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‘Unprogressive, ludicrous,’ Critics condemn calls for extension in five-year tenure of sitting presidents


The Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) has opposed suggestions for Zambia to consider increasing the five years mandate for a sitting President.

Recently, some critics had suggested that Zambia amends the constitution to increase the presidential mandate from the current five years, arguing that this would give more time for the Head of State to fulfill his campaign promises and execute more developmental projects.

However, FODEP president, Mwenda Mumbuna, in an interview on Thursday with Zambia Monitor said such suggestions were not progressive and that five years was enough to deliver development and motivate the Zambian electorate to give a sitting president another mandate.

“Much as there can be a good president who needs more time, the country can also have a bad leader and has wondered what would happen in such a situation because it would mean Zambians have more time to wait before voting them out,” Mumbuna said.

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Reacting to this development, the ruling United Party for National Development (UPND) said delivering electoral promises was not about time but commitment exhibited by a party in power, adding that one could have time but would not deliver if they had no ideas.

Its Spokesperson, Cornelius Mweetwa, said such suggestions should not be entertained as the constitution was a sacred document and should not be subjected to controversial debates.

“Zambia needs progressive debate which benefits citizens adding that what people want is development and not wasting time on issues that will protract unnecessary controversy,” Mweetwa said.

Meanwhile, Lawyer Sakwiba Sikoba, said such a suggestion was ludicrous and what was needed was for politicians to promise what they could deliver as time was not a factor.

“Those calling for the extension of the presidential term from five years need to know that it is not about time but the will to deliver that matters,”Sikota said.

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