THE Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) has expressed fears that the Patriotic Front (PF) could be tempted to enact the new Constitution through Parliament and ignore the people’s popular demand that it be enacted through a referendum because of the arrogance of numbers the ruling party has gained in the House.
MMD national secretary Muhabi Lungu said there was a real danger that the PF, having been reluctant to deliver a people-driven Constitution could easily bulldoze the process by circumventing the referendum and use Parliament to either make amendments or enact the new Constitution.
Mr Lungu however warned that the PF should avoid falling into the temptation of using Parliament to enact the Constitution because Zambians were going to strongly resist the schemes.
Mr Lungu said the MMD was aware that the PF had petitioned all the seats it lost because they were planning to avoid the referendum as a means of enacting the new Constitution.
He said for the first time in the democratic history of the country, Zambia has had 23 parliamentary by-elections most of which were induced by the ruling party looking for dominance in the House so that they could easily have a Constitution that would meet the political desires of the PF and its leadership.
Mr Lungu said it was the concern of all Zambians irrespective of their political affiliation that the PF had managed to frustrate the constitution making-process because of their desire to continue using the current and deficient document and stay in government beyond the first term.
The MMD national secretary said although the PF was desperately looking to increase their numbers in Parliament to 106 which is the two-third majority vote, the opposition political parties would ensure that the 19 pending by-elections were defended.
“We have always been awake to the fact that the PF have been looking to increase their numbers in Parliament beyond the two-thirds majority vote so that they could easily manipulate the constitution making-process through Parliament.
You may recall that it was the policy of the PF through Mr Wynter Kabimba to pettion all the seats the ruling party has lost. They have been looking for the arrogance of numbers so that they could bulldoze the constitution making process,” Mr Lungu said.
And Mr Lungu has rubbished media reports that he named the MMD NEC members who have remained non-committal to the former ruling party, charging that it was ethically not correct for media houses to put words in the mouth of sources.
Mr Lungu said when he addressed the media on Tuesday, he refused to name the seven NEC members that had stopped attending party meetings and functions because it was going to be unfair on their part.
He explained that he had pledged to undertake visits to the non-active NEC members so that he could meet and discuss with them why they were not actively participating in party functions.
“I never mentioned the names of the people some media house has published and even when pressed to give out names, I refused because it would not have been fair. It is not fair and unethical for media houses to give out names I did not name.
All I said was that I will be undertaking visits to our non-active members to find out because they could be avoiding party activities on the basis that they do not feel loved and wanted by the party,” Mr Lungu said.