CHEATING GAME: Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba
Every day Sata must read it on the wall of State House that this movement for a people driven constitution is a revolution that PF policy may guide but cannot afford to stop. People will continue to find ways to peacefully raise awareness, express discontent and pressure government to enact the document in the very form the supreme law will inspire their aspirations
By Nyalubinge Ngwende
Where is Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba getting his courage of thinking sensible Zambians who, just after freeing themselves from two decades of abuse under the MMD leadership through a revolt vote, would meekly submit to the tyranny of the PF government?
The extent of serious political and economic malaise emanating from abuses by people in power this country has continued to suffer in the last 50 years since Independence are as a result of having a bad constitution.
Zambia’s constitution has never been tailored to national aspirations but crafted to serve narrow interests of those in government. Therefore it lacks the character that represents the 50 years growth of the country, while appreciation of the modern meaning of human rights cannot be realised. Essential freedoms are like nourishing oil to the spirit of citizenship to make it function happily in contributing to nationhood building. But these freedoms are under threat now as they have always been because the constitution has holes for misinterpretation by those in power.
This is why the people of Zambia will not allow a situation where they continue to be governed under a constitution that promotes abuse of citizens with impunity, without any institution to protect them.
It is for this that the idea of changing the country’s constitution to bring it to the emerging needs of a modern Zambia have not started with Sata or the PF. But it will have to materialise under PF because we the people cannot take it any longer to be cheated.
The people just entrusted the PF with a duty to deliver the constitution by voting out the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) government, which had become arrogant and resisted necessary public control on several processes of government to ensure good governance and accountability.
The MMD had a chance to harmonise the interests of all the stakeholders over in remaking of the country’s constitution through the National Constitution Conference (NCC). The MMD leaders thought they held the fate of Zambia in their hands and started changing the content of submissions that Zambians made to the Willa Mungomba Constitution Review Commission.
Now, it could only be a curse for PF that was voted into office to pull down the wrongs of the MMD to continue governing in the same style and using the very bad statutes that the people condemned the MMD for.
Mr Sata you put in place a Technical Committee to write a new constitution because you realised it was one of the bigger reasons why people voted for you. Granted the opportunity to deliver this responsibility does not give you any powers to hijack the constitution making process for personal interests and that of your few colleagues in the PF. If your mind as government about the constitution has stopped where personal interests of Sata, Kabimba and Chikwanda starts and ends, the public mind has not stopped with you.
If you try to stop the people with you, the same courage that carried them to vote MMD out of government will be used to overcome your selfish intentions on this one in 2016.
Every day Sata must read it on the wall of State House that this movement for a people driven constitution is a revolution that PF policy may guide but cannot afford to stop. People will continue to find ways to peacefully raise awareness, express discontent and pressure government to enact the document in the very form the supreme law will inspire their aspirations.
We know the police will, with instructions from your government, ruthlessly break up these peaceful demonstrations. But no amount of tyranny force can overcome the courage that resides in the stout hearts of the people that are tired of being badly governed.
In 1990 when the people pushed for multiparty democracy, then President Kenneth Kaunda tried to unleash paramilitary and the army to brutalise the people into silence. But that force failed to break the spirit of liberty held deep in the hearts of the people and Kaunda’s one party rule was demolished together with his regime in a unison shout. PF is not deep rooted as UNIP and may not be difficult to bring down.
And if your government is involved in this disgraceful crusade of trying to use chiefs to raise issues of land as a foot-in-the door to provide for reasons not to enact the constitution quickly, that odyssey will end in embarrassment. Is it not so selfish not to realise that this country has always had a provision in the constitution that entrusts all land, including customary land, in the hands of a head of state or president? Now where are these selfish individuals, who are inciting chiefs to fight for their rights over land, coming from?
This issue of land being vested in the President is not a new matter. And to bring it as a reason to question the credibility of the new draft representing a people driven constitution makes us understand fully your ill intentions. You want to tell the chiefs that land is the only asset for their authority and God given wealth available to their poor subjects. On that basis you want to justify government’s manoeuvres to change the content of the final draft constitution on the pretext that you are doing it on the interests of the poor. We still have a lot of reasonable chiefs who have not been intimidated by your threats to withdraw their recognition and we know that these chiefs will guide those you have made to cower under your ego so that they also start seeing importance in a people driven constitution.
One of the clauses that will come under attack as costly and not serving the interests of the poor is the 50 +1 clause. You are definitely going to force your wicked illusion on the hapless villagers that 50 +1 will need a re-run for the presidential poll until a winning candidate gets the required majority. You are going to lie to the villagers that this is not only financially costly, but they (poor people) stand to suffer as victims of the chaos that such a voting system will bring. We have heard your Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba give these uneducated waffling when asked why government is taking long to enact the constitution as the Technical Committee constituted to draft it had completed their work.
This is what Kabimba said in parliament: “PF is people centered and this government was not elected on constitution alone but uplift the welfare of the citizens in a holistic manner. Mr Speaker sir, producing the new constitution in 90 days by the PF could not have been possible because we lacked knowledge about the Zambian people. We inherited a government were poverty, corruption, unemployment levels were too very high and also people experienced poor education and health caused by the previous MMD administration”.
Sorry, you cannot full all the people on this one. We are not as myopic as Wynter Kabimba who wants to use the issue of poverty and hallucinations of chaos to deny the people the constitution with clauses such as 50 +1.
Our mind cannot be reduced to such levels of ignorance when it comes to arguing the importance of a constitution. And we are not going to allow Kabimba and all PF ministers to use such narrow arguments to convince the rural ilk to support the government to delay the enactment of the constitution and also remove progressive clauses such as the 50 +1.
Our people in villages know the importance of the constitution. They form various groups aimed at mustering their capabilities to find solutions to problems of poverty. They form women tailoring and baking groups and they form cooperatives. They know that before they start finding solutions to generating income, they need the rules that harmonise their interests. They know they need a constitution to guide them in their work, how they are going to manage resources and where to channel those resources so that there is fairness in benefits. They also know they need rules to restrain any abuses that would disadvantage the group members.
This alone shows that our people understand to the greater extent about societies and constitutions. They know society exist first, then it makes laws that harmonise the interests of group members and harmonized interests form policy for their pursuit to a good life. This is what Zambia needs, good rules in the supreme law to guide us in the pursuits of ending our bad governance and realising the wealth we seek.
So a bad constitution means bad laws; bad laws mean bad government. And bad government means poor management of the affairs of the nation leading to abuses and wastefulness of resources, hence our wallowing in poverty 50 years after Independence. PF has been the waste when it comes to this and the examples are a myriad for you and your communists in the media to deny.
We pity Wynter Kabimba and his stiff necked perceptions of thinking that poverty in the village will be used as an excuse to make rural people support your ill-fated PF manipulations to stop the enactment of a new constitution.
Sorry PF you will not even lie to the people that 50 +1 will be a financial cost and bring chaos. You have already told us that elections are budgeted for and you can run them as long as you need the desired results. In fact the system of elections that is being proposed in the draft constitution is meant to stop politicians like you in PF who have been using resources to buy opposition MPs with ministerial positions that are not limited at a huge cost followed by unnecessary by-elections. What about that one? Do you think you even have any intelligent reasons to counter it? Sure you will not because even the church mother bodies and civil society organizations have already abandoned you over your actions because you are so ridiculous in the way you want to cheat Zambians.