- by Julia Malunga on 20 Aug 2019by Natasha Sakala on 19 Aug 2019by Natasha Sakala on 19 Aug 2019by Ulande Nkomesha on 19 Aug 2019
- by Mukosha Funga on 19 Aug 2019by Natasha Sakala on 17 Aug 2019by Ulande Nkomesha on 17 Aug 2019by Natasha Sakala on 16 Aug 2019
- by Julia Malunga on 19 Aug 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 19 Aug 2019by Daniel Chansa on 16 Aug 2019by Zondiwe Mbewe on 16 Aug 2019
- Goal Diggers
- by Abraham Kalito on 8 Aug 2019by Abraham Kalito on 8 Aug 2019by Abraham Kalito on 5 Aug 2019by Abraham Kalito on 28 Jul 2019
- by Diggers Editor on 20 Aug 2019by Diggers Editor on 18 Aug 2019by Diggers Editor on 16 Aug 2019by Diggers Editor on 15 Aug 2019
- Guest Diggers
- by Chisoni Mumba, PhD on 17 Aug 2019by CUTS on 4 Aug 2019by Kangwa Muyunda on 3 Aug 2019by Rueben Lifuka on 31 Jul 2019
- Editor's Choice
- by Diggers Correspondent on 24 May 2019by Diggers Reporter on 4 Mar 2019by Andyford Mayele Banda on 29 Jan 2019by Davies Mwila on 22 Jan 2019
- by Diggers Correspondent on 11 Aug 2019by Mukosha Funga on 27 Jul 2019by Mukosha Funga on 21 Jul 2019by Web Master on 27 Jun 2019
Lungu eligibility debates can spur instability – FODEPBy Mirriam Chabala on 18 Dec 2018
The Forum for Democratic Process (FODEP) has observed that the ongoing debates, following the Constitutional Court’s ruling in President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility case, have potential to spur instability in Zambia.
In an interview, FODEP executive director Chifwembe Mweenge blamed this misunderstanding on the 2016 amended Republican Constitution, which he said was done in a hurry and has a lot of lacunas.
Mwenge explained that if any civil unrest was to arise due to differences in opinions regarding President Lungu’s eligibility, poorer Zambians would suffer the consequences.
“The ConCourt ruling on the President’s eligibility has left the country talking and divided. There are those who are saying it was the right move and those who are saying it wasn’t. But again, one thing for sure is that, we are a nation of laws and we need to respect our own laws. So, it’s important for our leaders, both in the opposition and in government to ensure that, as they agitate or put forward their opinions regarding the ConCourt ruling on the eligibility of the President, they should do so within the confines of the law,” Mweenge said.
“We really are believers of freedom of expression and government needs to facilitate for that right. We need to express our opinions in terms of how we feel. We feel that it’s not in any one’s interest to fuel civil strife because at the end of the day, we know that the people who normally get affected when there are any confusions, it’s women and children and the poor. Those who have got money fly out and go to other places. So, yes, we ascribe to freedom of expression and we feel that the government ought to facilitate for that because we believe that the more people talk, the more they are able to air out their opinions, the better.”
He observed that the reason for the ongoing confusion in the country was the 2016 amended Constitution.
“The current Constitution has brought us this confusion! All of us will have to agree that we are where we are because we did ourselves this favour. With that acceptance, we need to ensure that going forward, the Constitution-making process is given ample time. That is why in many cases, these processes are opened up to the people. Much as we agree that the referendum failed, I think that the method of adopting constitutions in Zambia have always left the very beneficiaries of that Constitution at the back,” Mweenge said.
“The politicians get the centre stage and when they do that, they are normally protecting their own interests. If they see that perhaps they didn’t have enough time to read through and understand some of the things, then they come back and find someone to put the blame on. We have had the issue of the grade 12 certificate, which also did a lot of damage to many politicians who didn’t have [the] qualification, some of them even going to an extent of forging certificates. This, to us, demonstrates that first of all, the people who are in front of couching the document and also ratifying it via Parliament, do not take seriously the issue of constitution-making.”
He pointed to the need for Zambia to relook the lacunas in the Constitution, warning that leaving the status quo would only mean shelving a problem that would eventually turn the country upside down.
“In moving forward, we need to be very pragmatic. We need to ensure that the entire process is opened up. We feel that nothing basically should be an exclusive right for the legislature in as far as constitutional-making is concerned because this very important document has the capacity to turn this country upside down. You saw this on the issue of the 14 days, and now this issue of President Lungu,” said Mweenge.
“All these issues, if you put them together, they are telling us that we need to ensure that the constitutional-making process is not exclusive to the politicians. It should not be given alone to the politicians, it must be opened up. Yes, we understand the financial issues, but when we look at times when we started to amend the Constitution, we have been at this process for more than five times. Every time we are making a constitution because we feel there is something wrong. Even as we are talking about lacunas, it’s important that this process is not rushed.”
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
- Kabimba to commence judicial review proceedings into 48 houses scandal - 12 Aug 2019
- It’s nonsense for Lungu to exclude himself from austerity measures – Kambwili - 12 Aug 2019
- We need genuine dialogue before any constitutional amendment – Sacika - 12 Aug 2019
- UPND responds to Moonga: Tribal campaigns no longer sell because we are all suffering - 9 Aug 2019
- Govt can’t announce new KCM investor because case is in court – Musukwa - 9 Aug 2019
- Opposition MPs with plots in Forest 27 must give them up - Nkombo (2,132 views)
- Lungu is in gear 5 of 2021 campaigns (1,851 view)
- Mercury Security Services sues Lusaka lawyer over K2m fees (941 views)
- UPND reports GBM to police for 'tribal hatred' (896 views)
- Only a miracle can stop kwacha’s depreciation – Hamaundu (881 views)
- Lungu must urgently declare hunger crisis, insists HH
- We’re a hungry nation because we insist that maize is our staple food
- The corrupt are evil, we must not glorify those who steal from us – Musa
- We can give mine licenses to Zambians, but we also need foreign investors – Musukwa
- Opposition MPs with plots in Forest 27 must give them up – Nkombo
- Lungu was one of my brightest pupils, retired teacher tells court
- It's not LAZ but 2,3 overzealous lawyers challenging Bill 10 - Siliya
- Tutwa leads campaign to impeach LAZ president
- I'm suing Tutwa for alleging that I've been paid to fight govt - LAZ president
- Don’t tell us what to do, if you see hunger, just donate, Lungu responds to British Envoy
Subscribe For News In Email
The News Diggers
Deputy News Editor
Plot No. Lus/9812/649-MC8
off Alex Chola Road
P.O. Box 32147
Telephone or WhatsApp:
diggers [at] diggers [dot] news
editor [at] diggers [dot] news
Send this to a friend