Don’t give PF chance to manipulate already damaged Constitution – HH

UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema says government’s threats on the opposition will not work, adding that the alliance will push ahead and report President Edgar Lungu, some high ranking PF officials and four PF cadres to the International Criminal Court (ICC).

And Hichilema has charged that Zambians should not give a dishonest group of people like the PF another chance to do further damage to the Constitution through the amendment process.

Recently, the Opposition Alliance announced that it had decided to report President Edgar Lungu, some high ranking PF officials and four PF cadres to the ICC for various crimes against humanity.

Chairperson of the Opposition Alliance Charles Milupi said at the press briefing that the alliance’s investigations had revealed that the ruling party had assembled a group of youths whose sole purpose was to perpetrate violence – and went ahead to name the accused.

But Special Assistant to the President for Press and Public Relations Amos Chanda said President Lungu had instructed Justice Minister Given Lubinda to invite the ICC and Amnesty International to come and examine the Opposition Alliance’s criminal allegations against government and PF officials.

Speaking to journalists at the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court where he went to attend the case in which his supporters are accused of being in possession of offensive weapons during the Chilanga by-elections, Tuesday, Hichilema charged that government could call whoever they wanted but the process would not stop.

He added that the alliance had actually added more names to those who would be reported to the ICC.

“The guilty are afraid. Let him call whoever he wants, it does not stop our process. Our process goes on. By the way we have a few more names we have picked from further information who we are going to include on that list. May I take this opportunity to announce that it will not just be ICC, it will be other bodies that are even quicker that we are going to submit a report of this human rights breaches. For us whether he calls them here or not does not matter. Our process continues,” he said.

“But threats will not work, how many times have we been threatened? How many times have they attempted to take us out of this world by eliminating us? But the owner of life is him upstairs. Only God gives life and takes it away.”

Hichilema further charged that the PF government had already manipulated the Constitution and did not deserve another chance to make things worse.

“If you look at the original document or draft of the Constitution that the late President [Micheal] Sata put together, the PF are responsible for manipulating that draft. They hoodwinked bonafide and genuine members of parliament who took or accepted the PF view on face value. And PF, once they were granted the opportunity to amend the Constitution through a Constitutional amendment bill which requires two-thirds majority, in now making specific changes to clauses, the PF manipulated the Constitution. That’s why we have many lacuna in the Constitution, we have a lot grey areas. They only brought clauses that they believed favoured them as a political party,” he said.

“The lesson we learn from there is that we should never allow a dishonest group of people like the PF, another chance to do further damage to the Constitution. We will not give the keys. The key is the two-thirds majority to table the Constitutional amendment bill on the floor of the House because the PF does not have the two-thirds majority. The key is shared by us. [Given] Lubinda can do what he wants [but] he will not have the ability to table that motion in the House. They were responsible for the mess [and] they want to do further damage to the Constitution.”

Meanwhile, Hichilema charged that the PF government was avoiding the dialogue process so that they could use the Constitutional amendment process to deceive citizens.

“By the way, the Constitution is not a product of PF or UPND, it should be a product of the people of Zambia. Parliament itself is a creation of the Constitution, a creation of the people’s wishes through the Constitution. So Parliament cannot be given the delegated authority to make that decision. Let the people make that decision through the dialogue process. So they are trying to circumvent the dialogue process so that they can now use Constitutional questions to hoodwink journalists, citizens. They will not have that opportunity this time, we are wiser than before,” said Hichilema.




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