Heritage Party president Brigadier General Godfrey Miyanda has accused the Grand Coalition of trivialising his petition to President Lungu and reducing it to a popularity contest.
Gen Miyanda particularly attacked Father Leonard Chiti, Grand Coalition chairperson of having failed to have addressed the ten issues he raised with the President instead of discussing him (argumentum ad hominem)!
“Father Leonard Chiti, who was speaking on behalf of the Grand Coalition, has criticized President Lungu “for paying attention to Brigadier General Miyanda who has no support or influence across the country”. I reject this new gospel on Constitution-making according.
“Is the Grand Coalition suggesting that citizens are disqualified from complaining or expressing their views because they are not many or influential? What does Father Chiti and his Grand Coalition make of these words from Part III of the Constitution,” said Gen Miyanda
In a statement Gen Miyanda said it was recognised that every person in Zambia has been and shall continue to be entitled to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual, etc etc.
He said poor people were not influential and asked whether the Grand Coalition would prevent them from raising their voices because they were not many unless the Coalition speaks from them.
“There is nothing wrong to petition the President before he asserts. Article 78(3) provides that “where a Bill is presented to the President for assent, he shall either assent or withhold his assent”,
Gen Miyanda also said nowhere in his petition did he ask the President not to assent, adding that it was President Lubngu’s statement in Kasama that he would sign the Bills with his eyes closed that alarmed him hence the petition.
He said he urged the President to call a stakeholders’ meeting if he believed in his clarion call for unity in the nation to reach some consensus.
“So it is not correct for someone to accuse me of being selfish. Grand Coalition, do not belittle the land question I have raised – it is a recipe for upheaval if not addressed timely; do not trivialise the security question and do not wait until it is too late – prevention is better than cure, “said Gen Miyanda.