UPND disputes MMD claims

THE National Constitution Conference (NCC) collapsed in 2011 because the Levy Mwanawasa constitution-making process was frustrated by the Patriotic Front (PF) while in the opposition, the United Party for National Development (UPND) has charged.

UPND presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi said MMD president Nevers Mumba was allegedly lying to the nation by alleging that the collapse of the NCC was caused by the UPND because at that time the PF was against the enactment of the new Constitution though piece meal amendments.

Mr Mumbi said it was the PF, while in the opposition, that boycotted the NCC because the now ruling party did not agree with the process and it was therefore out of ignorance that Dr Mumba could allege that the UPND caused the collapse of the constitution-making process in 2011.

Reacting to Dr Mumba’s assertions that it was the UPND that shot down the NCC in 2011, Mr Mumbi said when Dr Mwananwasa made the NCC law, the PF did not support the process and that the PFMPs that rebelled against the party in support of the process at the time were expelled.

He said if Dr Mumba was looking for a job from the PF, he should not be using the UPND so that he could be considered for a job in the ruling party.

Mr Mumbi said when he was the secretary general of the PF, the leadership at the time refused to support the process because the PF at the time demanded a people-driven Constitution which the now ruling party was not against.

“The statement by MMD president Nevers Mumba that the UPND frustrated the NCC during the time of Levy Mwanawasa is incorrect and a misrepresentation of fact.

‘‘At that time, I was the secretary general of the PF and we were against the process because we did not agree with the manner the process was being conducted. I suspended and later expelled 28 MPs who had rebelled against the party decision to boycott the NCC and they only remained in Parliament by a court order.

‘‘So Dr Nevers Mumba is lying by claiming that the UPND caused the shooting down of the NCC Bill,” Mr Mumbi said.

Mr Mumbi said it was the PF that had promised Zambians a people-driven Constitution in 90 days and not the UPND and the ruling party should therefore apologise for having lied to Zambians.

He said the position of the UPND since 2011 had been that Zambians should be allowed to have their true views reflected in the new Constitution and that was why the party had continued to object to the enactment of the Constitution through a phased process.