the country and its future generation.
Zulu said the Paramount Chief condemned people criticizing President Sata over the draft constitution when he (Sata) had not received the document from the Technical Committee that was appointed and tasked to draft the constitution.