by mitia on 6/27/13
By KAIKO NAMUSA –
PRESIDENT Michael Sata has distanced Government from any intentions of manipulating the draft Republican Constitution, describing such a motive as retrogressive and selfish.
President Sata dismissed as groundless opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema’s assertions that the Patriotic Front (PF) administration planned to manipulate the draft Constitution and ‘sneak’ in a clause that would extend the presidential term to eight years.
President Sata advised Mr Hichilema to conduct a self-introspection and assess if his endless slander, pessimism and bitterness were adding value to the country’s political discourse.
“Nobody within or outside Government has ever contemplated or lobbied for such a retrogressive and selfish agenda,” Mr Sata said.
Mr Sata said it was clear that Mr Hichilema lacked political civility or basic decency and was resolved to harm mature, rational and constructive discourse on matters affecting the country.
“In fact, we are eager to give the opposition a chance to test their popularity in 2016. We have no doubt that the Zambian people will judge us on the basis of the unprecedented massive infrastructural and other developmental projects, which are being done in the interest and for the benefit of the Zambians.
“These kinds of careless claims only prove that we are dealing with a desperate loose cannon who is constantly in denial and determined to display his fallacious notion, just to massage his ego,” he said.
The President said this in a statement in Lusaka yesterday issued by State House Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations, George Chellah.
Mr Hichilema recently accused the Government of planning to alter the Constitution and extend the presidential term to eight years.
On allegations that Government was inducing by-elections to have Parliament dominated by the ruling party, Mr Sata reiterated that, if the opposition parties whose members of Parliament were currently serving in Government allowed their MPs to contribute without intimidation, there would be no need for the by-elections.
He said in the spirit of inclusivity and co-existence, the PF administration would collaborate with whoever was prepared to contribute to the development of the country to stimulate social and economic growth.
“Every responsible Government world over will make sure that it consolidates itself to be in a position to deliver on the promises that got it elected into office, especially if faced with injudicious and unpatriotic leaders of the opposition who are recklessly resolved
to undermine Government’s ability to deliver services to the people,” he said.
He re-affirmed his personal commitment to deepening democracy, e