By John Kane
The minister of justice has said the constitution amendment bill 10 of 2019 will not be withdrawn.
This is against the many calls by different sections of the society that have demanded that Bill 10 be dropped and rather focus on matters that require a lot of effort such as fixing the economy.
What this means is that the fate of Bill 10 is now in the hands of the members of parliament that will debate prior to voting for or against bill 10.
It is however very unfortunate that the people of Chingola have never had a public discussion on this matter with their MPs.
We have on the other hand, heard that MPs in other constituencies have been engaging their electorates in discussing the constitution amendment bill 10 of 2019 and have been receiving submissions therein.
We do appreciate all the efforts that the two MPs have been putting in addressing various needs of their respective constituencies and they have done exceptionally well this far.
The amendment to the Zambian constitution should have the consensus of all Zambians and must not be left to those in government alone.
Premised on this fact, it is therefore important that the MPs engage their electorates as opposed to the current ill-conceived notion that the current amendment bill 10 of 2019, is people driven.
One of the controversial clauses is the one that seeks to establish the office of the deputy ministers.
It is a well-known fact Zambia’s external debt has risen from $ 3.2 billion in 2011 to $10.23 billion as at the end of June 2019.
The effect of this debt is abundantly evident in our socio-economic distress experienced across the country. This was further amplified recently by finance minister when he attributed the miserable performance of the kwacha against the major currencies to debt servicing.
So against this background why should Zambia consider increasing its expenditure by introducing deputy ministers? This and many more clauses need to be debated with our MPs.
I therefore appeal to our two MPs to come and replicate what their colleagues have been doing in other constituencies. This should be done as soon as possible because parliament resumes in February 2020