The Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill of 2019 is the country’s grave digger, University of Zambia academic Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa has charged. Commenting on government’s publication of planned changes to the current Constitution, Dr Sishuwa said the proposals were intended to perpetuate the Patriotic Front’s stay in power and embolden corruption
It is not even worth demonstrating the absurdity of each of the proposed Articles because doing so risks conferring upon them a seriousness they in no way deserve. The entire Bill is ridiculous and the worst amendment of the current century, both in terms of substance and basics. It is Zambia’s gravedigger. Every proposed change punches you right in the face and is clearly intended to embolden the corruption and thieving ways of the self-serving elite class, at the heart of public life, laughably known as our government,” he said.
A careful and dispassionate reading of nearly all the planned changes leaves one feeling as if Mr [Edgar] Lungu and his friends in power are winding up the country or intentionally setting up a strong foundation for the total destruction of Zambia as we know it. What is really unbelievable is seeing how professionals like Attorney General Likando Kalaluka and individuals like Minister of Justice Given Lubinda, who previously commanded genuine public respect, are backing all these changes, just for self-preservation.”
Dr Sishuwa said at the heart of Zambia’s democratic backslides and institutional deterioration are spineless professionals and individuals in state institutions.
“In a country that is in desperate need of role models, a country full of corrupt public officials and spineless professionals in state institutions, many may have previously looked up to Kalaluka and Lubinda as inspiring role models in public life.
However, what Lubinda and Kalaluka have created in this Bill is the ultimate betrayal of public trust. Never again will many Zambians be disappointed by either of these two men because by giving life to this Bill, they have demonstrated their moral depravity without equivocation. Some may even say that, like the many people we have seen sell the country out for 30 pieces of silver, individuals like Lubinda decided which side of their bread was buttered a long time ago. There’s nothing he won’t do now in furthering the very ignoble things that the former Lubinda would have died opposing.
Whatever changed and made Given Lubinda forget his principles, I am hoping that life’s many trials and temptations do not turn me into someone like him – a person I will no longer recognise someday. None of us is immune to that malady. Perhaps what is important is the capacity to sit down and reflect whenever we get a chance. It is those quiet moments that remind us of who we are and what we stand for. Also helpful is having a set of friends who are loyal enough to slap us back into reality whenever we stray so that we are not completely lost or end up like Lubinda and Likando who are evidently spineless or have deactivated their consciences”, he said.
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