UPND Mazabuka Central member of parliament Garry Nkombo says the PF are delaying to present the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 in Parliament because they are struggling to get the needed numbers for it to pass.

And Alliance for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti says President Edgar Lungu should exercise sobriety in the constitution making process.

During his address to Parliament, Friday, President Lungu said those who will not participate in the Constitution making process should not blame those who will do it on their behalf.

However, Nkombo said President Lungu should pray hard to find weak souls in the opposition who will support Bill 10 because the ruling party is currently battling to get the needed numbers.

“If they think they have packaged this Constitution to the best interest of the Zambians, why are they [delaying] to bring it on the floor of the House? Why are they postponing it? Why are they frightened? Because they are busy trying to cut corners to lure people, coerce people and the representatives of the people are also on red alert. We are aware of maybe one or two that have fallen prey to the PF process but it doesn’t change much for us because we know that in our current state, we cannot award PF the numbers to do what they want to do,” Nkombo said.

He said President Lungu had been “consistently inconsistent” in the way he wished to see the constitution amendment process proceed.

“If you recall in the October address to the nation, just prior to the budget [presentation], his words were ‘whether they like it or not, we ourselves are going to go through’ because he was thinking that they will manage to gunner the numbers that they require. In as far as we are concerned, our position has been consistently consistent, that we are not part and parcel of that process, we have not [been] part and parcel from the beginning. We don’t see how we can be part and parcel at the tail end,” said Nkombo.

“Let him pray to his God that as they have been trying, there will be some weak souls that they will manage to get but it is a long throw. It will not yield anything and the big question that one really wants to ask when you hear a statement like that is to find out from President Lungu who tells him he will be in government one year later? So how does he know he will not be the one crying to the new government? Because they will be a new government…”

And Miti said the Constitution belongs to the Zambian people and President Lungu must approach the constitution-making process with soberness.

“The President has consistently made statements that suggest he is of the view that the constitution is a document of contestation and power play. The constitution belongs to the people of Zambia and not to the President or his perceived enemies. He needs to be sober in the way he approaches it. Further, in his address, the President cherry-picked clauses that he claims are the reason that Bill 10 should pass, completely leaving out all the poisonous provisions for which the document should be thrown out. It is because of such bad will that Zambians say ‘hands off our constitution’, ” said Miti.