NDF is run by PF surrogates- Dr Beyani

By Staff Reporter

The National Dialogue Forum (NDF) is run by the PF and its surrogates, UPND Head of Research, Dr Choolwe Beyani has observed.

Speaking during a Radio Phoenix programme yesterday, Dr Beyani said there were a number of legal and constitutional matters that were supposed to be considered before a constitutional reform process could be ventured into.

“If the dialogue process was inclusive and consultative by allowing higher institutions of learning, CSOs and the church to have an input, we would have a process which reflects the will of the Zambian people unlike the current sham of a process which they intend to use to further their political agenda,” said Dr Beyani.

Beyani observed that the downplaying of the divisions that emerged after the 2016 elections had led to more divisions in the country.

Dr Beyani stated that after realizing that the country was deeply divided following the disputed 2016 general elections, the UPND called for the harmonious way of rebuilding the country.

“The NDF was a PF agenda that was engineered by Justice Minister, Given Lubinda. The 80 members of PF who attended the NDF voted as a block to represent the wishes of the party and not broader Zambian society. And the resolutions that were made were to suit the desires of the PF,” he said.

“The PF wishes to create this illusion that this sham process was of national character when they left out the largest political party, the UPND; Civil Society Organisation (CSOs), institutions of learning and religious organizations”.

He said that the cross fertilization of the PF and MMD had led the country to be more divided.

“Something is wrong. The Constitution is bad. But there is a problem when you infuse good laws in a bad Constitution. There are progressive laws that are sitting on a bad piece of legislation. We would have supported an inclusive and consultative process led by the church,” argued Dr Beyani.

Dr Beyani also argued that the confusion in the PF has led to the party to u-turn on the NDF resolutions.

“We are disagreeing with PF in principle that the law at hand is not substantative and bad at law because the PF has not streamed lined the separation of powers and and the limitations of the powers of the President.

“Our argument is that the executive authority, legal framework has been raped in this sham process that is a reflection of constitutional and legal chaos from the PF,” he said.

Dr Beyani, who argued that every government inherited the laws formulated by the previous government, stressed that once in government, the UPND would create good laws that will reflect the will of the Zambian people.

“If a party like PF creates a constitutional amendment forum like NDF and call it people driven only to u-turn the next day and say they are making their own submissions or additions. This shows organized confusion in the PF. Therefore, it is not true that we are using this for political mileage,” said Dr Beyani.