Southern Africa Network Against Corruption (SANAC) executive director Gregory Chifire has charged that President Edgar Lungu wants to use Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 10 to legally rig the 2021 general election.

And Chifire has charged that the Patriotic Front has not only destroyed the economy, but are also attempting to mutilate the Republican Constitution within their eight years of being in power.

In an interview, Chifire said Zambians needed to unite to stop President Lungu from altering the Constitution.

He charged that the Head of State wanted to use the Amended Constitution to have the legal mandate to rig the August, 2021, polls.

“Zambians need to unite now more than ever before to stop Edgar Lungu from changing the Constitution, which he wants to use in order to have legal mandate to rig elections! Once he has a new Constitution to himself, he will be legally-mandated to rig elections using the law. Zambians should be wary of such machinations because Edgar Lungu knows that under the majoritarian provision of the Constitution, which he brought himself, he cannot win an election. Because he knows that, he wants to bring in new provisions that will give him a new lease of life, a new mandate, in accordance with the law that he is going to provide,” Chifire argued.

“Mahatma Gandhi said: ‘civil disobedience becomes a sacred duty when the State becomes corrupt and lawless.’ We have a government that is corrupt, a government that is lawless, doesn’t respect the law, a government that wants to enact a law in order to perpetuate its stay in power! It’s incumbent upon all of us to put our differences aside and stop them for once. We cannot allow this regime to simply change the Constitution ‘willy nilly’ [and] do as they wish! What do they think of us as Zambians? They are insulting our intelligence [and] our collective wisdom as a people.”

And Chifire said the power to make the Constitution belonged to the people because it was their document.

“They are now arguing that Parliament is the only institution that has the mandate to make a Constitution. Yes, we agree on one hand. But on the other, we saying no. The power to make the Constitution belongs to the people because the Constitution is a people’s document. People must make their own laws and Parliament is only there to endorse (enact) those submissions of the people to make them into law. That’s the job of Parliament,” he said.

“How on earth can we say that the dialogue meeting that those people had at Mulungushi (International Conference Centre) was a constitutional-making process? 500 people gather for two weeks and they make a Constitution for over 17 million of us Zambians? That’s madness! We cannot allow that. And we cannot allow a group of 160 members of parliament to also come up with a Constitution for 17 million of us. I think they are taking us for granted. Zambians must do whatever is within their power to stop such an illegal amendment of the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Chifire charged that the PF had not only destroyed the economy, but were attempting to mutilate the Constitution within their eight years of being in power.

“Within eight years they have been in power, they have destroyed the economy! They are now destroying the Constitution. We agree that the Constitution that they enacted in 2016 is bad, but the new one they are suggesting is worse! We cannot be changing the Constitution every three years. Rupiah Banda owes the nation an apology for helping Edgar in 2015 when Edgar had no money for campaigns,” said Chifire.