Thursday, June 07, 2007

Levy will be humiliated on referendum - Sata

Levy will be humiliated on referendum - Sata
By Staff reporters
Thursday June 07, 2007 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Mwanawasa will be humiliated during the referendum on the constituent assembly, Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata said yesterday. Reacting to President Mwanawasa's letter to Oasis Forum spokesperson Musa Mwenye, in which he asked him to advise his organisation to be ready for a referendum, Sata said PF would join forces with stakeholders that were calling for a constituent assembly to ensure that President Mwanawasa was defeated.

Sata said President Mwanawasa should not cheat himself that he would use the referendum to buy off Zambians to support his opposition to the constituent assembly.
"Mwanawasa will not win, he will be humiliated during the referendum but does Levy feel humiliated?...because he has a thick skin," Sata said.

"As PF we will campaign vigorously in support of the constituent assembly." Sata said there was no guarantee that President Mwanawasa would act on the outcome of the referendum, going by his conduct on the constitution making process.

"Levy is a lair, dishonest and unreliable. The man is insincere...this is the man who has not acted on anything of national importance except on the corruption on Chiluba," Sata said.

"Will he enforce the verdict of the referendum if the people vote for a constituent assembly? Levy is acting like a man holding a whip on his right hand and a bone on his left hand, and he is calling a dog to come and get the bone."

Sata said President Mwanawasa did not want to tamper with the current constitution because he feared signing for his 'quick exit and bad ending'. "Levy should learn from what Chiluba is going through because he hand-picked him," Sata said. Sata challenged President Mwanawasa to provide the nation with the details of the referendum. "In the absence of details, then we are wasting our time," he said.

Sata said President Mwanawasa's threats on the Oasis Forum and other Zambians championing the enactment of a new constitution was like 'the panting of a dying tortoise'.

"The threats by Levy Mwanawasa are not new in Zambia. People of Zambia experienced threats by Kenneth Kaunda when he threatened the Catholic Church in 1991 elections when he said come November 2 you shall travel on the rosary. Now these threats which Levy Mwanawasa is doing are the panting of a dying tortoise," Sata said.
"Mwanawasa is so desperate because he knows that he is going and because he knows that he is going he has become so irrational; this is when people of Zambia must become more united and put more pressure on him."

Sata observed that President Mwanawasa was not interested in the constitution making process because he was only interested in his wellbeing. "So you can't trust that man. He is so cruel like Tony Blair and George Bush," Sata said.

Meanwhile, Transparency International Zambia (TIZ) president Reuben Lifuka described as unfortunate President Mwanawasa's intimidation of Mwenye.

"TIZ is concerned at the increasing levels of desperation being exhibited by the Mwanawasa administration in their attempt to dissuade the Zambian people from demanding for a quicker implementation of the constitution review," Lifuka said.

"The intimidation of ordinary citizens is definitely calculated as it is not confined only to President Mwanawasa but we have heard brazen threats of treason from the Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services on his current sensitization tour on the Copperbelt. We have previously heard similar threats from the Minister of Justice.
"Undoubtedly, President Mwanawasa and his government have failed to provide leadership on the matter of the constitution and they have now resorted to the use of might in order to cow everyone into submission."

Lifuka said the MMD government was prepared to dilute the gains of democracy simply to get their way in terms of the new constitution. He said those opposed to the government view points were now vilified and disparaged in the desperate hope that they could be isolated and almost banished from commenting on an important subject.

"We urge President Mwanawasa and his government not waste our time by engaging in unnecessary delaying tactics and simplistic arguments about numbers. The die is cast; we the people will not relent in our fight for a new constitution," he said.

"We will not be intimidated into silence on this matter because we desire a good constitution as a basis for the very socio-economic development which this government wants to use as a main reason for not establishing a Constituent Assembly. It is a pity that the deceit which we feared right at the beginning of the constitutional review exercise is now becoming apparent."

Lifuka said it was tragic that President Mwanawasa and his ministers had found it fashionable to mislead Zambians on basic facts on the outcomes of the Mung'omba Constitution Review Commission (CRC) especially on the issue of the mode of adoption. He said the CRC was asked to recommend the most appropriate mode of adopting the constitution and they considered various options by recommending the Constituent Assembly.

"It is not right, therefore, to state that Constituent Assembly was recommended by the people who submitted but by the CRC," he said. "The CA (Constituent Assembly) is a recommendation of the CRC and when government attacks the proponents of the CA, in effect, they are attacking the CRC which unanimously voted for this submission."

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