It is very clear that the debate on the constitution is being manipulated.
This manipulation should not come as a surprise. Behind it are the masters of guile, subterfuge and deceit. They thrive on manipulation, flattery and outright theft and forgery to win favour and advantage.
They are masters at propaganda and unless the opposition, civil society and Zambians of goodwill stand steadfast in their demand for a new constitution their effort will be derailed by contrived propaganda schemes.
They have misled the nation before and they are prepared to do it again.
They create crisis to benefit from the resulting instability. They extol blind obedience to the law to curtail liberty and questioning minds. Such rights as freedom of speech, association and assembly are frowned upon. Criticism of any kind is not tolerated because the benevolent leaders are all powerful, loving and literary omnipotent.
They thrive on threats and abuse of state authority.
Under President Sata they have free reign with absolute control. They tried and failed under President Levy Mwanawasa who saw through their lies. They failed completely under Rupiah Banda.
Now they are in control.
The simple process of producing a draft constitution simultaneously given to the President and distributed to the nation has become so complicated and mired in such uncalled for mystique and controversy, with the deliberate intention of diverting attention from the real issue.
The truth is that nothing will happen unless they say so and even then the nation can be rest assured that nothing that threatens the status quo will be allowed. A new constitution that will create checks and balances intended to guard against manipulation of the Judiciary and the Executive on which they thrive will certainly not be allowed.
They would rather we exist in an opaque environment where oversight institutions are moribund, the ruling party is in turmoil, the executive is paralyzed and the legislature a mere rubber stamp of their appointments.
That is why the debate on the constitution is being carefully manipulated
It is not by sheer coincidence that Chiefs have been targeted to comment on a nonexistent document. The intention is simple to create a groundswell against the document to counter the campaign by the Civil Society and the church that have demanded for a people driven constitution.
They know that if enacted oversight institution will investigate and bring to book all those involved in such deals as Trafigura oil purchase, money stolen from the Development Bank of Zambia and from many other institutions including Task force on Corruption and related accounts which have been plundered.
The fight for the constitution is a fight for the second liberation. It is a fight to create for ourselves a constitution that brings all citizens to account.
President Michael Sata while in opposition identified the major flaws in the current constitution which reposed too much power in a few hands to the extent that major decisions could be made without reference to relevant oversight institutions and even where these existed their role was perfunctory.
We may not desire it but the result of the current constitution is to create a dictatorship, where full power is concentrated in a leader who presents and represents national prestige.
This leader has authority over all matters of state- or so the Supreme Court has recently ruled..