Friday, June 01, 2007

Levy phones, intimidates Oasis Forum spokesperson

Levy phones, intimidates Oasis Forum spokesperson
By Noel Sichalwe and Chibaula Silwamba
Friday June 01, 2007 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Levy Mwana-wasa yesterday called Oasis Forum spokesperson Musa Mwenye to intimidate him on the constitution review process. Mwenye confirmed yesterday that President Mwanawasa phoned him around 12:00 hours and started interrogating him on the statements he had been issuing in the media. Mwenye on Wednesday said Oasis Forum would continue fighting for the will and aspirations of people until a new constitution was enacted.

“I can confirm that the President did in fact call me and that is with respect to recent press releases on the constitution review process,” Mwenye said. “That was the context of our conversation. I therefore, informed members of Oasis Forum and Law Association of Zambia, the organizations which I represent.”

According to sources in the Oasis Forum, President Mwanawasa asked Mwenye to give details of how he would fight him during the constitution review process.

“The President said, ‘I have read your article in The Post and before I react to it, can you tell me how you are going to fight me?’” the sources said. “That is when Mr. Mwenye told the President that he will fight in the context of the article published by fighting for the views and aspirations of people. President Mwanawasa then asked Mr. Mwenye which people he represented? Mr. Mwenye told him that those that submitted to the Constitution Review Commission who said that they wanted the constitution to be adopted through a constituent assembly.”

“President Mwanawasa then asked whether he was representing the 12,000 people that did not call for the constituent assembly or the 2,166 that called for the constituent assembly? Mr Mwenye said he was representing the 2,166.”

The sources said President Mwanawasa also asked Mwenye whether the 2,166 people that demanded a constituent assembly were the majority and he responded that he represented the people whom he promised that he will abide by their wishes and aspirations.

“This is when the President challenged Mr. Mwenye to tell him when he stated that he will abide by the will of these people. At this time, Mr. Mwenye told him that he was driving and promised to remind him of the promises in the afternoon. But he waited to receive a call from State House in the afternoon and there was nothing. “

In an interview afterwards, Mwenye said President Mwanawasa’s stance on the constitution was retrogressive in the fight for a new constitution. Mwenye said President Mwanawasa was in a better position to enact the new constitution.

He said when President Mwanawasa met the members of the CRC and stakeholders on May 4, 2003 he promised to adopt the new constitution through a constituent assembly. Mwenye further said President Mwanawasa also promised to abide by the wishes of people over the mode of adopting a new constitution.

And opposition UPND president Hakainde Hichilema has said no one should stand in the way of Zambians in the constitution making process. Commenting on President Mwanawasa’s statement that he would vote against the constituent assembly, Hichilema yesterday said Zambians had already agreed on the mode of adopting the new constitution hence no one should stand in their way.

“We have been amending the constitution for many years and now Zambians want a new constitution,” said Hichilema. “No one should stand in their way.”

Hichilema said there was need for Zambians to pull their efforts, souls and bodies together and develop the country.

“The country has collapsed and we don’t need Jesus to come down from heaven to tell us that the country has dilapidated,” he said. “We have to give hope to people. So we have to get Charles Banda to win the elections. The court proved that he did not lose the previous elections.”

Hichilema called for improvement in the administration of the election.
“We need an independent electoral commission so that we give hope to the people,” he said.

Hichilema also said politicians should remain relevant to the country. “For me, I don’t have time for petty issues but to focus on real issues that will improve people’s lives,” Hichilema said. “Those who retire from politics should fall out. Politics is not a retiring job. We should remain relevant to the people of Zambia.”

Hichilema said the MMD’s 16 years in government had degraded the country. “I challenge the people of Zambia to elect us and they will see development within five years,” said Hichilema who is in Kapoche campaigning for FDD’s Banda.

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At 11:22 AM , Blogger Chola Mukanga said...

This is a funny article! lol!

What is your position on the Constituent Assembly Vs Parliament issue?

At 10:09 AM , Anonymous iPad App Developers said...

This is a really good post. Thanks for sharing. Cheers.


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