Alliance for Community Action executive director Laura Miti says the Patriotic Front is trying to rig the 2021 election through the Constitution.
And Miti has advised Attorney General Likando Kalaluka to resign and refuse to be part of a process to effect a bill which will harm Zambia more than any other legislation since the end of colonialism.
Analysing the Constitution Amendment Bill of 2019 in an article titled “Likando Kalaluka – You Better Run!”, Sunday, Miti stated that President Edgar Lungu was trying to sort out his political problems using the constitution.
“As was said when the Forum was mooted, the result of participation being in the sole hand of the Ministry of Justice was that nothing could be done by everyone else who chose to attend, to swing the decisions Minister Lubinda wanted passed. The NDF had been well thought up to give an illusion of public participation while firmly delivering a EL/PF constitution. Ah, but now we are sitting with one of the most shocking provisions in the published Bill, one which I do not remember coming out of the NDF. If Minister Lubinda gets his way, Parliament will be a fluid body. Numbers will change as and when whoever is holding majority powers in Parliament chooses. So, for example, if the constitutional ammendments pass, more seats could be added to Parliament before 2021. This will be done by a simple vote because the House will no longer need 2/3rd majority to pass that change,” Miti stated.
“Guess what, all new seats could (would?) be in PF strong holds. In short, President Lungu will be able to craft a Parliamentary majority for himself. Writing this, it has struck me that this provision is probably a panicked response by EL/Lubinda to what happened in Malawi where the sitting President was wiped out in Parliament. But Dear God in Heaven, Parliament cannot be designed by itself! The Legislature is a constitutional body, one of the 3 arms of government upon which our very democracy depends. It is the people who say how many MPs there will be. That number must be fixed in the Constitution. Another provision that did not come out of the NDF is the clipping of the FIC wings by instituting the body in the DEC. That is another change made post-NDF meant to address an immediate political problem EL faces – the public knowing and being agitated by the runaway corruption in his administration.”
She observed that the clause on a coalition government was meant to make presidential elections academic.
“I have to say that the wantonly undemocratic writing of political fears into our constitution is mind spinning. We have already spoken about the Coalition government clause. Let me repeat that it is a provision meant to make the Presidentential election academic. All a sitting President needs to do is rig the vote so s/he does not ultimately win but is first of a list of candidates. More effort is then directed to adding votes to some small party. The ruling party then enters a coalition with the small party and the two make 50% +1 vote.
Madly, nothing is said about how that coalition works and how it falls apart. Coalitions are never part of a Presidential system with a running mate. In our system, a President is elected fully by the people, not via boardroom negotiations. The Zambian presidency is too powerful to be assumed so easily, via the back door,” Miti stated.
“Simply, Zambians, this whole constitution ammendment process is about a President and his party who are not sure they can win 2021 outright. They are therefore using our constitution to rig the vote. I will say again that the evil and recklessness with national stability is stunning.
To end, let me say that in this latest constitutional ammendment process, I have, as I have stated before, concluded that Minister Lubinda implements stunningly immoral and harmful politics.”
And Miti advised Kalaluka to resign because there was no personal benefit greater than “selling our country down the river in such a monumental way”.
“I am, however, still trying to wrap my mind why a young Attorney General with his life ahead of him would put his signature on such an ill-intentioned document. Attorney General, Likando Kalaluka, has signed off a Constitutional Ammendment Bill with the ability to harm this country more than any single political act since colonialism ended. I honestly cannot think of a political move as dark and injurious, planned or implemented, by the Kaunda to Sata administrations. Now, I am not naive. I know life is comfortable in these offices. This particular administration has made people on its side wonderfully rich. But still, AG Kalaluka, I doubt any personal benefit is worth selling our country down the river in such a monumental way. Me suggests that this is where you draw the line and resign, if you must. Run Likando run!” wrote Miti.