THE Zambia Council for Social Development (ZCSD) is dismayed that some political parties that pledged to press Government to enact the new and people-driven Constitution through a referendum before 2016 have changed their position and are now parroting calls for partial constitutional amendments.
ZCSD executive director Lewis Mwape said his organization was specifically demanding the enactment of the new and people-driven Constitution through a referendum and appealed to President Edgar Lungu to ignore organisations and political parties that had started championing causes which were against the wishes of Zambians.
He said ZCSD had realized that some political leaders campaigning that the Constitution needed to be amended were opportunists who had on countless times misled successive presidents on the mode of adopting the new Constitution.
Mr Mwape said in a statement that his organization’s work was anchored on promoting social economic development and that the new Constitution should be able to respond to the needs and aspirations of ordinary citizens, adding that this could only be achieved with the entrenched expanded Bill of Rights.
“We urge the people of Zambia to judge those aspiring for public office especially the Presidency to scrutinize and see their inconsistency, dishonesty, and appetite for political appointments into Government.
‘‘We earnestly appeal to President Lungu to ignore such opportunists who have misled other presidents in the past and cannot thrive on their own.
‘‘These individuals are tactical job seekers and will do anything to attract the President’s attention,” he said.
Mr Mwape said it was shocking that the political parties and organisations that were pressing Government to enact the new Constitution via a referendum were now accusing the Grand Coalition of having become antagonistic and pursuing a political agenda against President Lungu’s administration.
He said ZCSD as a member of the Grand Coalition on the Constitution was not bothered by the departure of some political parties from the coalition adding that some of the political parties joined the coalition, to win political sympathy and mileage and now that the presidential election was over, they had started seeking Government jobs by discrediting the work of the coalition.
“The departure of some of the political parties from the Grand Coalition is a blessing in disguise as this could help the coalition to focus on propagating the voice of the majority of Zambians whose interest is not anchored on individual gratification.
‘‘We shall continue calling for inclusive development through a good and durable Constitution.
‘‘Our agenda remains the same and that is to have a new Constitution before the 2016 general elections,’’ Mr Mwape said.