Government is concerned that UPND president Mr. Hakainde Hichilema, as reported in media has given his Members of Parliament express instructions to continue disrupting the Speaker and proceedings in Parliament.
Mr. Hichilema has never been a Member of Parliament in his life and should, therefore, desist from meddling and misleading his Members of Parliament on issues he least understands.
Parliament has its inbuilt systems and procedures to unlock and resolve any impasse between or among opposing parties in the House.
It is, therefore, worrying that Mr. Hichilema is disregarding parliamentary etiquette and ordering UPND MPs to continue with their protests on the constitution making process.
Mr. Hichilema should, therefore, not escalate the MPs’ protest beyond the confines of Parliament.
The position of Government as stated by the Hon. Minister of Justice Mr. Wynter Kabimba is that the document is yet to be handed-over to His Excellency the President, Mr. Michael Chilufya Sata who is the appointing authority of the Technical Committee on the Constitution.
It is a well known fact that under the MMD, there were attempts to come up with a constitution but this could not materialize.
This Government is determined to give the people of Zambia a constitution that will stand the test of time. This cannot be achieved by rushing the process. The constitution is a very important document that requires all Zambians to examine with rational minds.
It is strange that parties like the MMD who understand the process very well and spent colossal sums of money on the National Constitution Conference (NCC) can now want to rush this Government to quickly enact the new Constitution.
We are also aware that a good number of UPND Members of Parliament were also part of these failed attempts.
The Patriotic Front Government is mindful of the need for a good Constitution hence the reason it revived the process immediately it came to power in 2011.
It is not the desire of this Government to embark on a process where huge sums of money will be spent but fail to yield any tangible results.
It is, therefore, in this spirit that we urge all Zambians, political parties, the Civil Society and all stakeholders to give Government time to do a good job in coming up with a roadmap towards enacting the new Constitution.
Political expedience on this crucial matter will not help the country in any way. It is important that as politicians we rise above board and objectively help the process as opposed to a partisan stance witnessed in the past few days.
Political party leaders have a duty to restrain their members from doing anything that will jeopardize the Constitution making process as opposed to leading the way in fomenting anarchy and disunity.
It is important that at times such as now, all political players genuinely support a process to which not only are they beneficiaries but that which will benefit many generations to come.
It is not time for selfish political maneuvers but for the great good of the nation.
By Hon. Mwansa Kapeya, MP
Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services and Chief Government Spokesperson