Caritas Zambia has warned that the the Constitution will become an election matter if the Patriotic Front (PF) continues resisting to immediately release the second and final draft of the constitution to the public.
And controversial Catholic Priest cum politcian Frank Bwalya has relaunched his famous Red Card Campaign, this time against the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) for abducting the constitution making process.
Bwalya who is Alliance for a Better Zambia (ABZ) has vowed that the campaign will be massive and more aggresive than the one mounted against the MMD in 2010.
Fr Bwalya has promised a massive Red Card Campaign against the PF government over its failure to keep its promise over the releasing of the final draft constitution simultaneously to the public and the Head of State.
“The red card campaign was about three issues and the first one was the constitution and most of you remember. People have asked me to be consistent and restart the campaign and am hereby announcing that the red card campaign against this government has started,” Fr Bwalya said.
Caritas Zambia executive director Samuel Mulafulafu said President Michael Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) had declared war against Zambians by forcebly grabing the second and final draft of the constitution from the technical coomiittee when the document was supposed to be presented to the executive and the general public at the same time.
Mulafulafu said it was shocking that the PF government that promised decency and transparency in governance had now declared that the constitution making process was at the whims of President Sata, his Justice Minister Kabimba and few other government officials.
He said it was shocking that chief government spokesperson wansa Kapeya could tell Zambians not to pressure government to immediately release the final draft constitution because the dociument was exclusively for those who were in power.
“The constitution is a document of the people and not for the PF government and they cannot dictate how the process should go. It is the PF government that must listen to the demands of the people and not the other way round. They have declared war against Zambians over the constitution and this will certainly be an election issue in 2016 if they continue with their arrogance. In fact, we are baffled by their arrogance because the PF strongly supported the demands for a new constitution when they were in the opposition,” Mulafulafu said.
On Saturday, Zambians from all walks of life congregated at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross to press for the immediate release of the final draft constitution.
In the prayrs dubbed ‘Rescue the Constitution’, political party leaders, civil society organisations, church leaders, student bodies and ordinary citizens joined hands in eccelesiastical prayers, song and dance calling on the PF government to reduce their arrogance and listen to the demands of Zambians.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who was given a standing ovation as walked to pulpit challenged President Sata to immediately release the draft constitution if he was a true man of action.
Hichielama said time had come for Zambians to rescue the constitution from people whose desire was to adulerate the document for their political survival.
“There are no political parties here, this is just a gathering of Zambians who want their constitution and Zambians will get their constitution, Sata or no Sata,” Mr Hichilema charged.
“We need a new constitution. This is the same bad constitution which delivered a minority President. Sata is a minority President because of this same bad constitution and we need to changed ,” Hichilema said.
NAREP leader Elias Chipimo declared that the battle on the constitution was about good and evil and called on Zambians to fight the war with all the passion that they would muster.
“Evil prevails where good men do nothing. President Sata, you claim that you har what happens in our bedroom, I am sure you are hering us today here at the Cathedral and we are telling you that you are on the wrong side of history,” Chipimo said.
MMD acting president Michael Kaingu said the arrogance being existed by the PF would cost them heavily in 2016 and was courteous enough to caution the ruling party that the MMD lost favour because of the same arrogance the PF leadership was exhibiting.
FDD Spokesman Antonio Mwanza said it is sad that Zambia has been struggling with the constitution making process for so long.
Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) vice president George Chisanga said the constitution making process had to come to an end and that the draft should be released without any form of amendements. Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection Director Fr Leonard Chiti reminded President Sata that he promised to govern the country under the principles of the Ten Commandments.
The PF manifesto on page 42 says: “It shall constitute a committee of experts to review past constitution reviews with the aim of enacting a new constitution. What does shall mean? When I looked at my Thesaurus, it told me that shall means a solemn promise. Now this same PF is now saying they will only do amendments. So the question that begs an answer is, has the PF changed its manifesto?” Fr Chiti wondered.