Masebo Disappointed After Constitution Bill Makes Progress

Masebo Disappointed After Constitution Bill Makes Progress .

IT’S A Shame, Says Masebo After Constitution Bill Makes Progress

Patriotic Front Chongwe Member of Parliament Sylvia Masebo says voting the Constitution Bill through to committee stage was a shameful and made her leave the lawmaker’s building feeling bad.

“Today [yesterday], I left parliament feeling really bad. It’s a shame but we shall be vindicated in the very near future. I voted for the constitution to be taken to a referendum not to be chosen by a selective few with hidden agendas & questionable objectives The constitution belongs to the people therefore they should decide its contents. I voted for the people. Atleast that puts my mind at ease,” the out-of-favour lawmaker said as she vented he frustrations on twitter.

The constitution making process remained on course after the government marshalled the requisite two thirds in parliament when the Constitution Amendment Bill number 16 and 17 came up for second reading.

Justice Minister Dr Ngosa Simbyakula had said that government decided to go through parliament to push the constitution amendment to avoid the cost and also based on the understanding that the country was practising representative democracy.

Earlier chairperson for the legal, gender and human rights committee Cornelius Mweetwa had said the bill be withdrawn as stakeholders that had made presentations had not agreed on many matters.

Mweetwa had also noted that some key stakeholders on the constitution making process had shunned the process thereby taking away from the legitimacy of the undertaking.

When a vote was called for the Constitution Amendment Bill number 16 which is a gateway to the amendment bill number 17 the vote was 106 in favour while 36 voted against with four abstaining.

In the second vote for the Constitution Amendment Bill number 17 the vote was 109 in favour, 35 against with one abstention. Both bills will come up for committee stage next week on Thursday.

Dr Simbyakula said the government was still open to dialogue with stakeholders before next week to iron out differences.

Parliament will have to go through the 366 clauses one by one during the process of the debate. Earlier members of the civil society who have labelled the process a fraud turned up in droves to witness the vote.

Zambia Reports