KABWE Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube says Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 will go through with the help of some UPND members of parliament.
Last week, Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Jack Mwiimbu said PF was delaying to table Bill 10 for second reading because they were still looking for numbers.
But in an interview, Ngulube said Mwiimbu was speaking out of ignorance, claiming that actually, there were 10 UPND MPs who would support Bill 10.
He insisted that the ruling party had attained the threshold to pass the Bill.
“Jack Mwiimbu behaves like he is not a lawyer. Any bill meant to amend the Constitution, before it comes on the floor of the House, it must be gazetted. If you read Article 79 of the Constitution, we are just following what is in Article 79. If you look at the period that was made, it was less than 30 days from the time Parliament opened. The Constitution requires that 30 days before a bill is on the floor, it must be gazetted. So Jack Mwiimbu is a paralegal, he doesn’t understand most of these things, he wants to expose his ignorance. Remember, the UPND were saying that ‘Bill 10 is dead, it will not be on the order paper’ so if it is dead why are they now looking for it? He himself told his people that Bill 10 can never be brought back on the floor of the House, how come they are now asking when the bill will come, why are they so scared?” Ngulube asked.
“The PF right now as we are speaking, we have the threshold to pass Bill 10. We have 110 MPs, the PF has 90 MPs, 8 nominated, three MMD, one FDD and 11 Independent and 10 UPND MPs. That is giving you more than one third. We can’t tell you the UPND MPs but you know them. You will see them when we vote, those who are principled, those who know that the bill is about the country and not about Hakainde (Hichilema). Hakainde is so scared of Bill 10 because he thinks it is going to block him from becoming president, it is not Bill 10 that will block him, it is the people. So all those games they are trying to play, trying to accuse people will not work.
Ngulube said PF was working with other progressive parties to pass the bill.
“As far as we are concerned, as PF, we alone cannot pass Bill 10, we have to work with other progressive political parties and that is why you see when they were saying ‘we don’t have numbers’ they were speaking out of ignorance until they learnt. Even at the National Dialogue Forum (NDF), there were 17 UPND MPs who attended with us, those who defied Hakainde’s orders. The UPND themselves want more constituencies, they want delimitation, they want a lot of things from Bill number 10 but they don’t want Bill 10 so how is it going to happen? They don’t want the bill but they want the benefits from the bill, it is a contradiction,” said Ngulube.