amendmentsTHE Grand Coalition on the people-driven Constitution should be reasonable enough to push for the amendment of certain closes ahead of the 2016 general elections, says former Patriotic Front Eastern Province chairman Lameck Mangani.
And Mr. Mangani says President Edgar Lungu has shown signs of progressiveness in the manner he has conducted issues of governance with regards to redefining the position of deputy ministers.
In an interview with the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Mangani said the only sure way to have a new Constitution was by making amendments ahead of the 2016 general election.
‘The constitution-making process as it stands now is facing a lot of challenges and one of the major challenges is time. If we have to enact a new Constitution before 2016, we don’t have time for that. We don’t have the resources; we have just come out of the presidential by-election which was highly expensive. So in order to have a win-win situation the best approach is to deal with certain provisions in the Constitution which can be enacted without the referendum.
“We all know that the most expensive route here is holding the national referendum on the constitution.
The referendum is mainly about the Bill of Rights and that is not as urgent as other clauses which need an urgent amendment,” said Mr. Mangani who is also former minister of Home Affairs.
Mr. Mangani who, in the just ended presidential election supported UPND president Hakainde Hichilema, explained that at the moment, Zambians needed to amend certain clauses such as the 50 +1 presidential winning threshold and vice-president running mate. Mr Mangani said if the Grand Coalition would continue to push for the enactment of the new Constitution through referendum, Zambians should be rest assured that there would be no Constitution before 2016 general elections.
And Mr. Mangani has for the first time described President Lungu as a progressive man.
He said the approach taken in redefining the positions of deputy ministers in order for them to attend full Cabinet meeting was important and should be appreciated by all well meaning Zambians.
“The approach taken by President Edgar Lungu to allow deputy ministers attend Cabinet meetings is progressive. The decision to redefine the position of deputy ministers is important and progressive”.