President Michael Sata and his Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba must be summoned by Parliament to explain why they have continued to lie about the constitution making process on the floor of the National Assembly, the Grand Coalition on the constitution has demanded.
The Grand Coalition on the Constitution has charged that President Sata and Mr Kabimba have brought parliament’s name into disrepute and public ridicule over their conflicting statements.
The Coalition has also described the summoning of UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and two of his Members of Parliament (MPs) along with All People’s Congress (ACP) president Nason Msoni as intimidation and harassment of the worst kind in Zambia’s democratic history.
Grand Coalition on the Constitution chairperson Leonard Chiti has said President Sata and Mr Kabimba must be punished for lying on the floor of the House and that Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini should exercise his powers by summoning the duo.
Father Chiti said it was the resolve of the Grand Coalition that it would never accept intimidation of the MPs and opposition political party leaders on their desire to have a people-driven constitution enacted via a referendum and an Act of Parliament.
He explained that the nation was alert to the fact that some members of the executive such as President Sata had made a statement during his inaugural speech in Parliament in 2011 that he would deliver a people-driven constitution within 90 days but it was almost three years without the new constitution.Fr Chiti said early this year, Vice-President Guy Scott told the House that the draft constitution would be released to the public in weeks but this promise had not been honoured.He said Mr Kabimba was on record on the floor of the House that the draft constitution was going to be handed to President Sata by the end of December 2013 but even that commitment had not been respected.“If the rules of the House were to be applied fairly, at least in the name of natural justice, we believe that those who have made those statements that have not come to pass should be summoned to explain why they have either lied to Parliament or misled Zambians on the new constitution. If this is not done, we fear that that the House will become a laughing stock. We demand that Mr Kabimba and President Sata who are both members of Parliament be summoned by Parliament to explain why they have continued to issue statements on the floor of the House which have never materialised. The duo has brought the name of the House into great disrepute and public ridicule. The two must be punished for lying on the floor of the House,” Fr Chiti said.