Justice minister Wynter Kabimba has rubbished the constitution making process and confirmed it was not a priority for the ruling Patriotic Front claiming some clauses it contained were a recipe for anarchy.
Kabimba delivered the startling remarks when he paid a courtesy call on the Zambian High Commissioner to Malawi where he is attending the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Meeting for Ministers of Justice and Attorney Generals which is running upto Friday.
The PF Secretary General who during the time in the opposition was a top advocate for a new constitution has now said it was no longer a priority.
Of concern to Kabimba is the 50 plus one clause which mandates a winning presidential candidate in an election to garner that majority to assume power.
He said Zambians should draw lessons from the experiences of other countries as they push for a new constitution.
Kabimba said it was not proper to push for selected clauses in the Constitution which had caused major problems in other countries in Africa.
According to the PF aligned Post Newspaper, Kabimba cited the 50 per cent plus one clause and the clause that provided for a Vice President as a running mate as provisions that had caused problems in other African countries.
“There are all these demands about 50 percent plus one constitutional provision, running mate constitutional provision without taking into account that where these provisions obtain they have caused more problems than the solutions they should have brought about to society.
“We can learn from others. We don’t have to make the same mistakes that others have made in order to do the right thing,” Kabimba said.
He said there was need to look at countries where these constitutional provisions exist and how they are working to ensure that Zambia comes up with a good document that would stand the test of time.
Kabimba said the government was seriously working towards developing the whole country, improving the state of infrastructure and opening up the countryside which remained neglected for years.
“We lost 20 years in terms of development and we are in a hurry to catch up. One of the fundamental factors that a government has to put in place is in infrastructure.
“Right now we have a terribly lopsided economic formation where everyone is drifting to Lusaka to access certain things.
“We have taken a deliberate policy to open up the countryside for development and investment. That is what will create the levels of employment that we are talking about.
“We are allocating resources to priority areas and seriously cutting costs as government. All of us need to sacrifice so that we can contribute to the development of the country,” Kabimba said.
President Michael Sata and his officials have ignored calls for the enactment of a new constitution which they promised to deliver within 90 days of assuming government.
The Head of State has since brushed aside the draft constitution his Technical Committee drafted after spending two years compiling the document.
President Sata recently told government officials to ignore and not respond to calls by Civil Society Organisations,the Church, student unions and the opposition calling for the release of the draft constitution and subsequent enactment.