The recent assassination attempts on the opposition leaders in the country like what happened to the Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) president Nevers Mumba in Chinsali and United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema in Ndola is unacceptable, says the Grand Coalition of NGOs, individuals and interest groups pushing for the enactment of the new constitution.
Coalition spokesperson McDonald Chipenzi says the barbaric action committed by the PF cadres in Chinsali and Copperbelt demonstrates how defunct and defective the current Constitution is.
He said this is the more reason that Zambia needs a new constitution that guarantees equal freedoms and protection for everyone regardless of their political, cultural and religious affiliations.
‘We, the Grand Coalition, therefore reiterate our demand for the immediate release and enactment of a new Constitution before Zambia plunges into anarchy. In a country where 6.8 million people are children under the age of 15 who disproportionately suffer more in any conflict situation, government has a duty to ensure and promote peace’, he said an e-statement.
Chipenzi said the supremacy of the Constitution is not questionable, non-negotiable and it is sacred.
‘A new constitution that will guarantee equality to all is inevitable in a democratic dispensation. If President Sata while in opposition was allowed to say that Levy Mwanawasa’s mouth and brain did not coordinate at a rally when late President Levy Mwanawasa was in power, why is President Sata not allowing opposition political and civic leaders to have the same freedoms?
‘Democracy is about the respect for the rule of law and free speech which guarantees politicians to sell themselves and their manifestoes, policies and programmes to the people without which free and fair elections are untenable,’ he said.
He explained that it is unconstitutional for the Police to wantonly disrupt meetings by opposition political leaders such as what happened to President Edith Nawakwi of the Forum for Democracy and development (FDD). The action by the police using the Public Order Act which is a subordinate law to the current constitution underscores the need for a new constitution.
And the grand coalition has questioned the logic in the lies that the police helped HH and or Dr Mumba to escape as reported in the PF vuvyzela. The coalition wondered why the police decided to become the Red Cross’ instead of arrest the criminals.
“We also wonder how the police could help HH and Dr. Mumba escape from the cadres when they should have arrested them for attempted murder,’ read the statement.