By KETRA KALUNGA
DETACH yourselves from the constitution amendment process, allow Members of Parliament (MPs) to debate freely and deliver a people-driven constitution, Governance activist, Isaac Mwanza has urged political parties.
Mr. Mwanza also implored MPs to cease to see the constitutional amendment process with the lenses of their respective political parties, failure to which they would fail to deliver a people-driven constitution.
The country would soon be embarking on a constitutional review process and Justice Minister Mulambo Haimbe recently announced the procedure of obtaining Cabinet approval for it is underway.
Mr. Mwanza, speaking in an interview urged political parties to avoid the tendency of sanctioning MPs especially those from the ruling party when they oppose something they don’t agree with in parliament especially during the constitutional reform process.
“It’s politicians who must remove the selfishness whenever they are trying to enact the constitution, it is political parties themselves that must detach themselves from this process, let MPs represent their constituencies and the people of Zambia,” he said. Mr. Mwanza said opposition MPs should also be allowed to differ with their political parties when it comes to matters of national interest because their mandate is to safeguard the interests of their people who gave them the mandate to represent them.
He said it was impossible for Zambia to have a constitution that would stand the test of time if political parties don’t allow MPs to debate the r”eform process freely.
“It’s the political parties which control MPs on what to do, whether to stay in parliament when a bill such as the constitutional amendment bill should be supported or not,” Mr. Mwanza said.