Dear Antonio Mwanza,
As Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD), we have no problem with you criticizing the ruling Patriotic Front (PF) government over the unnecessary expenditure at Heroes Stadium for the constitution bill signing ceremony. We actually have the same position and we think it should have been done at State House and broadcast live on radio and Television.
But we take great exception to your attempt to mudsling us by lumping us together with the PF as if we are Siamese twins. How can you in good conscience claim that this constitution is a PF/MMD constitution? Are you so dishonest that you want to pretend to the Zambian public that your party the Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) was not part and parcel of the group of people that prepared the initial draft of the constitution in 2010?
The facts are that the National Constitution Conference (NCC), established in 2007 by late President Levy Mwanawasa, produced the constitution bill about to be signed into law tomorrow by President Edgar Lungu. There have only been minor amendments to the original from 2010.
The FDD Vice-president Mr Chifumu Banda was in fact the Chairman of the NCC and had a lot of influence on the final draft constitution. You yourself Mr Mwanza even sat on the NCC and contributed to the debate by pushing for what you believed in to be included in the draft constitution. Your party representatives including yourself collected huge sums of money for sitting on the NCC and today you want to distance yourself from it?
It seems very dishonest of you to claim that “The Constitution Bill Edgar Lungu will be signing on Tuesday is not a people driven Constitution but a PF/MMD doctored Constitution. The people’s submissions were raped and adulterated”, as reported by Lusaka Times yesterday. Are you going to disown your own contributions to the Constitution just because some of the clauses you support have been left out?
How can you ignore the 80% that has passed in parliament and focus on the remaining 20%? There are also clauses that we would have loved to be included but were left out but we are not going to throw out the baby with the bath water like your party and the United Party for National Development (UPND) whose MPs also sat on the NCC and collected huge allowances.
As Jesus said, you are straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel (Matthew 23:24).
Communications Director in office of the MMD President