PF angers CSOs

NON-Governmental Organisations have vowed to de-campaign the Patriotic Front if it fails to deliver the long awaited constitution.

And the Grand Coalition on the Constitution of Zambia has urged President Michael Sata to stop lying to the people of Zambia over the constitution.

According to NGOCC chairperson Beatrice Grillo, the PF has continued to de-campaign itself by ignoring calls for the release of the draft constitution.

“PF are already de-campaigning themselves by refusing to release the draft constitution so we will just help them. But they can still redeem themselves if they start listening to the people’s call,” Grillo who is also coalition vice chairperson said during a media briefing yesterday said.

At the same briefing, coalition chairperson Father Leonard Chiti urged President Sata to observe the fundamental cornerstones of the 10 commandments by not lying over the matter by releasing the draft copy of the constitution.

He said the coalition felt indebted to continue ‘yapping’ because the coalition’s message on the constitution was hitting hard and finding its mark across the country through a dedicated and well networked membership.

“We urge the President to simply come clean and observe the fundamental cornerstone of the 10 commandments: thou shall not lie. We urge the President to heed the people’s call: release the final draft constitution now,” Fr Chiti said. “The Grand Coalition resolutely believes that the noble task of delivering a people-driven constitution is now just before dawn and if His Excellency the President exercises his full commitment to the 10 commandments as he did when he took office, he will do the right thing, he will deliver the second draft constitution now.”

He said it had become clear that the position of the state over the constitution was one devoid of the seriousness required to provide a new constitution to the Zambian people.

Fr Chiti observed that the current ‘functional’ constitution was a fountain of bad governance.

“The Grand Coalition reiterates its firm belief in the strong linkage between good governance and social, economic and political prosperity. This is why we are strong advocates of the expansion of the Bill of Rights in our constitution,” he said.

Fr Chiti said it was important that the country celebrated the golden jubilee of its independence with renewed hope and liberty associated with a new constitution that would ensure political, economic and social reform.

The Grand Coalition also condemned the alleged increasing levels of intimidation and police harassment under the PF rule and threats on Chipata Diocese Bishop George Lungu.

“We particularly wish to throw our weight and support behind Bishop Lungu for his courage to reveal his interaction with President Sata on the phone. Indeed it takes a man of courage to reveal such incidents to the public,” Fr Chiti said. “Bishop Lungu, we salute and feel greatly humbled by your patriotism.”

Meanwhile, political activist Dante Saunders said there was need for action to be taken as the demand for the constitution had become like ‘a cat and mouse’ chase.

And UPND deputy secretary general Kuchunga Simusamba said the opposition was still waiting for a response from the executive over the constitution consensus proposed by SACCORD.

The Grand Coalition on the Constitution of Zambia comprises various NGOs and the three church mother bodies.