The opposition alliance led by United Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema has vowed to frustrate the constitution amendment process in the absence of dialogue.
At a press briefing addressed by National Democratic Congress consultant Chishimba Kambwili and Hichilema, the alliance says the amendment of the Constitution and Public Order Act was agreed to be tabled after national dialogue.
“The Minister of Justice came to Parliament on Friday and announced that they intend to go ahead with the constitution amendment process without first having gone to the national dialogue.
“We agreed as all stakeholders that amendments to the constitution and the amendment of the Public Order Act will be issues that will be tabled at the national dialogue,” he said.
Kambwili accused the ruling Patriotic Frong of sabotaging the national dialogue claiming this was strategically positioned to dodge the discussion of the amendment of the constitution.
The Roan PF MP says it was a waste of resources to allocate K2 million towards a process that did not have the support of all stakeholders.
“PF want to manipulate the constitution by bringing in certain issues that will favour their stay in power. Hon Lubinda announce a number of meetings that they want to undertake. I think if my count was correct there are over 20 meetings that they want to do between now and June. have between now and June.
“As an alliance, we are not prepared to participate in PF and Lubinda’s proposed roadmap until the issues are brought to the national dialogue,” he said.
Kambwili says the PF should put its house in order and ensure they facilitate national dialogue before the amendment of the constitution process is table in parliament.
“Anything less than that we will not participate. And I want to warn PF, I want to warn President Edgar and Minister of Justice that the constitution is not like any other law that you need simple majority.
“You need two thirds to pass the amendments to the constitution meaning therefore if we don’t participate with UPND then there going to be no amendments that they are proposing because they don’t have two thirds,” he added.
Kambwili said in the absence of the national dialogue process, the PF must stop spending resources on the constitution process as it was destined to fail.
“They must know that we will not be part of their trickery or crookedness if they want things to be done their own way. This country belongs to all of us,” he said.
Shortly after the press briefing, Kambwili headed to the police where he was summoned for threatening a foreign national.