PATRIOTIC Front (PF) elections chairperson Jean Kapata has demanded the arrest and prosecution of UPND members of Parliament (MPs) who actively participated in the National Constitution Conference (NCC) and enjoyed its huge allowances but shot down the Bill when it went to Parliament, leading to the collapse of the constitution-making process in 2011.
Ms Kapata has charged that the UPND parliamentarians defrauded Zambians by receiving the NCC allowances under the guise of supporting the constitution-making process under the Levy Mwanawasa presidency.
Reacting to UPND presidential spokesperson Edward Mumbi who accused the PF of having caused the collapse of the NCC because the then opposition political party refused to participate in the NCC, Ms Kapata demanded that all the UPND parliamentarians who received NCC allowances but boycotted the process in Parliament should be made to pay back the money because it was fraudulently obtained.
She explained that while it was true that 20 MPs of PF were expelled for defying a decree by former president Michael Sata, the 17 that remained were determined to have a transparent constitution-making process and that was why they did not attend the NCC sittings where the UPND MPs drew huge allowances but later shot it down in Parliament.
Ms Kapata said it was not only the 17 PF parliamentarians that boycotted the NCC but other stakeholders including the Oasis Forum, the Catholic Church and other civil society organizations because their desire was to have a process that was universally agreed upon.
‘‘There is no way the UPND is going to deny the fact that they caused the collapse of the NCC and the entire constitution-making process in 2011.
‘‘ MMD president Nevers Mumba is correct to blame the UPND for the failure for Zambia to have a new and people-driven Constitution because their MPs were part of the NCC. They attended the NCC sittings at Mulungushi International Conference Centre and got huge allowances.
‘‘When it went to Parliament, the same UPND MPs walked out, boycotting the process. If the UPND had voted with the MMD after enjoying allowances, a two-third majority mark was going to be reached and the NCC could have been successful. They must be charged and arrested for defrauding Zambians,” Ms Kapata said.