The continued denial of opposition UPND rallies is illegal and unconstitutional and President Sata should not stand and watch the illegalities happening in the nation, says Get Involved Zambia (GIZ) executive director Fr Frank Bwalya.
He has also said that the deportation of Catholic priest Father Viateur Banyangandora to Rwanda should be revoked with immediate effect because it was illegal and unconstitutional.
He said that President Sata and government violated the republican constitution and abused human rights when they decided to deport the priest.
Speaking on Muvi TV’s live assignment programme on Sunday night, Fr Bwalya demanded for the immediate revocation of the deportation order and for Fr. Banyangandora to return to Zambia.
“The President violated and abused the constitution by allowing his government to deport the priest. I am aware of many clergymen who supported the PF and President Sata himself to be where he is. But he violated the constitution on this matter. His government should have dialogued with the Bishop of Chipata to show respect for the church,” he said.
And Fr. Bwalya said that it was shocking to see the PF government arrogantly violate and abuse the constitution of land.
He said that said police action to block the UPND from holding a public rally in Kanyama compound recently was unconstitutional and an abuse of freedoms President Sata promised to protect and promote.
Fr. Bwalya said it was shocking even to PF supporters and sympathizers who believed in democracy.
“We have the right to listen to UPND leader Hakainde (Hichilema) and he (Hichilema) has the right to express his opinion to others. These are constitutional issues and need to be respected at all cost.
“And when you see the police violate and abuse the constitution and the President does not stop it, “chila nkankamisha” (it shocks me), it is unwise for the President to sit idle and watch the violation of the constitution in that manner. When things reach to that extent the President must intervene,” he said.
He said there was no constitutional provision that required for a police permit to hold a public meeting.
“Actually there is no need for the UPND to apply for a permit to hold a public rally and this is the problem we had with the MMD. When we formed Change Life Zambia they denied us permits told hold public meetings and we don’t want that to repeat itself. We told them that “Ichiwa Chakwakapoli na chipeneka.”
Fr. Bwalya said that his heart bleeds to see the PF government deny UPND their constitution rights to associate and communicate with members of the public, adding that he voted for the PF to change such things.
The priest who constantly denounced and described the 20 year rule of the MMD rotten and corrupt, said there was a lot of good will for the PF government which they should not squander by violating the constitution.
He said President Sata would not be judged by how he would either create employment or fight corruption, but that he has an opportunity to leave a legacy by ending “the continued senseless wastage of money on the constitution making process” and enact a people’s constitution”.
On the judicial reforms Fr. Bwalya said this should not mean to firing and replacing judges but come up with a plan on how the reforms would work for the people of Zambia in order to have access to good and fair justice.
“And this is what is seemingly lacking in the PF government. A plan to reform the judiciary in a manner that will be acceptable by all, that will ensure justice for all. Replacing judges did not mean the reforms people are talking about. It is not clear whether we are on the right path because it seems there is no plan in place,” he said.