The Minister of Information and Media, Cornelius Mweetwa, has refuted allegations that the government is planning to carry out constitutional amendments.
Mr Mweetwa said this in response to recent claims made by a wing of the Patriotic Front (PF) led by Emmanuel Mwamba that the government was planning to make amendments to the current constitution.
Mr Mweetwa has emphasized that the assertions regarding changes to the constitution, particularly concerning the 50% plus 1 provision, the Presidential term extension from 5 to 7 years, and the repeal of the article related to the running mate, are baseless and lack any substantiating evidence.
Speaking in a live broadcast from Ethiopia, Mr Mweetwa acknowledged ongoing discussions about constitutional amendments, initiated by citizens and Members of Parliament.
He highlighted the defects in the 2016 constitution, which was imposed without consensus and resulted in provisions that led to various contradictions.
“One example was the inclusion of a requirement for parliamentary candidates to possess grade 12 certificates, catching some members of the PF off guard, as they were unaware of this provision during the voting process,”said Mr Mweetwa
He said the subsequent exclusion of MPs from participating in local authorities and councils, along with challenges related to the size of constituencies, has prompted calls for constitutional reforms since 2016.
Mr Mweetwa who is also Chief Government Spokesperson stated that MPs have expressed regret over the limitations imposed by the 2016 constitution, particularly regarding their exclusion from local decision-making processes and the administration of Constituency Development Fund (CDF).
“The demand for constitutional amendments has been driven by a desire to address these issues and allow MPs to actively participate in local governance,” said Mr Mweetwa.
He underscored that these discussions reflect the broader sentiment among citizens and members of parliament who have long advocated for constitutional reforms to rectify the perceived defects and limitations of the current constitution.