OPPOSITION Political parties, United Party for National Development (UPND) and United Liberal Party (ULP) have asked the Patriotic Front (PF) Government to be consistent in the manner it is handling the Barotseland Agreement to avoid sending the country into turmoil.
The opposition political parties said it was clear that the PF Government was not sensitive in the manner it was handling the Barotseland Agreement and advised the ruling party to re-visit and learn to what led to the Soweto uprising in South Africa where countless lives were lost.
But Defence Minister Geoffrey Mwamba said last evening that the Barotse National Council (BNC) should stick to its mandate and not dwell on matters that could be treasonable.
According to the ZNBC main news monitored yesterday Mr Mwamba said that any law-breaker at the meeting would face the law.
Speaking yesterday at a joint Press briefing, ULP president Sakwiba Sikota said the people of Western Province were illussioned and passionate about the Barotseland Agreement, hence the reason to handle the matter with the sensitivity that it deserved.
Mr Sikota said the opposition proposed that the Government should consider developing a marshal plan to be called ' Marshal Plan for Western and Luapula provinces' to accelerate development in Western and Luapula provinces which were considered to be the least developed provinces in Zambia.
"You can not embrace peace and dialogue by issuing warnings to citizens who merely want to congregate and discuss issues affecting them. You can also not embrace consistency and keep on making 180 degree turns on your post election position on an issue," he said.
He said the Government should revisit the promises it made during campaign trails on the Barotseland Agreement claiming it was now clear that the PF Government wanted to divert attention of the people from the Western Province.
Mr Sikota challenged all other political parties to publicly declare their commitment to having the least developed provinces given special attention which would bring them to similar levels of development with other provinces.
The ULP leader said the joint Press briefing was not an indication of a loose pact but that they decided to hold it jointly because the issue at hand was bigger than forming a pact and was about the future of the country.
And UPND president Hakainde Hichilema denied accusations levelled against some of his senior members alleging that they celebrated over the unsubstantiated reports that President Michael Sata was unwell.
He said in as far as his party was concerned, it was not aware whether the President was sick or not because no official report had been made.
On the Constitution, Mr Hakainde said it was sad that after 21 years, Zambia still had no proper Constitution but urged those trying to come up with one now to ensure that the document captured all the most important issues including the 50 plus one.
He said what was more saddening was that to date nobody knew how much had been budgeted for the process and there was no legal frame work binding the Constitution.
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