FDD supports opposition MPs stand on constitution

The Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) says it expects opposition Members of Parliament to continue putting pressure on the PF government to release the draft constitution during the next sitting of Parliament.

FDD spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said that FDD expected that parliamentarians would continue to protest like they did during the last sitting.

“We expect them to go that way and we will welcome and support their every move to put pressure on the government to release the draft constitution,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said the FDD also expected parliament to quickly amend the Public Order Act because in its current state, it was clear that the PF government was using it to suppress the opposition and to block them from mobilizing.

“PF secretary general Wynter Kabimba is going round the country campaigning and the police have given him a free way to do as he pleases. But for us in the opposition, the police have continued to stop us from having political meetings, the latest being the case of Dr Nevers Mumba leader of MMD who was stopped yesterday in Vubwi, Eastern Province,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said there was need to amend the POA in line with what the Supreme Court of Zambia ruling in the case of Christine Mulundika and others Vs the Attorney General.

The Supreme Court in that case ruled the Public Order Act in its current form was null and void because it contravened with the fundamental freedoms of individuals as guaranteed by the Constitution of Zambia. And Mr Mwanza said the FDD expected parliament to amend the Ministerial Code of Conduct so that any minister who was under investigations or was being probed for corruption should step down to pave way for investigations.

“Or  indeed if  such an individual has been named in the Auditor General’s report he or she should immediately step down to pave way for investigations and to ensure that they do not use their  offices to tamper with evidence or to intimidate would be witnesses,” Mr Mwanza said.

He said FDD expected that parliament would pass legislation to give the Auditor General’s office and the parliamentary Public Accounts Committee reports the force of law. “This is important so that once the PAC report and the AG’s report come out, those reports should have the force of law and should be taken directly to the DPP for determination of prosecution of all those named in the reports,” Mr Mwanza said.

Meanwhile FDD also expected parliament to pass legislation that would ensure that government did not contract any debt without its approval.

“These debts that Mr  Alexander Chikwanda finance minister is contracting every month are coming on the heads of the ordinary Zambians as they are the ones who are being enslaved because they are the ones that have to pay back,”

“We can’t continue getting kaloba(debts) on behalf of the people without their approval and consultation.” said Mr Mwanza.