The Grand Coalition for a people driven Constitution, a consortium of civil society organisations, church mother bodies, trade unions, political parties, and other stakeholders will this Saturday August 30 convene a General Assembly of all its constituent members from across the country to among other re-strategies on how to compel the arrogant and power hungry Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba and Patriotic Front (PF) to release the final draft constitution to the Zambian people.
And the Coalition has demanded that President Michael Sata should come out of his hiding and give the Zambian people their constitution “and go back into hiding there after if he so desires.”
Coalition spokesperson McDonald Chipenzi said at a media briefing in Lusaka today that the General Assembly would be held at the Mulungushi Conference Centre from 08:00hrs to 13:00hrs.
“The provincial leadership from across the country the Coalition will also be in attendance. The assembly is aimed at taking the constitutional fight to another higher level and will mark the resumption of all coalition activities on the campaign for release of the final draft constitution and its enactment before the 2016 elections.
“Most Zambians demand that the 2016 elections be held under the new constitution to avoid electoral contestation thereafter,” he said.
He said the Assembly, whose theme has been dubbed,“Zambia @ 50, rescuing and enactment of our constitution for better lives for all,” was aimed at mobilizing the masses to demand for the immediate release of the final constitution and and enactment of new constitution .
“Being a golden Jubilee year, it either we get our constitution now or never at all. The demand for a new constitution is actually meant to remind the PF government and party to be accountable to its promise of delivering a new constitution within the record period of 90 days.
“Without honoring campaign promises, Zambia’s electoral democracy will be under serious threat as any politician will promise electorate and later change his/her mind never to account of his/her promises which may be a cause of despondence among the voters,” he said.
He said the Coalition was aware that the absence of the President from the public eye and his dearth silence on the constitution making process and other national and international events, as a key player was and will continue to be a challenge to the Zambia’s overall development efforts.
“His absence is an economic and political sabotage as no investor will confidently put their investment in a country where the President is unseen and unheard raising questions and doubt who exactly is in charge of the country.
He said it was for this reason why the Coalition now wants to apply more political pressure to force the President to come out of hiding and give the Zambian people their constitution and declare to the nation his intention of why he has been absent from work without permission.
“It is the first time Zambia @ 50 that an elected President not even under Welensky, decided to abandon the flock without any convincing reasons from government. The President can disappear if so wishes after giving Zambian a constitution as the other process and time of accounting to the electorate will surely come in 2016,
“But for how long will the President desert his flock and remain in hiding especially that parliament is opening in the next three weeks and he is expected to preside over it. Is he going to delegate someone, again for the first time in history, to open it? This will expose and perhaps be a blessing in disguise to the Zambians as it will remove all the doubts in their minds about the president’s ability and capacity to attend such important national and international events?” he said.
With the foregoing, Zambians are called upon to make decisions that determine a better destiny. Remember that we are called on to aspire to inspire before we expire.
“For this reason, come and join us @ the General Assembly. Come Saturday, all roads should lead to the Mulungushi Int’l Conference Centre.” He said.