Banda to visit Botswana as Catholics reject draft constitution
LUSAKA: President Rupiah Banda starts a two-day official visit to Botswana on August 9-10 clearly concerned that Catholic bishops have rejected Zambia’s draft constitution, which is expected to form the basis of next year’s elections.
Elected in a by-election to replace president Levy Mwanawasa who died after suffering a stroke in August 2008, Banda will in 2011 be seeking re-election, which will qualify him for his first five-year term in office. But in a move that is sure to reopen old wounds between the church and the state, Catholic prelates have rejected the new constitution on the ground that it is not people-driven and cannot stand the test of time. They say that the National Constitutional Conference (NCC), which had been tasked with coming up with the constitution, had “failed to meet the aspirations of the Zambian people”.
In a bid to reduce, among other things, the powers of a [continue reading]