Friday 19th January 2018

New Constitution is not magic formula for Zambia – Scott

Vice President Guy Scott has charged that enacting a new constitution will not automatically solve all of Zambia’s problems.
Dr Scott said the opposition and the NGOs have misled many Zambians into believing that having a new constitution will dramatically change the way the country is governed.
He was speaking Sunday evening when he featured on a live ZNBC Sunday Interview programme.

“Can we guarantee everybody secondary education? You can write it in the constitution but you can’t guarantee it because you have limited level of resources and limited ability to manage your country which is the size of Texas,” Dr Scott charged.

He added, “So some people have been naughty and irresponsible telling people that the constitution will change everything. I met a taxi driver in Livingstone and he was busy telling me that he is very hungry and he waiting for the new constitution to get him the food and this guy was serious.”

“Let me give you another example, the late David Phiri, the forming sports and mining executive was on that Chona Constitution review commission and they flew over to the Barotse wetland in a helicopter to meet villagers and ask them what they wanted to see in the constitution and some villager rose and told them that he wants crocodiles banned in the new constitution. That shows you that people don’t understand this constitution issue and they want to make crocodiles unconstitutional.”

Dr Scott however said the PF government is committed to finalizing the enactment of a new constitution.
“It would be very nice to get finality on this issue of the constitution because we have been on this road before. I personally would like to have it changed because the present constitution does not allow me to stand as President, it’s a deficiency but I’m not prepared to enter into a battle of insults over that issue, I would rather retire.”

Dr Scott explained that a new constitution is important for Zambia but cautioned that it is not a magic formula that can take the place of good governance.
“Good governance is much more important than the constitution. The constitution can’t even guarantee you good governance. Good governance is the people you choose to lead you, they have to be sincere, they have to be genuine and take seriously their obligation to build schools and clinics,” Dr Scott stated.
Dr Scott said he also does not know when the Technical Committee will hand over the final draft and report to the report.
“We want the report delivered to State House because it is our report, we appointed the Technical Committee incidentally, the technical committee didn’t have PF cadres in it, it had people in it who were not even friendly to the PF, Ernest Mwansa was a PF rebel in the previous election but we appointed him because we do not want a rubberstamp job. The technical committee is not God which can produce a constitution which we can’t even read or comment on. Who gave the technical committee such supernatural powers?”
The Vice President said he is hopeful that the Technical Committee will hand over the report and draft constitution to President Sata in a matter of weeks.
He also said the 2016 general elections might be held under a new constitution.

COMMENTS Connect with Open Zambia and have your say