Opposition UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has been accused of playing double standards on the issue of enacting the country’s new Constitution.
The Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) thinks that Mr. Hakainde is also being hypocritical.
YALI governance adviser Isaac Mwanza says Mr. Hichilema cannot claim that Members of Parliament (MPs) do not possess the requisite capacity to make independent decisions because they are controlled by politicians when he too is a politician that has MPs.
Below is the full statement
Hakainde Hichilema Must stop insulting Parliamentarians on Constitution Reform
We are very sad as Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) that UPND President Hakainde Hichilema has continued to play double standards and hypocritical on the issue of coming up with the progressive Constitution by claiming members of parliament (MPs) do not possess the requisite capacity to make independent decisions since, he and his partners claim, MPs are controlled by politicians like himself.
Mr. Hichilema’s latest directive to his Members of Parliament to vote against Parliamentary amendments to the Constitution is an insult to the independence, intelligence and integrity of his own honourable MPs and to Zambians at large since the UPND leader and the Grand Coalition have been the ones funding campaigns to make our people believe that Parliamentarians cannot be trusted to adopt and enact the new Constitution.
The lame excuse advanced by the Grand Coalition that Members of Parliament cannot be trusted to make the supreme law stem from the behaviour of the politicians like Mr. Hichilema and his party who have the capacity to instruct MPs elected on their party ticket to shoot down progressive means of making laws because of their political egos.
If the same directive made by the UPND leader to his MPs was made by either President Lungu or MMD President Nevers Mumba to PF and MMD Members of Parliament to use their mandate to pass amendments to the Constitution, the same UPND leader and it’s partners would have climbed an antihill telling Zambians why they don’t want MPs to perform the duty of amending the Supreme law. The UPND leader must stop engaging in the same shameful conduct he is condemning others for and making elected MPs appear as if they are robots who can’t decide on their own on what is best for this country.
What is more sad is that Mr. Hichilema is making this behaviour of controlling his MPs a political career and Zambians have not forgotten that despite the UPND and its MPs having benefitted from looting of the treasury during the NCC constitution reform exercise leading to the failed process to pass the Constitution Bill on 29 March 2011, Mr. Hichilema has always been at the center of the failed process all because the MMD could not guarantee him as a Presidential Running mate.
Mr. Hichilema may wish to remember that unlike YALI that was sidelined by the Technical Committee because we refused to participate in the continued looting of the treasury, Mr. Hichilema himself led the UPND to the Constitution Consultative Forums and it will be inexcusable for the UPND to have once again gotten the money from the treasury and yet fail to pass a single line of what they agreed upon during those forums, all because Mr. Hichilema and his partners who got those hefty payments are opposed to the process.
YALI would like to remind the opposition honourable Members of Parliament that since the political party that sponsored does not trust your ability in making independent decisions and have since confirmed with your electorate that you can be controlled through party directives, the most honourable thing to serve your integrity as Members of Parliament is either to resign from Parliament or defy directives by your party aimed at using you to frustrate the constitution reform process. We know that despite your party not being able to trust you with dispensing your constitutional mandate to enact laws, including adopting, repealing and re-enacting the Constitution, the party has no courage to withdraw you from Parliament
Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI)