President Edgar Lungu says he will respect the views and wishes of the Zambian people on enacting the new constitution.
President Lungu denied assertions by some politicians and stakeholders that he has unilaterally removed clause 296 from the draft constitution.
Briefing Journalists in Solwezi on Thursday, Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said the president has not removed the clause in question.
He said the position by veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga and other stakeholders that President Lungu has unilaterally removed article 296 from the draft Constitution is misguided because the draft constitution is very intact.
Mr Chanda said chiefs are not comfortable with the clause hence there suggestion that power over allocating land in the country be given to the head of state and not themselves.
He explained that 27 chiefs from across the country have openly made it clear that they are against clause 296.
“Traditional leaders in Eastern, Central, Muchinga, Southern and now North-western provinces are against clause 296 of the constitution about issuing out land but want the presidency as enshrined in the draft constitution.
“President Lungu will agree with the views of the people even if he does not agree with certain provisions, he will follow their views,” he said.
Mr Chanda urged veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga and opposition Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) Spokesperson Antonia Mwanza against bringing the name of the head of state into ridicule.
Mr Chanda also said President Lungu has no position on the draft constitution and appealed to Mr Mwaanga and others to directly disagree with the royal highnesses and not the head of state.
“It’s extremely sad and a misguided notion that President Lungu has unilaterally removed clause 296 from the draft constitution. If people of Zambia decide to oppose certain articles of the constitution, thats what he will follow. Let them disagree with the chiefs themselves and not cowardly hide in President Lungu,” Mr Chanda said.
Meanwhile, seven traditional leaders in North-Western Province have commended President Lungu for honoring his promises he made two weeks ago to the people.
The chiefs also asked President Lungu to consider article 296 of the draft constitution to be vested in the head of state.
The chiefs said they are happy that developmental projects in the province were being accelerated by government through President Lungu’s good leadership