President Michael Sata has dismissed assertions that the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government was inducing parliamentary by-elections in the country.
In an apparent reference to the Caritas Zambia statement that asked Diocesan Catholics to reject defecting MPs, President Sata described the claims as idle and trivial speculation and urged those criticising the concept of by-elections to be clear-headed and honest when expressing their views.
President Sata said this in a statement made available to the media by his voice mail George Chellah.
“Our constitution is clear on the circumstances and procedures under which parliamentary or local government by-elections are permissible. And all registered political parties are at liberty to exercise their constitutional right to participate in any subsequent contest that might arise,” he said.
Mr. Sata further said his administration, which he said was devoted to the rule of law, considered the debate on democracy and its price, mischievous and time-wasting.
“As far as we are concerned, we have not violated any law and we see no grounds for such blatant pretence from the critics of this legally recognized act,” President Sata said.
In a strongly worded statement, Caritas Zambia said “since the General elections in September 2011, we have seen resignations orchestrated by elections in Chongwe, Mufumbwe, Mpongwe, Livingstone and now three more are pending in Feira, Zambezi East and kafulafuta. This is in addition to several other by-elections occasioned by court decisions!!! This is a governance scandal. Anyone looking for evidence of gross abuse of public resources in our country should not look far given resources so blatantly plundered through these masterminded by elections”.