Journal of Social and Political

Sciences

ISSN 2615-3718 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5675 (Print)

Published: 23 February 2021

Retweeting Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill Number 10 of 2019: Support and Outrage

Brian Chanda Chiluba

University of Zambia (Zambia), University of North Carolina (United States of America)

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10.31014/aior.1991.04.01.256

Pages: 106-114

Keywords: Bill 10, constitution, Twitter, social media, retweeting, Zambia, thematic analysis

Abstract

At least to the majority of tweets, the Zambian Constitution of Zambian Amendment Bill number 10 if successfully passed into law could have greatly created uneven impacts on key sectors of society within Zambia. In trying to review the support and outrage of Bill 10 on Twitter, this article uses thematic analysis to investigate 600 Bill 10-related tweets from 21st June 2019 to 21st June 2020 that were retweeted at least 500. The statistical cybermetrics and thematic approaches used generated quick insights into widely resonating subjects of Bill 10 related issues at the time of debate in Zambia. The findings in this article are highly suggestive of the value of Twitter for disseminating information and in this case more especially about understandings, contents and contexts of governance issues of Bill 10. Twitter also offered or requested for support, the ability of many citizens with divergent views and different political affiliations to adjust to the process of the amendment of Bill 10, and information about the contents of the Bill in Zambia. This article highlights, that as gathered from Twitter, it is key to entrench fundamental principles in constitution amendment processes and such principles in a constitutional text, the idea is to firmly embed them, making them very difficult for any governing body to change for their own advantage. Bill 10 retweets shows that amendment procedures are vital for the protection of the underlying constitutional principles, and are generally considered to have a somewhat unassailable status. As shown by many tweets analysed, a government supporting amendment to the constitutional amendment procedure, could in itself be considered an abuse of power.

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