Thursday, January 28, 2010
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 28 Jan. 2010, 04:00 CAT
BISHOP John Mambo has said he and other commissioners who sat on the Mung'omba Constitution Review Commission (CRC) feel betrayed by the conduct of delegates at the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).
In an interview, Bishop Mambo said anyone who participated in the preparation of the report being debated at the NCC should feel betrayed by the delegates' failure to give people what they wanted. He said his heart bled when the NCC failed to reach consensus on the 50 per cent plus one clause for a winning Presidential candidate and an elected Vice-President.
“The story of the NCC towards the end, even though we’ve been commenting, makes a very sad ending. As a former commissioner on the Mung’omba CRC, I feel betrayed by our colleagues at the NCC. And this includes Dickson Jere because we were together on that CRC. If he does not regret then he has a problem. When I see him, I will lay hands on him,” Bishop Mambo said on Tuesday. “We tried our best to keep clauses people wanted in our report, but our colleagues have now betrayed the public confidence bestowed on them.
You see, from the beginning anybody enlightened knew that something was not right. You don’t ignore the chairman of the last commission, Willa Mung’omba, whatever problems they had with him. And then you don’t have his vice-chairman, chief Inyambo Yeta. But of course they have Professor Mvunga and a few others who went there under different umbrellas. But those are the ones who once you come out strong on the conduct of the NCC, they start calling for your crucifixion.”
Bishop Mambo questioned the morality in making a constitution that targeted an individual.
“Looking at the seriousness we put in to produce that report, we feel betrayed now by the outcome. This somewhat explains why they left out all Mung’omba commissioners. The question is, how do you discuss my report when I’m not there? They have become the arresting officer, prosecutor, judge and all that; you don’t operate like that. I would have been happy if maybe our chairman was there or his vice.
Perhaps the two would have helped explain the rationale behind those important clauses the NCC has thrown out,” he said. “What good is it that we make a constitution for 2011, targeting one individual and then at the end of the day we will have achieved nothing? I keep on saying that when you are called for duty, yours is to serve the people of Zambia, not the way it is. And if there are commissioners who are Christians they must start praying and admit that they have been bad messengers. In the terms of Jesus Christ, a messenger does what the Father has sent him to do, not what he thinks he should do. But I’m afraid these have been bad messengers.”
He said all those who stayed away from the NCC had now been vindicated by the negative outcome just as everyone else had feared from the beginning.
“There's no doubt that those who stayed away from the NCC have been vindicated. The mother church bodies, the major opposition political party and others are now justified in their refusal to be part of that process. And if you remember the reasons they gave for not participating, these are the same ones over which people are disappointed with the NCC process this far.
I can guarantee you that when we have a change of government we shall have another constitution-making process. I'm not a prophet but mark my word, what we have done so far is not in public interest," said Bishop Mambo.