The Grand Coalition on a people-driven constitution is a bunch of individuals who are in the habit of making noise simply because they want funding from their donors, Chief Government spokesperson Chishimba Kambwili has charged.
But coalition spokesperson McDonald Chipenzi has advised Mr. Kambwili to be level-headed when discussing issues of national interests rather than making statements to demean Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over their funding when Government also depended on donors.
Reacting to the coalition’s 90-day ultimatum to Government to start the process of enacting the draft Constitution through a referendum, Mr. Kambwili said the group was just dreaming because the State would never change its position as long as the coalition did not provide money for the exercise.
He said the country did not have money to undertake such an expensive exercise and that it was irresponsible for the Grand Coalition to demand for what was not possible when Government had already provided a roadmap on the enactment of a new constitution.
“They were quiet for some time but they have resurrected because their pockets are empty, they are broke and now they want to show their donors that they are working by reviving their demands but it will not work out.
“Tell Father Leonard Chiti and friends that they can continue dreaming because it is allowed to dream. We shall not prevent anyone from dreaming but whatever they are pushing for will never be achieved because we are not a reckless Government that will call for a referendum to please a few individuals,” Mr. Kambwili said.
But Mr. Chipenzi advised Mr. Kambwili to be sober because the coalition was speaking on behalf of Zambians in accordance with the constitution.
“We are speaking in accordance with the provisions of the constitution and according to the citizens’ call. So, Mr. Kambwili should not accuse us of dancing to donors because even Government has donors to which it is dancing to right now by flouting the provisions in our constitution. We have not changed and we will never change our position on this issue and we will not back down from this call,” Mr. Chipenzi said.
During a press briefing on Sunday, the coalition gave Government a 90-day ultimatum to start the process of enacting a people driven constitution through a referendum as opposed to a piecemeal amendment of the non-contentious clauses while subjecting the rest of the document to a referendum to run concurrently with the general election.