VJ concerned with abolishing deputy minister position


VETERAN politician Vernon Mwaanga has raised concerns about the scrapping of the position of a deputy minister in the amended Constitution and said it was not fair to have a Government without deputy ministers in modern governments.

And Dr Mwaanga has called on political leaders to urgently meet and address many unsettled constitutional issues so that additional minimum amendments can be agreed and taken back to Parliament before it is dissolved.

Dr Mwaanga said it was not being realistic for modern governments not to have deputy ministers but wondered why current serving deputy ministers were still in government when the amended Constitution had abolished the position.

Dr Mwaanga is also wondering how the omission of deputy ministers in the amended Constitution was going to be addressed if it would be required that the position should be reinstated in the constitution.

Dr Mwaanga said in a statement yesterday that the amended Constitution contained new provisions which had remained problematic and which the majority of Zambians including those enlightened did not clearly understand.

He said as the country was slowly moving towards the 11th August general elections, many constitutional and electoral issues had remained largely unclear to the majority of Zambians.

“As we slowly, but surely move towards the August 11th general elections, many constitutional and electoral issues remain largely unclear. We have yet another amended Constitution before us which contains new provisions which are problematical and which a great majority of our citizens, even those enlightened, do not clearly understand. If indeed the amended Constitution has now kicked in, are there provisions whose implementation have been suspended or deferred? What are the present deputy ministers still doing in Government and on Government payroll when they do not exist anywhere in the amended Constitution,” Dr Mwaanga wondered.

He explained that what the amended Constitution was clear about the election date but that what was not clear was what the national referendum was going to be about apart from voting for the Bill of Rights to be added to the amended Constitution.

Dr Mwaanga wondered whether it was fairly realistic to have introduced the Grade 12 certificate in the amended Constitution as the clause had left some rural parts of the country without candidates to contest elections.

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