Friday, April 20, 2007

PF to lead fight for new constitution - Sata

PF to lead fight for new constitution - Sata
By Noel Sichalwe and George Chellah
Friday April 20, 2007 [04:00]

Patriotic Front (PF) will now move to lead the fight for a new constitution, party president Michael Sata said yesterday. And police have permitted PF to hold rallies in Lusaka this weekend. During a press briefing at Lusaka's Taj Pamodzi Hotel, Sata said the issue of a new constitution was very critical. He said though he supported the Oasis Forum's stance on the constitution, there was need to have a clear way forward on the issue.

He said there was no need of going to court over the enactment of the new constitution as suggested by MMD spokesperson Benny Tetamashimba. Sata said the Oasis Forum could only go to court when there was an issue to challenge. He said the current Constitution had not changed since independence and that there was need to tighten loopholes with regard to the Constitutional offices and reduce the President's powers.

"PF is moving now to lead on the fight for a new, strong and effective constitution," he said.

Sata said police have allowed him to hold a series of rallies in Lusaka that would focus on the need to demand a new constitution and condemn the rampant thieving in government.

And Sata accused President Levy Mwanawasa of dubiously awarding land to Albidon Zambia in Mazabuka district to mine nickel. He said despite much opposition to the mining project, President Mwanawasa gave a deaf ear to the reservations raised and went ahead to officiate at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Sata said Zambians should benefit from the abundant natural resources. He said when PF assumes power, they would review such mining decisions or contracts.

Sata also said thieving in the current government was worse than what was in the Frederick Chiluba regime. He said President Mwanawasa's government was the worst in corruption due to the thieving that was being revealed.

Sata said Zambia was poorer than most countries it helped to fight for independence because workers spent more time stealing public funds. He said the new Constitution would restrict the thieving pattern and that money would be used for the intended projects.

Sata also said the three indigenous banks - Finance Bank, Cavmont Capital Bank and Investrust Bank should have syndicated to purchase the 49 per cent shares in Zambia National Commercial Bank (ZNCB) instead of selling to Rabobank of Netherlands.

Sata said further the problem in Zimbabwe was British Prime Minister Tony Blair and United States President George W. Bush’s.

He said Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe fought for his people's independence but that Britain and US were against him because of the 1,800 white farmers from whom he has grabbed the farms.

Sata also held a minute of silence for the students that were shot dead at a university in Virginia State of the US and the death of senior chief Puta of the Bwile people in Luapula Province.

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