Marvin Chanda Mberi


By Marvin Chanda Mberi

It is strange that barely 48 hours UPND Deputy Secretary General Patrick Mucheleka congratulated the ruling PF for complying with the provisions of the Republican Constitution and that of the Patriotic Front, embattled Choma lawmaker Cornelius Mweetwa has resurfaced with void threats to hijack the PF and challenge the convention.

It is laughable that outgoing Choma MP could proclaim himself as an interested party over the internal processes to the extent that he has to turn himself into the high priest of the PF constitution.

Mr. Mweetwa is showing the public disrespect of the democratic process of PF while he wants the public to perceive him as the proponent of the Constitution.

We expect Mr Mweetwa to show political maturity and congratulate his political competitor for respecting its Constitution and that the transition leading to installing the new Central Committee has been done in a more exemplary manner.

Mr Mweetwa’s intimated petition is a misplaced political priority and an attempt to destabilize the peaceful political atmosphere in the run up to the elections.

Since Mr Mweetwa placed reliance on the phraseology of Article 60 of the Republic Constitution, we too had invested valuable time to study the said provisions.

We are fortified that Article 60 does not prescribe the method of conducting a convention for it to pass a democratic test and not even the Electoral Process Act no. 35 of 2016 attempts to standardize the democratic process.

Mr Mweetwa as a Lawyer is aware of Article 60 (4) (e) which (in paraphrase) leaves it to Parliament to enacting enabling legislations and prescribe all matters incidental to Article 60.

By implication, Article 60 is not enforceable in its own right and does not equally mention that the reliefs that Mr Mweetwa seeks to claim from the Constitutional Court.

Article 60 depended on Parliament enacting an enabling legislation to actualize it, otherwise in its current form remain a mere resource for moral obligations political parties to uphold internal democracy.

We do recall that in 2019, Parliament had a golden opportunity to undertake political party reforms aimed at institutionalizing Article 60 by introducing some bills to Parliament.

Among the Bills included Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill no. 10 of 2019, the Electoral Processes Act and the Political Party Bill.

It was Mr Mweetwa and his cohorts who were strongly opposed.

Honorable Mweetwa should therefore restrain himself from igniting unnecessary political debate at the nation needed to be united and see a peaceful transition leading into the elections


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