By JOHN SAKALA
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) demands an immediate end to the Patriotic Front’s continued undermining of constitutionally established and protected institutions such as the Electoral Commission of Zambia, the Zambia Police Service, the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Financial Intelligence Centre, among others.
CiSCA Acting Chairperson Judith Mulenga said undermining constitutionally established bodies is one of the highest levels of lawlessness and no person or institution, including political parties, is greater than the Constitution.
Ms Mulenga said in as much as CiSCA agrees with PF Lusaka Province Secretary Kennedy Kamba that the ECZ must be protected from careless talk, she found it ironic that in the same breath Mr Kamba had actually engaged in “careless talk” himself by attempting to undermine what Zambians believe are valid concerns from opposition leaders on the ECZ’s handling of the electoral process towards 2021.
“All citizens, including supporters or members of the opposition, have a duty to provide checks and balances on all constitutionally protected institutions, including the ECZ. There is nothing careless about citizens exercising their constitutional duty of “upholding the principles of democracy and good governance ensuring that all functions of the State are performed in our common interest.
“Note should be made that the opposition political leaders are key stakeholders of the ECZ while Mr Kamba is a mere provincial leader of a political party. Note should further be made that ECZ has to ensure that there is consensus on how it manages elections to improve the credibility and legitimacy of the elections process and results. Therefore Kamba’s so called “careless talk” is about efforts at the meeting of the minds and should not be curtailed except by those who do not want the ECZ, the Police, and other constitutionally established institutions to not only be independent but also to be held accountable to and by the Zambian people,” she said.
Ms Mulenga aid in line with the doctrine of separation of powers, the Constitution clearly states that executive authority (Article 90), legislative authority (Article 61), and judicial authority (Article 118) all derive authority from the people and shall be exercised in line with the constitution.
“As citizens, from whom all state organs derive their power, we have a right and a responsibility to provide checks and balances in the work of any governance institutions, including constitutionally established bodies. Therefore, we find it grossly mischievous for anyone to label as “careless talk” citizens exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right.
“The ECZ and other constitutional bodies need to be protected from reckless PF cadres who continue to violate all aspects of our democracy in broad daylight, and Mr. Kamba and his party are usually conspicuously silent. We will defend our Constitution,” she said.