A consortium of 10 political parties has vowed to get Zambians to rise and reject the idea of giving President Edgar Lungu an opportunity to contest the Presidency for a third time.

At a public discussion held in Lusaka, Sunday, National Democratic Congress (NDC) leader Chishimba Kambwili demanded that constitutional and judicial reforms be conducted immediately to consequently abolish the Constitutional Court.

Meanwhile, UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema cried out to the soul of late president Michael Sata to just turn back once and help his beloved country.

“The time has come for us to tell all those that wish to kill our hard-earned democracy and to protect our democracy. We collectively owe our country a duty to defend the Constitution. We therefore as you fellow Zambians to defend and protect the constitution, our democracy and mother Zambia. We need to rise up and demand that a new constitution review is conducted immediately by the Ministry of Justice to amend any ambiguity so that no person can claim to stand for a third term. Let’s all say in one voice that no third term for President Edgar Lungu or anyone. Let’s rise up in unity and demand that the judiciary be allowed to operate freely and independently without the interference from anyone. To demand for judicial reforms the Kenyan way and the consequent abolition of the Constitutional Court,” said Kambwili.

Hichilema agreed with NAREP president Elias Chipimo who said the Constitutional Court deliberately misinterpreted the law just to favour President Lungu ahead of 2021.

“It is important that we accept the effects of the judgment that was made on the 7th of December on our country’s democracy. By amending the constitution of 2016, the PF put in place a word which orchestrated plans to hijack Zambia’s much cherished democracy by using an amended constitution which was designed with flaws and hidden agendas to suit the PF’s needs. We thus urge Zambians to note the following key issues contained in the judgment; the decision by the court not to accept the clear wording of article 106, which states that ‘a person who has twice held office as President is not eligible for elections as President anymore. Number two, the decision by the courts to instead rely on the article, which relates to the Vice-President that assumes office as President pursuant to article 106 (3a) or to a person that is elected to the office of President pursuant to article 165 B in order to arrive at the decision that Mr Lungu did not serve a full term when he completed the late president Michael Sata’s term,” said Hichilema.

“May the soul of Mr Sata, where he is lying somehow look back on this country and as such, Mr Lungu can now serve more than two terms and effectively more than ten years in office. For the first time in the history of Zambia, the courts have legalised the holding of office for a third term. The power is in our hands as Zambians to say once again this time to Mr Lungu and the PF that no third term. We shall not allow a third term as a people.”

Meanwhile, PEP president Sean Tembo emphasised that the collaboration of the 10 political parties did not mean that they had merged the parties.

“We must hasten to mention that our agreement to work together does not entail that there is a merger of all opposition parties. That would be a problem to the democratic tenets in which we believe. Our collaboration is a clear demonstration that we have a proper democracy where we can cooperate while being individual, vibrant political parties in our own ideologies. Unlike the PF whose aim is to stifle any dissenting views, we believe that diversity is the life blood of democracy itself and so, we have chosen to act in unity while at the same time recognising our diversity as individual political parties. It is also our firm belief that in this way we can be able to serve you our fellow citizens and so we invite you all in all your diversity to join us in doing what is right for our country,” said Tembo.