Grand Coalition appeals to President Sata

The Grand Coalition on the Constitution has appealed to President Michael Sata to expedite the process of ensuring that all the stakeholders meet to chart the way forward on the constitution making process that has caused a lot of acrimony and antagonism among Zambians.

Grand Coalition on the Constitution spokesperson MacDonald Chipenzi said while the Southern Africa Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD was calling on President Michael Sata to call for an Indaba with the opposition political parties, it was important that the Head of State should consider setting up the date for which he would meet other stakeholders over the constitution.

The grand coalition is still waiting for a response from state house on the petition for a summit on the constitution making process.

Due to the gravity of the constitution issue, the consortium of opposition party leaders, wrote President Sata asking him to call for and chair a meeting on the constitution.

Mr Chipenzi was shocked that state house had not received the letter from the coalition because it had been delivered.

Mr Chipenzi said that whoever was sitting on the letter meant for the President was not sincere because the discussion was for the benefit of all the citizens.

The people of Zambia expected President Sata’s final say on the constitution, because a lot had been said, which remained inconclusive.

“A lot has been said on the Constitution, and we are waiting to hear from the president who has the final say over the issue, otherwise whatever will come from elsewhere other than him will be in vain,” he said.

Mr Chipenzi called on state house officials to release the letter to the Head of state, to facilitate dialogue over the matter, in the best interest of the Zambian people.

Mr Chipenzi said that the issue of constitution making process had created a lot of anxiety in Zambians, and needed to be addressed promptly, with the help of President Sata who was the last person.

A group of 16 opposition political leaders had written an open letter to President Michael Sata for an inter-party dialogue to chart the way forward over the constitution making process, but state house indicated that they had not received the letter.

The leaders appealed to President Sata to chair the meeting, because of the urgency of the matter.

“We write requesting your office Mr President to grant a meeting with the undersigned Opposition political parties presidents on the issue of the constitution making process. We propose that the meeting be chaired by you,” the letter stated.

And Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Chembe clarified that the national indaba would include all stakeholders to pave way forward on the constitution debate.

Mr Chembe told the Daily Nation that SACCORD had written to the government through the Ministry of Justice seeking consensus on the Constitution making process and that the date was set for April 30.

“This constitution indaba is to bring together all various stakeholders to chart forward the constitution issue, and I must clarify that this is different from the opposition’s petition to the President, but the idea is to involve all the stakeholders, that include the church, CSOs, the political parties and so on,” Chembe explained.

Mr Chembe said the Indaba would provide a platform for questions and responses in issues regarding the Constitution making process.