Saturday, December 15, 2007
By Edwin Mbulo in Livingstone and Amos Malupenga in Lusaka
Saturday December 15, 2007 [03:00]
Patriotic Front (PF) president Michael Sata is headed for a political eclipse, defence minister George Mpombo has said. And home affairs minister Lt Gen Ronnie Shikapwasha has said Sata is fighting God by insisting on expelling his officials who have resolved to participate in the NCC.
Speaking during the closure of the first session of the Zambia-Mozambique Joint Permanent Commission on defence and security at Chrismar Hotel in Livingstone on Thursday, Mpombo said the National Constitution Conference (NCC) had started off on a resounding note despite efforts by Sata to block his members from attending.
“Our arrangements over the national constitution are unprecedented in the history of Zambian politics as it is broad based. The PF tried to block this but as I speak, more than half of the PF members have registered. The PF is at crossroads, Sata is headed for political eclipse,” Mpombo said.
He said that members of parliament were elected by the people and the people’s voices could not be taken away.
“You cannot stifle people’s voices, the NCC is deadly on course and those with divergent views we will respect them, but we don’t want to stifle the majority,” he said.
And commenting on Sata’s threats to expel all party officials who have defied his directive to boycott participation in the NCC, Lt Gen Shikapwasha said if Sata insisted on expelling his members of parliament and councilors, he would be fighting God.
“Mr Sata should not be fighting God. It’s God who wants the Zambian people to have a new constitution so let Mr Sata not go ahead and suspend or expel his MPs and councillors,” Lt Gen Shikapwasha said. “There are more than 50 per cent of PF MPs and councilors who have decided to participate in the NCC. In fact, this should be taken as a vote of no confidence in Mr. Sata. And Mr Sata should realise that God is bigger than him.”
Meanwhile, Mpombo said that Zambia was at peace with the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
He said the press had portrayed misleading reports over the government’s resolve to discontinue and close all criminal and civil actions against DRC’s Katanga Province governor Moses Katumbi.
“Security matters cannot be discussed in the streets and do not need to go back to the people before taking fundamental decisions,” he said.
Mpombo said some of the people making noise over Katumbi’s matter were not within the boundaries of Zambia and were playing with political dynamite.
“This is a painful issue and we had to take it in the best interest of Zambia and anything contrary is not for the good of Zambia,” said Mpombo.