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Friday, 16 July 2010

A comedian's draft constitution..

This funny quote from Clive Chirwa perhaps is fitting for what continues to be laughable constitution making process :
ARTICLE 6: I believe for Zambia to move on, the National Anthem and the Court of Arms must be changed for the following reasons:

1. The National Anthem music composed by a South African, if I am correct, cannot be truly used as a Zambian theme since South Africa is now claiming it. I urge the Constitution to direct the Zambian people to change the National Anthem music so that our own can be composed. We have many able Zambians who can write music and let us create a competition that will result in our own Anthem. It sounds ridiculous when the two Presidents meet. Zambia despite being independent longer than South Africa, the world thinks it is a satellite region of South Africa, especially when the anthem is played in instrumental without lyrics.

2. The Court of Arms are too colonial. They are not allowing us to break freely from colonialism and must be changed. The man in the shorts depicts the very reason why Zambia is not growing after more than 46 years of independence. Let him wear trousers at least or change it to something positive for the nation. This is an opportunity for us to do it.
Muna Ndulo recently noted that one of the reasons the NCC process is flawed is because the "NCC gives the impression that it has little understanding of the functions of a constitution. Its slash and burn policy on the Mungomba draft appears to be uninformed by an understanding of what must be in the constitution and what maybe relegated to legislation. It has even less understanding of the dynamics and relationships between, institutions and procedures". I think this lack of principled approach explains why commentators such as Clive Chirwa have found themselves misdirected and become comedians in the process. They simply have no idea what should and shouldn't be in a constitution. 


  1. Yes, please, let's change the national anthem! It's completely ridiculous that we plagiarised it, and added a few words here and there to make it "our own". I won't even seek the logic behind (if it even exists).

    And I like the idea of changing the attire on the dude on the coat of arms. He looks like a houseboy in those shorts. LOL

  2. Mr. Capitalist - 3 E's steering economic growth16 July 2010 at 02:38

    The constitution is the highest law of the land. It limits the power of the govt. This is why it is of the utmost importance that everyone takes part in the process regardless of your political preferences.

    Secondly, how is changing the national anthem and court of arms limiting the powers of govt? I do not understand on this part.

  3. baChirwa, I think you meant Coat of Arms. God forbid we should have such a court which expresses so well the separation of parts! I agree that we need a new anthem. Nkosi Sikelela also being the Swazi anthem - hence RB feeling so happy there in the baboon-tail kilt. But the kapatula in the 'Coat' must go, replaced perhaps by...what? But, should you be suggesting we break free from Colonialism, then, of course, we would need to revert to, what? Of course you refer to British Colonialism. But what of Bantu Colonialism? Should we not adopt the dress of the waAkafula out of respect for an obliterated people? Perhaps the best is to assume the dress of Lewanika - given him by Queen Victoria. The hat will be a problem in the taxi, I know.

  4. Apart from the the National anthem and Coat of arms,i believe that the colours of our National flag should be changed to include white as depicting Zambians or Africans to be black is really racist in this new world order.

  5. Isn't this blog supposed to be:

    "A non-partisan website that provides independent economic perspectives on Zambia's progress towards meaningful development for its people."

    Where is the economics, and where is the non-partisan independent perspective in this post?

    JKL (from New York)

  6. JKL (from New York)

    Thank you for your question.

    Not to blow my own trumpet but I regard the strength of this blog in its ability to communicate complex ideas in simple language. As such the economic framework underpins every post but its not always expressed in formalised economic jargon. Its not necessary and it defeats the whole purpose.

    But since you ask :

    The issue of constitution making relates to two important aspects of economic thought - institutional economics and justice economics.

    The "laughable constitution making process" refers to the idea that this process has ignored procedural utility. People aren't just interested in coming up with a good constitution, but also derive utility from how they get there. It is a concept is familiar in much of procedural justice discussion. As Muno hints in the referenced post, the constitution making process has violated that at many turns. Hence - laughable.

    The comment I make on "lack of principled approach" is hinting at the importance of distinguishing between flexible and inflexible rules i.e. where pre-commitment needs to be stronger and where it can be flexible to allow society to adapt. This is basic social contract theory. Again Muno's comments appropriately sets that out from a legalistic language.

    As for "non-partisan". I fail to see what is partisan about my comments.

    I end with a request : if you have other Zambian economists blogs you read that we can learn from please forward us the link. We are always trying to learn.

    Thank you

  7. I had to come back to this after I read the aforementioned quote in full context. I still think it’s a worthy idea to compose a new national anthem that is actually Zambian and just our spin on someone else’s. However, I don’t see the logic in Chirwa’s argument that this is something that has to be done for Zambia to move ahead or how it’s a constitutional issue.

  8. Zambian Mwenye17 July 2010 at 07:49

    No, don't change the national anthem it is the best. So South africa has the same tune and so does Tanzania but the words are different and reflects the people. We use to sing it at school and it made us feel proud of Zambia. As for the coat of arms, I think they are pretty much redundant anyway. We don't take notice of the coat of arms of many countries. Some countries have animals on their coat of arms at least we have a human. And who cares what he is wearing. Be proud of your country.

  9. Dear All
    I am a Malawian and very much in support for you Zambians to change your national Anthem to Zambians. Before the changing let's ask the old ones to give us the idea of why they had to copy and paste South Africa song.

    Mind you,there was a proposal of one Africa then with one president. Anyway Iam not a good historian, still, read more about Kwame Nkrumah, Emperor Haille Sellassie. So lets dig dipper the truth shall prevail. The idea is good.

    R D Luya

  10. There is nothing wrong with our national anthem's music and lyrics. What is wrong is our leadership's inability to rise to the occasion of championing the needs of the citizens. They have utterly failed to ensure that all national systems and practices are focused on the Zambian citizen. This clearly illustrates how narrow minded our leaders have been in our country.


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