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Treason charge threat in Zambia

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by BAK, Oct 10, 2007.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 10, 2007
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
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    Treason charge threat in Zambia
    BBC News Online

    The opposition say the NCC is packed with MMD supporters
    Zambia's President Levy Mwanawasa has threatened those who oppose plans for a new constitution with treason charges.
    The BBC's Musonda Chibamba in the capital, Lusaka, says an acrimonious debate about constitutional revision has been going on for four years.

    Mr Mwanawasa recently set up a new body to review a draft drawn up after a nationwide consultation.

    But some opposition leaders intend to boycott it, saying it is ultimately controlled by the president.

    "Any more nonsense bordering on malice, they are going to be arrested and charged with treason. As you know, treason is not bailable," Mr Mwanawasa said on state television according to Reuters news agency.

    Our correspondent says the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) will bring together 500 people from all sectors of society to discuss the draft and make its recommendations.

    But Patriot Front party leader Michael Sata says the body is packed with members of the ruling Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD).

    "It's a fraud; it's not democratic," he told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

    Mr Sata said he did not take the president's threat seriously, but would be prepared should he be charged.

    "I have been in prison before, so that if they come and knock I'm used (to it) and in prison they know me."