Malambo PF member of parliament Makebi Zulu says the people he represents have not told him to reject the Constitution Amendment Bill.
And Zulu has challenged some Civil Society Organizations which are against the Bill to take their submissions to Parliament.
On Wednesday, Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) vice chairperson Judith Mulenga charged that the Patriotic Front feared losing power, as evidenced by the hurry to carry out constitution amendments even when there was no constitution crisis in the country.
But in an interview, Thursday, Zulu said the people he represented had not told him to reject the Bill.
“I represent the people of Malambo Constituency and they have not told me that I should reject the Bill. Civil Society Organizations most of them have an agenda and are funded to pursue a particular cause whether you believe it or not. If the people of Malambo do not want this particular Bill, I will speak on behalf of them. So far, none of the people of Malambo have told me not to support the constitution amendment. The constitution is not matter of bread and butter where someone speaks on the position of benefits but we want people to speak on the benefits of patriotism that is the essence of existence in our country,” Zulu said.
And Zulu challenged CSOs to take their submissions to Parliament.
“The Constitution amendment has several stages. The first reading introduces the bill after which a committee is constituted. You cannot cry from an anthill and say that this is what is going to happen. It is best that they go and make submissions before the committee as to what in particular they feel will not work for Zambians and probably propose what will work for the people of Zambia. We had a process and they did not want to get involved. At that particular point, if they had wanted to get involved, it could have made a difference. National Dialogue Forum is gone now, there is yet another opportunity for them to make their submissions and make a difference so why don’t they show up before the committee make their submission and that will come out in the report and it can be reflective of what exactly they want. If they do not want to submit,others will go and submit and it will reflect the same. As far as we are concerned, it will be reflective of what the people want. That is the constitution making process we have chosen to take as a country. A legislative process cannot be altered to serve a particular Civil Society they are have to conform to what is really existing and make their submissions,” said Zulu.
“If you read article 79 of the Constitution, it says the first thing you need to do is that there must be the publication of the government gazette 30 days before the introduction into parliament. At first reading stage, you don’t need two thirds majority. In second and third reading, you need the two thirds majority so there is no law that has been fraughted whatsoever. It is wrong for people to want to trample on other people’s ignorance! It is important for people to take time and read and find out what the Constitution says.”