CSOs accused of pursuing political agendas

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THE Patriotic Front (PF) has said that some civil society organisations (CSOs) are using the call to adopt the Constitution through a referendum to pursue negative agendas.
PF media and publicity member Mulenga Fube said yesterday that some CSOs were genuine organisations while others were pursuing their own agendas that have negative repercussions for the country.
He said the civil society has shown that they have political and other agendas that they want to achieve rather than a Constitution that is properly adopted, after reaching consensus on many issues and reflecting the needs of all Zambians.
“Some organisations in the Grand Coalition for example, are genuine with genuine motives while others are pursuing their own goals,” Mr Fube said.
Mr Fube was speaking in Lusaka during a PF Press briefing.
He said the language that some CSOs were using was contrary to the language that should be used by civil society organisations.
The CSOs should be addressing the issues contained in the draft Constitution and not concentrate on the mode of adoption.
Mr Fube said since the draft Constitution was released, CSOs have not released any position paper on the various articles contained and have not conducted forums to discuss the contents.
The PF, he said, has like the majority of Zambians agreed that there is need for a new Constitution.
Government has not drifted from the position held in the PF manifesto that it would first constitute a committee of experts to review all the positions held by the previous commissions on the Constitution and then start the adoption process.
The technical committee has already done its work and Government was now undertaking a mobile national registration exercise after which a voter’s cards issuance exercise would be held.
This was done in order to get a favourable number of voters to deem the referendum exercise successful.
Mr Fube said it was unfortunate that some people including Rainbow Party president Wynter Kabimba were condemning the PF over the Constitution when he, at the time he was Minister of Justice allegedly treated people with arrogance over the same matter.
Civil rights activist N’gande Mwanajiti said the onus is on the educated people and the media to sensitise people on the contents of the draft Constitution.
Mr Mwanajiti said it is impossible to adopt a new Constitution while attacking each other and so CSOs and Government need to reach a consensus on the process.
PF media and publicity vice chairperson Sunday Chanda said some CSOs wanted the new Constitution adopted without discussing the contents.