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Public Affairs Committee demonstrations meeting fails

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The Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has said it has rescheduled the meeting that was supposed to take place Tuesday to discuss last year’s failed demonstrations, among other issues.

Pac announced that it would meet today to strategise on demonstrations.

Pac Executive Director, Robert Phiri, has confirmed rescheduling of the meeting, saying he received communication from Chairperson Felix Chingota.

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“I received a communication from the chairman to say we have to reschedule the meeting as most of the members have indicated to be occupied on the day,” Phiri said.

He pointed out that, depending on the availability of the members, the meeting might take place next week.

In December last year, Pac organised demonstrations in a bid to press the government to table Electoral Reforms (Amendment) Bills but the demos were called off a day before the scheduled day, a development which angered some people who were agitating for the demos.

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After the demos were cancelled, the government brought to Parliament adulterated bills which were later shot down.

The organisation admitted earlier that it had been fooled by the government into stopping the demonstrations.

The bills that were blocked were the Constitution (Amendment) Bill No 2 of 2017, Presidential, Parliamentary and Local Government Elections, and Assumption of Office of the President (Transitional Arrangements).

Another bill that was expected to be tabled, discussed and passed in the November meeting of Parliament was the Electoral Commission (Amendment) l, but the legislators referred it to the Legal Affairs Committee.

Members of Parliament only passed Referendum Bill which, for many people, was not as significant as the bills that were blocked.

Parliament is scheduled to meet for the mid-term budget review on February 5 2018.

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