NINE former members of the technical committee on drafting the constitution have threatened to take legal action against Vice-President Guy Scott and Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba if they do not apologise within 14 days and retract a statement attributed to the duo in the Post Newspaper.
The members that have threatened legal action include Julius Sakala, Ernest Mwansa, Patrick Mvunga Roger Chongwe, Mwangala Zaloumis, Reuben Lifuka, Chief Luchembe, Father Bantungwa and Reverend Susanna Matele.
This is according to a letter dated June 18, 2014 addressed to the Attorney- General and availed to the Sunday Times by Mwansa, Phiri and partners in Lusaka yesterday.
The nine are demanding that Dr Scott apologise and referred to the statement attributed to them in The Post under the headline ‘Scott asks LAZ to build constitution consensus’.
In the aforementioned article, Dr Scott was quoted as saying the former technical committee members were trying to ‘change Government motor vehicles’ assigned to the said technical members in their personal names.
Dr Scott was further quoted saying “but the attempts to force that we must bring this appendix and say it is the new constitution as if the people who have written it are somehow like angels or like Hindu gods that know more than other people on the earth is not realistic.”
“The intended meaning of the above statements when read together is that the technical committee members who wrote the final draft constitution are not angels nor Hindu gods, and were in effect dishonest while on the technical committee, and tried to give Government vehicles change in their personal names,” the letter read in part.
“The members of the technical committee deny doing any of the things being alleged against them and find the allegation untrue, totally malicious and intended only to bring them in to public contempt,” the statement read.
On the other hand, the members are demanding an apology and retraction from Mr Kabimba on the article dated May 23 2014 in the Post Newspaper under the headline ‘Public offices are not ATMs Kabimba’.
In the said article Mr Kabimba was quoted as saying Government would have set a bad precedence if they had allowed members of the technical committee to buy the vehicles they were using.
Mr Kabimba was further quoted saying Government had a duty to the Zambian people and should not look at the public offices as ATMs, it was a service to the Zambian people.
“In the light of the above, therefore if the words above stated which are attributed to his honour the Vice President and honourable Minister of Justice were truly uttered by them, our above named clients demand an immediate public, the retraction and apology must be prominently placed in the same papers that printed the libelous articles and this must be done within 14 days and if not our clients have given us instruction to take legal action,” the statement read.
Times of Zambia