A consortium of civil society organizations have condemned the unruly conduct of UPND carders during a news diggers organized Bill 10 discussion forum Friday last week.
Speaking during a press briefing Sunday morning,Young African Leaders initiative YALI president Andrew Ntewewe who represented the CSOs said the UPND’s conduct threatens the participation of those who hold divergent views in such future activities meant to deepen the country’s democracy.
He noted that the UPND have constantly raised issues of trusting the PF in regards to constitutional issues and questioned who should be trusted between unruly carders at a forum or a well organized and divergent forum such as the NDF.
Mr Ntewewe has since advised news diggers and those sponsoring the forum to put mechanisms to ensure that such fora are not ulitilised as campaign platforms for expression of intolerant behaviour for those with opposing viewpoints.
And Mr Ntewewe has bemoaned the falsehood peddled by lawyer John Sangwa, Linda Kasonde and UPND Members of parliament to discredit bill 10 during the same forum accusing the PF governments as being the ones that generated the content .
He recalled that when UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema lost the 2016 election petitioned the constitutional court, the same unrully UPND carders who today are saying the constitution is ok went ballistic against court judges accusing them of corruption for ruling that the petition could not be heard as the 14 days had elapsed.
“This is the same John Sangwa who abandoned Mr Hichilema and argued that 14 days was not sufficient for the petition to be heard but today has changed and wants the public to believe that he never saw anything wrong with the constitution. Is this not legal hypocrisy from a man with a stature of state counsel?” Mr Ntewewe questioned.
Mr Ntewewe has challenged stakeholders to begin to ask serious questions on when government recieved submissions and how various provisions found themselves in the bill.
“The ones who have let this country down on constitutional making are those are speaking the loudest today against bill 10 because they had an opportunity to make submissions yet the chose not to, they had an opportunity to scrutinize the proposals but shun the process” he said.
Mr ntewewe together with the other CSOs namely common ground network, Zambia institute of governance and civil liberties advocacy platform have since said there is no need to withdraw bill 10 saying it will be expensive to abandon a process further adding that once a bill is withdrawn it can not be brought back in parliament during the same session.
Meanwhile news diggers have distanced themselves from the upnd’s conduct during the forum and advised members wishing to attend such platforms to desist from engaging in partisan politics meant to disrupt the participation of divergent views.
Mr Ntewewe has since challenged members of parliament to sober up and find a common ground to bring amendments to the existing parliamentary procedure.