MMD against UPND schemes

OPPOSITION MMD will not be part of the scheme by the UPND and other civil society organizations to ‘‘kill’’ the constitution-making process by shooting down progressive clauses for selfish political gains ahead of next year’s elections.

Party national women’s chairlady Lisa Passi said the UPND has once again comeback with its scheme of shooting down the Constitution by voting against progressive clauses in the final Draft Constitution under debate in Parliament just like they did in 2011 together with the PF.

“I commend the bravery and clarity of the MMD members of Parliament for the strong submissions made to the Constitutional Bill debate in Parliament on Wednesday 25th November 2015 during the second reading,” Ms. Passi said.

She said the former ruling party’s contribution in the House had given a clear direction to the debate and a strong push towards making progress in what had been an expensive and frustrating process for the people of Zambia since 1972 when the first Constitutional Review Commission was set up.

Ms. Passi said the Constitutional Bill which was presented by MMD in 2011 failed because of the scheme by UPND and PF then, but the MMD would not take part in that scheme because Zambians needed a Constitution.

“The truth has finally been exposed. The MMD did not fail to give Zambians a Constitution but the people who have voted against the partial amendments.

‘‘MMD women are very happy that our MPs have shown the nation that the MMD has been consistent on this matter and not influenced by any external factors  since 2011 when this same Bill was presented to Parliament but was defeated by the PF and the UPND for selfish partisan considerations,” Mrs. Passi said.

She said the UPND in particular had a lot to answer and explain to the people of Zambia because they even took part in the National Constitution Conference (NCC) set up by president Levy Mwanawasa but voted against the Bill in 2011.

“The UPND in 2011 said they were against the Bill because it did not contain the 50 per cent +1 and the running mate clause.

But this time the Bill has those contentious clauses  included in the current constitution-making process yet they have again voted against the Bill which was presented in Parliament on Wednesday.

‘‘Today UPND has a different reason which shows how insincere they are. They ate the huge allowances for sitting on the NCC but were against the Bill in the end. We should not trust the UPND,” Mrs. Passi said.

She said she was not surprised that the UPND had taken a ‘‘betrayal route’’ once again, adding that the people of Zambia were watching their conduct.

“In fact, the two clauses the UPND were insisting on were put to the referendum that we had planned to have after the 2011 elections.

Today the UPND is saying they want the whole Constitution subjected to a referendum when the same thing could have been achieved years ago,” said Mrs Passi.

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