UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has maintained that his party and other interest groups such as the Grand Coalition will continue to reject the phased approach of enacting the new Constitution because there is a danger of the document getting manipulated.
And Mr Hichilema has accused the Patriotic Front (PF) of perpetrating electoral violence in Mulobezi Constituency which has seen Mushaukwa Mushaukwa hospitalized in the Livingstone General Hospital after sustaining a bullet wound.
Mr Hichilema disclosed that his advisors have been restraining him from conducting his political activities because they feared that he would be arrested, resulting in the opposition political party having no presidential candidate.
He said the Constitution was close to his heart and that he did not fear to be arrested for conducting his political activities because he would rather not be a presidential candidate in an election whose results he claimed would have been stolen before voting.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND was against the phased approach in the constitution-making process because Zambia had been on that constitutional trajectory before and had not yielded the desired results.
He told journalists at a media briefing at the UPND secretariat yesterday that the UPND would only support the enactment of the new Constitution if the whole document was either subjected to the referendum or taken to Parliament for enactment.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND would not change its position until and unless Government decided to subject the non-contentious clauses such as the 50 percent plus one vote and the running mate to the referendum together with the Bill of Rights.
He said he did not know who was going to select the non-contentious clauses from the Draft Constitution to present to Parliament for constitutional amendment adding that his fears were that Government would choose clauses that would favour the ruling party to win the general elections next year.
“Justice Minister Ngosa Simbyakula is a member of the PF and he is the one who will be choosing what he would consider non-contentious issues. We have not been told what the non-contentious clauses are and there is a danger that they may chose clauses that are going to favour them in the general elections. My advisors have been restraining me from conducting my political activities because they fear I would be arrested and the UPND would have no candidate. If we are not going to have the Bill of Rights which grants us our fundamental rights, I would not want to be a presidential candidate in an election that is already stolen,” Mr Hichilema said.
And Mr Hichilema’s special assistant (special duties) Edward Mumbi said Mr Hichilema was the only politician who signed the social contract with the civil society organisations before the January presidential election.
Mr Mumbi said Mr Hichilema was still standing tall and maintaining his position that the new Constitution should be enacted before the 2016 general elections.
He said Mr Hichilema had never committed himself to anything he would not deliver and that he (Hichilema) was disappointed that the PF had made many promises to Zambians but few were being fulfilled.
Meanwhile, Mr Hichilema has accused the PF of orchestrating violence in Mulobezi and has demanded the arrest of secretary general Davis Chama.
Mr Hichilema has asked his members to rise against Government stating that Zambia was in a situation which would only require insurgency to resolve because the Police were suffering from inertia in applying the law equally.
Mr Hichilema also claimed that the PF was stage-managing defections, asserting that the ruling party was spending a lot of money in buying members of the opposition political parties to defect to the ruling party.