Patriotic Front Lusaka Province chairman Paul Moonga says Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) president Eddie Mwitwa is speaking nonsense.
On Monday, Mwitwa issued a statement in which he charged that the proposed Constitution Amendment Bill had been structured to allow gerrymandering, a deliberate ploy by the party in power to manipulate the boundaries of an electoral constituency so as to gain political advantage over other parties.
But Moonga called News Diggers! to react to Mwitwa’s statement, saying if the LAZ president had conducted a simple google search, he would have discovered that his fears were baseless.
“Surely, this LAZ president Eddie Mwitwa should be a learned counsel enough. If he had Googled the 1964 until 1968, we had only 75 constituency in Zambia and these Constituency have been increasing to date. Is that gerrymandering? What nonsense is that?” Moonga asked.
“If he can Google or if he doesn’t know how to Google, I can teach him. He will be able to see how many constituencies were in 1964 and these Constituencies have been growing from time to time. Secondly, it is not the desire of the PF to introduce deputy ministers. We will be making presentation before the Parliamentary Committee on our stance because that is NDF not the PF. And the ECZ has the mandate to see whether it is best to increase the number of Constituencies or not. Speaking from myself as a politician, I would say, some Constituencies are almost the size of a Country. Southern Province has increased almost 100 per cent. Is Southern Province a stronghold of PF? They look at the number of voters and the size of the constituencies and that is the way they do the delimitation. Take for example Mandevu Constituency, Mandevu constituency the number of the registered voters as at the last elections were 744,000, in Kapiri, the delimitation took place sometime back and Lusaka was not a province it was under Central Province so what is wrong with that when they made Lusaka as a Province?”
He said Zambia actually needed about 500 constituencies for better service delivery.
“They are trying to reach out to the people that is why they want to do delimitation. That is why they increase the number of constituencies for easy access to the leadership. If you look at Zambia, the 150 constituencies is nothing and even what they are proposing is nothing. If I was to give an honest answer, I would say we need not less than 500 constituencies in order for us to manage properly but because of the issue of economic challenges, we are saying no even if as PF we will tell you that we are not interested in increasing because we are also looking at the cost of delimitation,” Moonga said.
“As the party, I would say we are not interested in the delimitation because it is too expensive. It will require to expand the Parliament. So this matter came from the NDF and not from the PF. Now this Eddie Mwitwa with his stupidity is saying this is from PF. What kind of nonsense is that? And you people sometimes you should call me to comment and tell us that Eddie Mwitwa is saying this and that so what is your take? So I just saw the paper now because somebody called me to tell me that Eddie Mwitwa said this. Mwitwa is speaking nonsense. So our SG will give a compressive statement on that and the exactly what we as PF want to do. We sat last Monday from 13:00 hours up to almost 22:00 hours to look at all those changes and there are some good changes like the Public Order Act and we are saying yes, we are not interested in collision government. We are not interested. I am telling you now that as PF, we are not interested in collision government and that is an NDF agenda and not the PF agenda. So he can not say all those things and accuse the PF. Our PF stance will be no and we want it to be live (on social media) the time when the SG will be presenting before Parliamentary Committee which is legal committee. People will see what exactly the PF stand for.”
He insisted that Mwitwa was misleading the country.
“Remember, there were over 400 people in that NDF and how many were from PF? The majority who came up with those stupid things were from the opposition and that is not the PF resolution. If you ask me now, I will tell you that we don’t even need a Constitutional Court because it is a duplication of work. Look, how do you propose that the MPs should remain in office at the end of the term? You dissolve Parliament but you let the MPs to be in office up to the day of elections? What kind of nonsense is that? That is not PF stance,” said Moonga.
“So the LAZ president is misleading the nation. He is totally misleading the country. I want him to Google the number of Constituencies from 1964, they were only 75. UNIP increased some
constituencies. So is he saying it is a wrong thing to increase districts? Remember, it was difficult for example to license a car in some areas. People had to move distances for them to do that. Today, people of Shibuyunji can do that within their areas. So the new districts go with good things. With a new MP in the district, you have a Council and so it means you are taking a new local government to the people so I don’t know why Eddie Mwitwa and UPND can say that.”