Choose Your Language Of Preference Below
French Version German Version Russian Version Spanish Version
Portuguese Version Chinese Version Arabic Version
A great deal was accomplished last week in the Zambian Enterprise after the 338 members of the National Constitution Conference (NCC) were sworn in by the Chief Justice.
Now, whether some of them understood what they were up to, we don’t know but they are part of history in making for the Government of the Republic of Zambia (GRZ).
Every body wants the best constitution possible and most want to copy from others out there so they can incorporate parts from them they think make those countries some with the best policy documents out there.
If Kenyans ended up having the strongest constitution in the world, it is because they adopted a people-led path for its formulation. But overall, a constitution that lacks originality is just another document available for reference and not empowerment.
Even the Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is considered one of the best constitutions in the world because on paper it says all the nice things but its practical aspects are more despotic than republican despite being titled as such.
For instance, Title 1 has 9 articles that are just the cream of the world for a people that have sovereign power to govern themselves. But overtly, Venezuela is considered a dictatorship in certain geo-political circles; despite strong reference to the preeminence of human rights, ethics and political pluralism espoused in Article 2 of its constitution.
It is therefore, paramount that all the necessary aspects of our new constitution be of original intent not just be borrowed ideas that sound good on paper but show no originality. Those aspects need to relate to the Zambian Enterprise and its people on how we want to govern ourselves and how we want to prosper as a nation.
A good constitution provides every citizen with the rights to nurture, it provides freedoms necessary to take advantage of all opportunities despite one’s background, it enhances every one’s chances to self-actualize and allows for every one to play their necessary roles in national development.
In 1795, Immanuel Kant in his philosophical sketch on perpetual peace wrote … “The only constitution which derives from the idea of the original compact, and on which all juridical legislation of a people must be based, is the republican.4
This constitution is established, firstly, by principles of the freedom of the members of a society (as men); secondly, by principles of dependence of all upon a single common legislation (as subjects); and, thirdly, by the law of their equality (as citizens).
The republican constitution, therefore, is, with respect to law, the one which is the original basis of every form of civil constitution. The only question now is: Is it also the one which can lead to perpetual peace?
In order not to confuse the republican constitution with the democratic (as is commonly done), the following should be noted. The forms of a state (civitas) can be divided either according to the persons who possess the sovereign power or according to the mode of administration exercised over the people by the chief, whoever he may be.
The first is properly called the form of sovereignty (forma imperii), and there are only three possible forms of it: autocracy, in which one, aristocracy, in which some associated together, or democracy, in which all those who constitute society, possess sovereign power. They may be characterized, respectively, as the power of a monarch, of the nobility, or of the people.
The second division is that by the form of government (forma regiminis) and is based on the way in which the state makes use of its power; this way is based on the constitution, which is the act of the general will through which the many persons become one nation.
In this respect government is either republican or despotic. Republicanism is the political principle of the separation of the executive power (the administration) from the legislative; despotism is that of the autonomous execution by the state of laws which it has itself decreed.
Thus in a despotism the public will is administered by the ruler as his own will. Of the three forms of the state, that of democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which “all” decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, “all,” who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom.”
We are confident that all the 338 members of the NCC will take their duties seriously for the sake of the enterprise and will understand that this is a higher calling.
That calling demands a strong understanding of posterity and the knowledge of the fact that their work today will enhance our system of governance as a republic, afterall we are paying for it …
Because the Zambian Enterprise is greater than any single one of us and that’s this week’s memo from us at the Zambian chronicle … thanks a trillion.
Brainwave R Mumba, Sr.
CEO & President – Zambian Chronicle
Copyrights © 2007 Zambian Chronicle. All rights reserved. Zambian Chronicle content may not be stored except for personal, non-commercial use. Republication and redissemination of Zambian Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Zambian Chronicle. Zambian Chronicle shall not be liable for any errors, omissions, interruptions or delays in connection with the Zambian Chronicle content or from any damages arising therefrom.
Zambian Chronicle is a wholly owned subsidiary of Microplus Holdings International, Inc.
Copyrights © 2007 Microplus Holdings Int., Inc.