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Law meant to block HH from standing will backfire on PF – Dundumwezi MPBy Mirriam Chabala on 13 Feb 2018
Dundumwezi UPND member of parliament Edgar Sing’ombe says it would be nonsensical for Parliament to enact a law that restricts losing Presidential candidates from recontesting, with the aim of blocking Hakainde Hichilema.
And Sing’ombe says there is no need for government to present a bill that would bar people from abusing social media and the internet in general when the country has a Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs mandated to sensitise the nation on such issues.
Speaking to News Diggers! in an interview, Sing’ombe warned the PF that enacting laws that are targeted at fixing Hichilema would backfire.
“The issue of bringing a bill to come and stop other people from recontesting elections is nonsensical because the supreme law of the land is the constitution and no where in the constitution does it stop anyone who is eligible to contest. This is why this country has not been progressing. In the MMD, there was also a law which was enacted to deal with issues of theft of motor vehicles which they said was unbailable,” he recalled.
“You would agree with me that to some extent, that was only meant for an individual. But that law later fell on those who created it; some very big people in that government were arrested for that same offence. It’s the same with bringing this law; you cannot bring a bill that is really targeting an individual. We are more than 16 million people in this country. How will government manage to make a specific for every citizen? This is why I am saying that this is a nonsensical type of bill that should not be entertained.” Sing’ombe said.
And Singo’ombe argued that there was no need to introduce Internet regulation laws since the PF had already established the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs to manage the morality of citizens in the country.
“Do they really need to bring a bill for that or they just need to sensitise people about good values? We have the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs. This is the ministry that should be actually teaching people on good values and morals. It will be the first time in this region to have a nation that has a restriction on internet, it’s not everyone who is uploading lies on social media platforms. It is disgruntled politicians like those who want to bring a bill just to stop one person from contesting, that are involved in this. So we should allow people to communicate, it is their freedom. Only those who are guilty and afraid would say that Internet or social media must be regulated,” Sing’ombe said.
“What does the Constitution say? When we were looking at this Constitution, the UPND did discuss a lot of things and we had refused to pass this Constitution in the manner it is, but they (PF) bulldozed the process because they used the arrogance of numbers. Now what is happening today? They want to change it again, and you know how much it costs to go back to the people and start asking them how the Constitution should be rearranged.”
Meanwhile, Sing’ombe said the commission appointed to investigate the regional voting pattern was a waste of money.
“Just look at how the PF government is spending a lot of money on the voting pattern exercise or regional voting, however they are calling it. I can give you an example of Dundumwezi, how did they want people to vote? Because the so called President Lungu did not go to Dundumwezi and then the PF picked a candidate who comes from Kalomo Central to go and contest in Dundumwezi. So the people of Dundumwezi were saying, surely among all the 80,000 people that Dundumwezi houses, PF cannot find a candidate? So the people thought they were being fooled. Then other policies like network, we have just received network now in Dundumwezi, previously there was no network. So how did they want them to vote? HH flew to Dundumwezi several times and getting 30,000 plus against the 200 votes that Lungu got was normal. HH worked for that vote. And now the PF want to go back to ask the people about the voting pattern, how can they be wasting all those resources amidst cholera challenges and bad agriculture policies,” wondered Sing’ombe.
About Mirriam Chabala
Mirriam Chabala is a Zambian journalist who covers current affairs and writes in-depth feature articles on social issues.
Email: mirriam [at] diggers [dot] news
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