THE threat to campaign against Presidential candidates who did not sign the social contract by the Grand Coalition on the Constitution appears to be blackmail, Heritage Party president Godfrey Miyanda has said.
Brigadier General Miyanda wondered how the coalition would decide to campaign or vote for a candidate that signed the document and the formula for determining the percentage of campaign time or votes to be cast for each candidate who has signed the contract.
He said the contract was clearly a one-sided document, drafted and approved by the promoters without discussing the contents of the document with “the other side”.
Gen Miyanda said it was highly unusual for a contract, or even a memorandum of understanding, to be drawn up and approved by only one of the parties and that the timing of the demand to sign the document on the eve of the presidential election was extortion.
The opposition leader has since countered the document and proposed that there was still room to recast the document.
“In principle, I support the call by the Grand Coalition and other concerned Zambians to call for appropriate improvements to our Constitution. We may not agree on everything but the intention appears noble.
“But apart from the presidential candidate the other parties are not identified in the body of the document.
“Who are they? Who will sign for these other parties? Surely, a list of the Grand Coalition is very necessary,” he said.
He wondered what the remedy for the candidates would be should the coalition fail to keep their part of the contract.
“I notice that there is an oath or affirmation to be administered. What is the whole idea? A good part of the pledge is lifted from the Zambian Constitution. This is the oath of office taken by the winning presidential candidate after the election and conforms to Article 40 of the Republican Constitution. Unless properly explained the Pledge seems superfluous,” Gen miyanda said.
He suggested that an appropriate time be arranged to discuss the contract and any other matters related to the idea “Presidential Candidate’s Pledge.