[This edited article by Chanda Chisala was first presented to the Zambian President, Levy P. Mwanawasa in 2007, before publication that same year. The president subsequently expressed his opposition to adding these new “rights” to the Zambian constitution.]
After publishing my series of internet articles on “the Zambian Constitutional Debate,” in which I theorized that the root of the contentious constitutional debate is simply a matter of ideology (specifically Marxist ideology) trying to stealthily impose itself on a nation (Chisala, 2007), I was curious to see if someone else had already noticed this scheme. You always get more confidence that your theory is right when you have other people to corroborate your observations. Although I did not find much support from Zambian commentators on this issue (virtually all the Zambian articles I found were, unfortunately, in favour of changing the Bill of Rights to include the social, economic and cultural rights), I was encouraged to discover that another nation, the United States of America, has in fact faced this same challenge before, and indeed some of its intellectuals did identify this surreptitious plot of some unrepentant Marxists to turn America into a socialist or communist state, legislatively, and to thus make the dream of individualism and free market enterprise practically illegal in America itself (in short, to forever banish the “American dream”). Fortunately, they failed to achieve this in America, but they are now trying to prey on some unsuspecting African nations by giving fallacious arguments to force constitutional socialism and Marxism on them.
The people who are fighting to have these social and economic rights included in our Bill of Rights are using the United Nations’ International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), that are also informally referred to as “second generation rights,” as the basis for their campaign. Their argument basically is that Zambia should put this into its constitution because progressive societies are going along this route of entrenching this UN covenant into their constitutions (Mwale, 2004).
Read the full article HERE.