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AMENDING PUBLIC ORDER ACT A NON-STARTER, SAYS NGO

THE Democracy and Motherland Defenders Coalition (DMDC) has described as hypocritical, retrogressive calls from the UPND to amend the Public Order Act (POA).

DMDC spokesperson, Andrew Ntewewe, said it was regrettable that the very people that had the chance to deal with constitutional lacunas were not advocating for the amendment of the Act.

He said the people that frustrated various constitutional amendments were now calling for review of the Public Order Act.

Mr Ntewewe told journalists in Lusaka that there was insufficient time for such an undertaking considering that parliament would be dissolved in a few months’ time.

“The Zambian people will recall that the purpose of the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) was to among other things amend the PoA. However, the very people that are now demanding for the amendment of this piece of legislation frustrated the NDF and its subsequent outcomes.

“It is therefore unacceptable that after frustrating such a noble cause, the very people would come through Parliament to reopen the matter that has since been closed,” Mr Ntewewe said.

He appealed to Government not to entertain such calls.

Mr Ntewewe also dismissed calls from some political players and stakeholders to postpone the general election due to increased Covid-19 cases.

He described the deamnds as unfounded and unattainable saying elections were a constitutional matter and the date was duly imbedded in the republican constitution.

Mr Ntewewe emphasized that the August national elections were non-negotiable and unchangeable adding thst Zambia would not be the first country to hold elections amidst the pandemic.

“Therefore, we call on political parties and ECZ to continue preparing for the elections as they will surely be conducted on the 12th August 2021 as provided for by our supreme law within the framework of Coronavirus new normal,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mr Ntewewe said the Coalition has noted that as the election time draws near, there is a growing tendency of intolerance to divergent views.

Mr Ntewewe said the Coalition was particularly saddened that some political and media players were taking a biased approach in dealing with divergent views expressed by either some clergy or traditional leaders.

He called on the media to be neutral and set the agenda for national building, unity and patriotism.

“On this subject, we would like to condemn in the strongest possible terms the insults showered on Father Lupupa. This behaviour to intimidate, bully and insult those with divergent views is undemocratic and only exposes the high levels of intolerance,” he said.

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