The Forum for Democracy Development (FDD) has urged Zambians not to ignore the Patriotic Front (PF) Member of Central Committee (MCC) Paul Moonga’s announcement to change the presidential term from five to seven years because it has the backing of the PF leadership.
FDD Spokesperson Antonio Mwanza said the briefing where Mr Moonga announced the intention of government to stay beyond 2021 has the backing of the PF leadership and Zambians should take it seriously.
Mr Mwanza said the announcement by Mr Moonga is reminiscent of his former Secretary General Davies Chama who was advocating for the return to a one Party State recently.
On Thursday, Moonga announced the intention by the PF Government to expand the presidential term of office from the current 5 years constitutional limit to 7 years.
Mr Moonga informed the nation that to this effect, the PF will bring a proposal in Parliament to amend the Republican Constitution so that PF’s stay in office should be extended beyond 2021.
He said 5 years is not enough for them to develop Zambia and that elections are expensive.
However, Mr Mwanza noted that people who are naive have dismissed Mr Moonga as a lose canon speaking from his sides but those who know better know that what he said was in fact the official position of PF.
The FDD Spokesperson said Moonga was speaking at a press briefing organised and sanctioned by the PF leadership and his position has not been challenged because it represents the official PF position on this matter.
“Recently you will recall that Mr Davies Chama, the former PF secretary general was publicly advocating for Zambia to return to a One Party State so that PF can be in power forever. And that mission has not been abandoned, actually it is being pursued in all other manner,” Mr Mwanza pointed out.
Mr Mwanza alleged that it is the reason the PF Government is on a vicious crusade to silence, intimidate and close all private media outlets that are critical to its leadership.
“Just last week they went after UNZA Radio. All media houses, individuals and institutions that are critical to the PF will continue to face systematic suppression, threats, intimidation, and eventual annihilation.”
“That’s exactly how dictatorship starts: it starts with small acts of propanganda and manipulation such as trying to use religion to brainwash the masses then it goes to aggression and suppression against individuals and goes to curtailing of freedoms of the people then it goes to changing of laws of the country to take over everything,” Mr Mwanza noted
He said that’s how Hitler, Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the country’s first republican President Kenneth Kaunda started and before people realise they would find themselves under the terror of dictatorship.
“And in a country were even the learned would wake up at 03 to go and queue up in the cold and in the rain just to cast a vote between Kaunda and a Frog anything can happen; in a country were booty licking and vuvuzelaling is seen as a smart strategy to eat with those in power anything is possible,” Mr Mwanza pointed out
He said PF is testing the people’s reactions to see whether they can go ahead and unleash the next phase of total state control.
Mr Mwanza disclosed that once they manage to buy enough opposition MPs in the House to reach the required two thirds majority to amend the constitution, they would move a motion in Parliament to change the Government’s term of office from 5 years to 7 years.
“Will you choose to stand aside and watch while the country is taken down the drain of dictatorship or you will choose to defend, protect and uphold the Constitution?” Mr Mwanza said.
But republican vice President Inonge Wina has since distanced Government and the PF from Mr Moonga’s suggestion.
Mrs Wina told Parliament today that the matter has never been discussed by Government or the party.
“Every Zambian has the right to hold an opinion and that suggestion was entirely the opinion of Mr Moonga,” Mrs Wina said.