Leading opposition leader Hakainde Hichilema has charged that the amended republican constitution is a sham and a disgrace to the Zambian people.
And Mr Hichilema has stated that the UPND which has two serving Vice Presidents is not bothered by the passing of the 50+1 clause in the amended constitution.
He said it is shameful that President Lungu choose to sign the Bill to amend the constitution at Heroes Stadium in an attempt to hoodwink Zambians that he was delivering a new constitution.
The UPND leader was speaking in Lusaka Wednesday afternoon when he featured on a special programme on Hot FM.
‘This is not a new constitution. This is deception as usual from the PF. They are doing a Don’t Kubeba on Zambians by cheating them that they have passed a new constitution. This is a PF constitution,’ Mr Hichilema stated.
He charged that the amended constitution was a complete departure from the wishes of the majority of Zambians as contained in the draft constitution.
‘PF denied Zambians a chance to give themselves a new constitution. PF rejected most of the clauses contained in the draft constitution and allowed about 110 MPs to defeat the will of Zambians,’ he said.
..this is a man who has never run anything successfully in his life apart of eating his client’s money and you expect him to effectively manage the economy?’
Mr Hichilema cited a number of clauses from the draft constitution which were rejected by Parliament by justifying his sentiments that the amended constitution fell short of the people’s expectations.
‘The PF rejected the appointment of cabinet outside Parliament, they also rejected Proportional Representation, the PF also rejected the clause on Provincial Assemblies, the Provincial Assemblies could have in a way helped resolve the Barotseland issue by promoting actual devolution of power and equitable allocation of resources,’ he said.
He added, ‘this amended constitution has not dealt with separation of powers. You still have a very powerful Executive controlling all other arms of Government. What kind of a constitution that fails to give citizens their rights? This is a total sham and a disgrace.’
Mr Hichilema charged that President Lungu signed his exit from State House the day he appended his signature on the draft bill.
‘We were watching and laughing as this man signed the Bill because he was signing his exit papers out of State House,’ he said.
Mr Hichilema cautioned that President Lungu should not take credit for passing some popular clauses such as the 50+1, the running mate and dual citizenship because he was merely fulfilling the wishes of the people.
‘This is a man who has failed. Look at the economic mess, he found the Kwacha to a dollar around 5.7 and takes it to 15 Kwacha to a dollar, he brings it down to 11.3 and he starts celebrating, this is a man who has never run anything successfully in his life apart of eating his client’s money and you expect him to effectively manage the economy?’
On the issue of nominating his running mate, Mr Hichilema said the matter is a non-issue in the UPND.
He said the party is not bothered about the choice of a running mate even if it currently has two serving Vice Presidents.
‘For us this is a non-issue. We will sit as the party’s National Management Committee to table the issue at an appropriate time. For now we are serving the Zambian people and the issue of running mate does not bother us.’
Mr Hichilema also paid tribute to the two Vice Presidents Geoffrey Mwamba and Canisius Banda for their contribution to the party.
‘Remember these are voluntary works in service of Zambians but the two men have been exceptional. They have done very well for the party. I know there are rumours been circulated by the PF about the running mate situation in our party but that should not worry our members,’ he said.
Mr Hichilema said the UPND is an organised political party which believes in doing things in a systematic manner.
‘We are very methodical in our approach, we are very organised and this is why we don’t have squabbles in our party, so even the issue of running mate, we shall handle is efficiently at the right time.’