IT will be betrayal of the worst kind to Zambians for the United Party for National Development (UPND) to shoot down the Constitution Amendment Bill in an attempt to wreck the constitution-making process, the Patriotic Front (PF) has said.
PF media committee member Brian Hapunda said it was regrettable that the UPND had instructed its members of Parliament to shoot down the Constitution Amendment Bill that comes up for the second reading today in Parliament.
Mr Hapunda said President Edgar Lungu and the PF had been magnanimous enough to give Zambians their wishes such as the 50 percent+1 clause, the presidential running mate and the date of the general elections which were non-contentious.
He told the Daily Nation yesterday that the motive by the UPND to undermine the constitution-making process should be condemned by all well-meaning Zambians who have wanted a people-driven Constitution for many years.
Mr Hapunda said while the MMD had shown patriotism and pledged to support the Bill, the UPND had ‘‘exhibited irresponsibility’’ by planning to make the constitution-making process fail ‘‘in their feeble attempt’’ to gain political mileage.
“The Constitution Amendment Bill comes up in Parliament tomorrow (today) for the second reading and the UPND has instructed its MPs to shoot down the Bill so that the constitution-making process could once again collapse.
‘‘Our call to the UPND is that let them show patriotism and avoid the temptation of being partisan in the constitution-making process. Zambians have waited for a long time and money has been spent in this process and it will be the worst betrayal for the UPND to deliberately wreck the process by shooting down the Bill,” Mr Hapunda said.
He said the UPND MPs were Zambians before acquiring their status as parliamentarians and should work together with the PF and other political parties in ensuring that the constitution-making process was brought to an end. Mr Hapunda said the UPND had always been demanding for a people-driven Constitution and it was surprising that they had decided to frustrate a process that had been accepted by many stakeholders. He said the UPND would be solely to blame should the process collapse and that Zambians would judge them harshly for putting political interests before the country’s welfare.
Mr Hapunda said the UPND should not take the Constitution Amendment Bill as a PF document but one meant to improve the governance of the country.