A few months ago, Kabimba banned NGOs from holding meetings unless when supervised by the government under its Technical Committee Drafting the constitution.
But NGOS like YALI deem the ban as unconstitutional and have continued engaging the public in debates.
On December 12, 2012, Kabimba wrote a letter copied to the Inspector General of police telling YALI that they will be arrested if they hold another meeting against the prescribed format of the PF regime.
But YALI has dared Kabimba to arrest them and have threatened to ask donors to stop funding the process.
In response to Kabimba’s threats, YALI president Andrew Ntewewe put Kabimba in his position.
‘Our Board has reviewed your correspondence and notes with sadness that you, as learned counsel, are failing to appreciate provisions of the Constitution of Zambia which guarantees fundamental freedoms and rights of citizens to freely assemble, participate in public activities and determine laws that govern their lives without government coercion. You will note that the Provincial Dialogue you referred to is not a parallel workshop on the constitutional making process but one of the many interventions by citizens of this Republic who wish to engage in our country’s Constitutional reform process,’ said Ntewewe.
YALI, in the response copied to all embassies in Zambia and to president Sata said:
‘The Technical Committee, which is now working under intense pressure from your office, was informed of the same dialogue and they sent apologies for their inability to attend our dialogue. An invitation was later extended to the Town Clerk in Kasama, the Committee’s District Facilitator who delegated his deputy also mentioned in the Post story.
At this point, we would like to state as follows:
Finally, Hon. Minister, there is need for you to make a clear distinction in the manner in which you want to run Party affairs from your public responsibilities in that honorable office of Minister of Justice. It is, however, in our country’s best interest that you restrain yourself, put Zambia first and be impartial in discharging your duties and serve all our peoples. It will not help any Zambian to have a popularly, legitimately and democratically elected Government practice dictatorial tendencies and unleash our men and women in uniform on citizens who exercise their democratic right.