National Dialogue Forum to extend presidential term

National Dialogue Forum to extend presidential term


* Forum will agree to extend president Edgar Lungu’s term of office suggesting that there could be no elections in 2021

The National Dialogue Forum started sitting on Tuesday, 23rd April 2019 at the Mulungushi Conference Centre with obviously Patriotic Front (PF) predetermined Constitutional amendments.
The National Dialogue Act 2019 is aimed at reviewing and amending the Republican Constitution, Electoral Process Act, Public Order Act and the Political Parties Bill.
*Composition of the Forum* – *an inbuilt PF majority*

According to Section 5 of the National Dialogue Forum, the Forum consists of all Members of Parliament and the following members appointed by the Secretary to the Cabinet:
(a) two representatives from each political party with representation in Parliament;
(b) one representative each from a political party which is a member of the Forum of political parties which are members of the Zambia Centre for Inter-Party Dialogue;
(c) two representatives each of the
(I) the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops;
(ii) the Council of Churches in Zambia
(iii) the Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia
(iv) the Islamic Council of Zambia and
(v) Independent Churches Association of Zambia
(vi) Seventh Day Adventist Church Association;
(vii) Apostolic Church in Zambia
(viii) Islamic Supreme Council of Zambia and
(ix) Lusaka Hindu Association;
(d) one representative each of the
(I) Office if the President;
(ii) Office of the Clerk of the National Assembly;
(e) two representatives of the Judiciary;
(f) one representative each of the Ministries responsible for –
(I) defence
(ii) home affairs;
(iii) higher education
(iv) commerce, trade and industry
(v) local government
(vi) community development and social services and
(vii) chiefs and traditional affairs
(g) ten citizens who made submissions, appointed by the Minister
(h) one chief each from the provincial council of Chiefs representing the House of Chiefs
(I) two representatives each of the
(I) Anti Corruption Commission
(ii) Auditor General’s Office;
(iii) Bank of Zambia
(iv) Drug Enforcement Commission
(v) Electoral Commission of Zambia
(vi) Human Rights Commission
(vii) Local Government Association of Zambia
(viii) National Prrnstions Scheme Authority
(ix) National Prosecutions Authority
(x) Office of the Public Protector
(ix) Zambia Police Service and
(iii) Zambia Law Development Commission and
(j) two representatives each of the
(I) Action Aid
(ii) Bankers Association of Zambia
(iii) Caritas Zambia;
(iv) Civil Society for Poverty Reduction
(v) Common Grounds Network
(vi) Economic Association of Zambia
(vii) Foundation for Democratic Process
(viii) Law Association of Zambia
(ix) Manufacturers Association of Zambia
(x) Media Institute of Southern Africa Zambia Chapter
(xi) National Arts Council of Zambia
(National Women’s Lobby Group
(xiii) Non-govermental Organisations Coordinating Council
(xiv) Press Association of Zambia
(xv) Private Sector Development Association
(Southern African Centre for the Construction Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD)
From the above list it is clear that the Patriotic Front have an-inbuilt majority of ‘cadres’ to achieve its goals. A few people with to object here and there but that is the whole aim- to give the process an ingredient of legitimacy by pretending that there was debate.

According to section (8) (6) “Questions before the Forum or any of its committees shall be determined by consensus, but in the absence of consensus, decisions of the Forum sham be determined by a simple majority vote of the members present, except that voting shall be by secret ballot.” Whatever the PF leadership decides goes. And it was for the election of the Executive committee.

*Election of the Vice Chairpersons and the Executive committee*
According to Sections 8 (8,9,10) the President appoints the Chairperson and the Secretary of the Forum. However in (8) members shall elect two Vice Chairpersons of the Forum from among themselves. Accordingly on Wednesday, 24 April the Forum elected the two vice chairpersons and committee members . Prior to the elections the PF held caucus meetings at which they agreed to support certain individuals that would would drive their agenda.

The following were elected;
Vice Chairperson (Male) Borniface Cheembe (SACCORD)
Vice Chairperson (Female)
Mary Mulenga (NGOCC)

Isaac Mwanza (YALI)

Committee Members

(I) Sensio Banda
(ii) Patricia Ndhlovu
(iii) Priscilla Chileshe
(iv) Chanda Winston
(v) Chilunga Betty
(vi) Hellen Mwale
All the above named individuals were supported by the PF.

President Edgar Lungu is this morning expected to officially open the National Dialogue Forum.

The government has proposed a number of amendments to the constitution, among them the extension of the Presidential term of office, the staying of Minister after parliament is dissolved, dissolution of the Constitutional Court. And the extension of the 14 days for the petition.

The government also aims to reintroduce the position of Deputy Ministers.

And all these people are pain huge sitting allowances to do these evil things.

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