ECONOMICS Association of Zambia Interim National Secretary Gibson Masumbu says the association is working on a new constitution which will address lacunas limiting disciplinary action against members that became politically biased.

In an interview recently, Masumbu said as part of its rebranding, the association was relooking its constitution in order to strengthen it.

“The first step that has been happening right now is to relook at the constitution and strengthen the constitution. I think what probably had happened was that over time, the time it was formed, we would have a constitution [which] probably assumes a lot of things and then when such events begin to occur you realize that probably you do not have enough provisions that you can use to prevent such. So what we have been doing like for the last three months, we have to begin to get a new constitution in place and the fact that we are starting as a society we need to start with a constitution,” Masumbu said.

“So we developed an interim constitution again which we used to register but then the next steps will now be to go back to the AGM . Probably this April we will have a series of member meetings where we will now be approving the constitution so that we make it now the final document that will be approved at the time of the AGM that will now elect the new executive. So, the idea is that the constitution is supposed to have provisions that will empower the members to act when such things happen. So basically what I would just say is that there have been some weaknesses, lacunas in the constitution that may be prevented the members to act when it was necessary for them to do so. But going forward that will probably not happen because that will be taken care of by the new constitution.”

Masumbu said EAZ was formed to be a professional entity and therefore it should remain neutral and objective.

“The EAZ itself was formed to be a professional entity, to give objective advice. It is an organisation that has membership that come from different political affiliations. So those members are supposed to meet, articulate and debate economic issues and provide advice which is objective. Now if you are seen to be aligned to one political party against the other then it starts to bring divisions then people begin to look at you as being biased even if you give an objective opinion. For example, if you say you are pro-opposition even if your advice is good, the party in power will not get your advice,” said Masumbu.

“They think that you are saying this in order to promote the interest of the other. So in that way, there is that loss of confidence in the eyes of the public. You will lose the respect that the public should hold for you. So basically that is why it is important to as much as possible to remain neutral, objective and align to your overall goals you are set up to achieve.”