Letter to the Editor

Opposition intending to kill dialogue bill on constitution amendments

Dear editor,
WE’RE aware of a conspiracy involving a certain opposition politician, a particular cleric and some civil society organisations, to undermine the Dialogue Bill on Constitution Amendments.
This particular politician and his conspirators surreptitiously invited a known professor from East Africa, with whom they had a clandestine meeting at a lodge on the outskirts of Lusaka over the past week.
While the opposition and aligned civil society organisations cry about political space, the Government has opened an opportunity to amend the Public Order Act (POA) to ensure it conforms with modern-day democratic practices. Why would anyone seek to fight a bill that seeks to give a legal framework to dialogue, for example?
While Government has demonstrated goodwill, these schemers filled with ill-will are up to no good.
Cabinet very recently approved the National Dialogue for Constitution Refinement Forum Bill ahead of the commencement of the constitution refinement process.
This will provide for a national dialogue process to facilitate the constitution refinement process and regulation of political parties, public order and electoral process reforms.
Apart from the foregoing, the bill will facilitate the implementation of the Siavonga resolutions of political parties relating to the constitutional and institutional reforms, separation of powers and judicial independence, tolerance, freedom of assembly and civility in politics and electoral reforms. The necessary refinements to the Constitution will then be done through Parliament.
Regretfully, some opposition leader and some CSOs are bent on diverting attention from the core issues as they have put their personal interests and greed for power ahead of national interest and constitutionalism.
We call upon all Members of Parliament, regardless of their political affiliation, and all stakeholders to put national interest ahead of partisan interests and personal ambition.
Parliament as the sole institution of legislation is the only body mandated by the Constitution to pass or amend laws.
There is no devious conspiracy among them that will not be revealed; nor anything clandestine that will not be known and come to light.
SUNDAY CHANDA
Patriotic Front media director
Lusaka



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