Opposition All People’s Congress party leader Nason Msoni says PF wants to change the Constitution so that they can scrap off the grade twelve certification requirements for members of parliament as many of them are unqualified.
Speaking in an interview with News Diggers, Msoni also demanded for the removal of the prosecution immunity from all public office bearers including that of the sitting President “since the service is at the pleasure of the citizens and not of individuals”.
“I agree [that there are lacunas in the constitution] only to such extent. I don’t know where they stand in these things because for our friends they think that they need to scrap the requirements for grade twelve [certificate] because PF members, most of them including MPs have forged grade twelve certificates. Truthfully speaking, if we go and verify grade twelve certificates for PF members, we will discover that most of them do not have the grade twelve certificates,” Msoni said.
“So when people boast that other people are not qualified, I think the most and least qualified ministers that this government has will always be the list of our governments ministers and MPs we have had in Zambia. We have the poorest personnel that are manning the strategic ministries that are unqualified for those jobs.”
But Msoni said there was need to amend the constitution and remove the presidential immunity.
“There is need to remove the immunity clause from the Constitution of this country because the immunity clause is only abetting theft and helping people commit crimes. We should remove immunity for the guy who is in State House or in the presidency because like this, he can commit any atrocities, he can do whatever he can do as long as he likes and wishes. So I think that the next honest and candid discussion to do with our current fraud Constitution is that we should remove immunity. We don’t need immunity. If you are going to work as President, you are not going there so that you go and break the Constitution. As long as you remain within the framework of the Constitution, if you remain within the framework of the law, you will be protected, you don’t need immunity,” Msoni said
“The law is there to protect, but the law cannot overprotect one person to such an extent that he becomes a criminal. So if we are going to deal with issues of the Constitution, let us look at what level playing field, let us look at issues that help bring sanity to the presidency because now, the immunity which overtakes that office had literally legalised criminality in that office. Irrespective of the person who is there, we have legitimised criminality. Why does he need immunity to do his job? Even those who are employed to kill, those whose jobs is to kill opponents or enemies don’t have immunity from prosecution. So why should we give immunity to the president to do civil work? If he is a civilian, why should he demand for immunity? Immunity from what? And this immunity is just being abused because the immunity which that office is given is immunity not from criminal conduct.”
He added that people who occupy the Office of President must have nothing to fear.
“That immunity was given for genuine decisions that President must make and that probably he should not be prosecuted after he leaves office. So we demand that the immunity of officer holders or the Office of the President should be revisited. You have nothing to fear if you are going to work in that office. This immunity thing is an affront which must be revisited. For example if the president is failing to do his job or is misconducting himself, we need to know how we can remove him from office,” said Msoni.
“So these are not permanent jobs. Being president or minister or MP. These should be served at the pleasure of the public and not individuals. So the desperation which Mr Lungu is showing for third term is scaring, it’s worrying. He can do anything now to anybody and get away with it out of desperation. Now if you give Mr Lungu a third term, what will stop him from seeking a fourth term and a fifth term and a 10th term? So it is up to citizens now to ensure that they stop Mr Lungu before it is too late.”