By MAIMBO MWEEMBA
The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has condemned the growing trend of unconstitutional utterances by some senior ruling UPND party members.
CiSCA Chairperson Judith Mulenga said the recent utterances by the Copperbelt Minister and Provincial Party Chairperson Elisha Matambo cannot be allowed to continue in a multi-party democracy.
“Recently during a meeting with ruling party cadres on the Copperbelt, Mr Matambo reportedly warned those ‘insulting’ President HH that the UPND would no longer tolerate this ‘stupidity’ and would defend the President and tie the culprits with wires,” she said.
Ms Mulenga said that these kinds of utterances are instigating violence and are sowing seeds of dictatorship.
“These utterances are contrary to several provisions of the Constitution but specifically Article 5(2) which states that, “Power that is not conferred by or under this Constitution on any State organ, State institution, State officer, Constitutional office holder or other institution or person is reserved for the people.” Political party cadres are not mandated to protect the Republican President,” she said.
Ms Mulenga said that CiSCA has since cautioned the UPND to refrain from creating unnecessary tension in the country at the time that the people are struggling to come to terms with the unexpected economic hardships that we Zambians find ourselves in when we definitely expected the complete opposite.
She said Zambians have been consistent and unwavering in the rejection of dictatorships and citizens will not relent now.
“CiSCA further reminds UPND members that much as they can protect the President from verbal attacks from the public, they should do so with reasoned arguments and remain within the law. Physical protection of President Hakainde Hichilema by UPND members ended after 12th August 2021 when he became the Republican President. This function is now the preserve of the State,” Part of the statement read.
“If ‘insulting’ the President is a criminal offence Minister Matambo and cohorts should report the perpetrators to the nearest police station which in Ndola is right across the road from his office. Remain within the law! Zambians do not and have never wished to replace PF outlaws with UPND outlaws. Never!,” she said.
CiSCA has since challenged President Hichilema to publicly censure Copperbelt Minister and Provincial Party Chairperson Elisha Matambo.
They stated that he like his immediate predecessor, risks never knowing when his 2.8 million voters would have disengaged from him.