Veteran politician Vernon Mwaanga has said that Zambians have every right to demand for a new constitution and it is unacceptable for President Michael Sata to insinuate that the current constitution was functional.
Zambians, he said would not sit back until a new constitution that met their needs and concerns was enacted and advised President Sata to yield to the demands of citizens because they were the owners of the document.
And People’s Party president Mike Mulongoti has warned that President Sata must not attempt to stifle the demands by the citizens to have a new constitution because that would be pushing their patience to the limit.
Mwaanga said he was aware that government had accused its Technical Committee drafting the constitution of having leaked the draft but that the committee in its counter accusations had alleged that the document could have been leaked by government.
Mwaanga said it was unfortunate that government had decided to frustrate the Technical Committee by refusing to allow it to hand over the hard copy of the second and final draft constitution.
He said the constitution was not a personal document but a matter of national importance whose debate should not be curtailed by anyone.
He stated that Zambians had the constitutional right to debater and demand for the new constitution adding it was the Patriotic Front Government that had promised that it was going to deliver the constitution within 90 days.
“It is an unacceptable position for the President to stop citizens from debating and demanding for their constitution. Zambians were promised. I know that the Technical Committee is frustrated and there have been accusations and counter accusations but citizens will continue demanding for the constitution,” Mwaanga said.
And Mulongoti said that there was a danger that President Sata would easily decree that Zambia would not need elections because the country already had a president in his name.
Mulongoti said President Sata had declared war against Zambians by his sudden change of attitude on the constitution making process and that the citizens would be ready to fight for the new constitution using their blood.
He stated that the President would have to get rid of all Zambians so that he could remain in State House alone with the old constitution because Zambians would not accept anything less than the new constitution.
“The constitution is not President Sata’s document and he must understand that very clearly. President Sata is telling us that Zambia does not need a new constitution because the current one is still functional. This man has become unpredictable and unless he is stopped, we may wake up one day with a decree that we do not need elections because we already have a president in his name. Zambians are ready to fight for a new constitution and Sata is not going to stop the demands for a new constitution, Mulongoti said.
Mulongoti said the constitution was not President Sata’s personal agenda and that it was constitutionally incorrect for the Head of State to begin rubbishing demands for the new Constitution.
The opposition leader said he had personally campaigned for President Sata and the Patriotic Front (PF) with the hope that a new constitution was going to be delivered but that he was angry that things had become worse than he ever imagined under the ruling party.
He said President Sata was a strong proponent of a new constitution while in the opposition and wondered why the Head of State had abused the trust of the people by declaring that the country did not need a new constitution.
Mulongoti said he regretted having campaigned for President Sata and warned that Zambians had been pushed to the limit over the constitution that that there was a danger that they may have to resort to mass demonstrations that would result into bloody clashes with the law enforcers.