We have followed with keen interest the debate on some PF aligned media to the effect that UPND MPs must not be bull dozed into blindly following their party position on the constitution amendment process but be allowed to freely participate as their consciences dictate. We agree with this position 100%.
The constitution is a very important document which must transcend sectoral interests. It can not be used to achieve temporal pursuits such as winning a specific election or fixing specific individuals. What happens when those elections are done with and those individuals are long gone? What type of a constitution does the country then remain with?
The constitution is not a mop for quick fixes but must be a long lasting unifying factor. The supreme law of the land which determines what must be done at every point and in every situation. Our constitution must not become a source of conflict but the foundation of conflict resolution.
This is why we agree with the PF media that the UPND MPs must be unmuzzled. But we differ with the PF media and their contributors when they seem to suggest that only the UPND MPs must be unshackled in this process. The PF MPs must similarly be allowed to freely debate and decide on this important process.
We know that both the PF and UPND are busy cacausing on how to handle the constitution amendment bill once it’s taken to parliament. So it’s rather dishonest for these PF aligned media to try and paint a picture that only the UPND MPs are being told what to do by their party. Ironically it’s the PF who have turned this important matter of the constitution into a political issue because of the manner they have handled the whole process and the perception that they want to amend the constitution for political reasons.
So all members of parliament; PF, UPND, MMD, FDD and independent must freely exercise their consciences in dealing with the important matter of the constitution. In fact the MPs should be allowed time to go back to their constituencies to get views from the people as to what the people really want in this process. The MPs are in the house to represent the people who voted for them over and above narrow partisan interests be they PF or UPND.
This is important because the decision that the MPs will make will transcend both Edgar Lungu and Hakainde Hichilema. It will transcend PF and UPND. The decision will either result in unity and create a foundation for enduring prosperity for our country. Or it will deepen the simmering divisions in our country and erode the little gains we have made as a country.
So PF as much you want UPND MPs to vote freely, you should also unshackled the PF MPs to debate freely and finally to vote as they deem right on this important matter and in line with aspirations of the people who voted for them.
Zambia Political Blog.