Saturday, April 09, 2011

Zukas demands Kunda’s resignation

Zukas demands Kunda’s resignation
By Patson Chilemba
Fri 08 Apr. 2011, 04:01 CAT

GEORGE Kunda must resign for wasting public resources and time over the failed Constitution of Zambia bill, says Simon Zukas. Zukas, who is a veteran politician, said President Rupiah Banda was badly advised by Vice-President Kunda to continue with the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

“In the light of his dismal failure to have the NCC proposals adopted in Parliament, after all the expense and waste of time, the decent thing for George Kunda to do is offer his resignation to the President,” Zukas stated.

“That would enhance our democracy and set a precedent for political morality in our affairs. Since George seems reluctant to do the decent thing, the President knows the right step to take.”

Zukas said that President Banda could then present the Mung'omba proposals to an assembly reflecting all sectors of the nation, including the civil society, for adoption of a people-driven constitution.

“This can later go to Parliament to be enacted. A referendum for the items in the Bill of Rights can still be organised together with general elections. The Zambian people want a decent new constitution urgently and are ready for this process,” he said.

Looking into history since the re-introduction of multiparty politics, Zukas said that Frederick Chiluba had the Mwanakatwe proposals for a new constitution but he stopped people in Cabinet from adopting most of the recommendations, and pushed through only a few that suited him.

He said that this was followed by the resignation of people like himself and Dipak Patel. “The late president Levy Mwanawasa was wrong to agree to have George Kunda set up the NCC to work out a new constitution when we already had the Mung'omba proposals reflecting what the Zambian people wanted. George continued to be the driving force behind the NCC,” Zukas said.

On the government's insistence that PF and UPND shot down the will of the people, Zukas said the government shot the bill themselves by neglecting the Mung'omba proposals. He said the opposition did not vote against the will of the people because people had already expressed their will through the Mung'omba recommendation.

Zukas said President Banda's government should take the blame over the failure.

He said the nation had not lost out on anything following the shooting down of the bill.

“In fact, the nation has gained because if that bill went through it would have delayed us having a proper constitution, people-driven constitution. So by shooting it down, we have gained,” Zukas said.

“It is not so much that there were items that would have worked against the people. It is what was left out. That was the real problem; 50 + 1, social rights were not there.”

On government's position that they would reinstate the bill if they were re-elected, Zukas said being re-elected into office did not necessarily mean gaining two-thirds majority required for the bill to go through.

On the upcoming general elections, Zukas said Zambians should vote for the political party that would do the least damage to national affairs.

On questions that the MMD should be re-elected back into office, Zukas responded: “I would dispute that the MMD has been in power for 20 years. What has been in power there is a shadow of the MMD. This is not the MMD that we formed on the basis of principles annunciated at Garden House. This is a hijacked MMD.”

However, Zukas said the one sphere where they had performed fairly well was the economy.

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