Opposition UPND members of parliament yesterday walked out of the House in protest against the proposal to bring Bill 10 back on the order paper.

But Nalikwanda UPND member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa and his Solwezi East counterpart Teddy Kasonso remained in the House, defying the party position.

This was after acting Minister of Justice Stephen Kampyongo moved a notice of motion to have the Bill put back on the order paper after subjecting it to stakeholder consultations.

“Madam Speaker, I beg to move that in terms of standing orders 126 (1) of the National Assembly of Zambia standing orders 2016, this House on to the order paper the Constitution of Zambia Amendment Bill, National Assembly Bill N0. 10 of 2019 presented to the House on Friday 2nd August 2019,” Kapyongo said.

When Namugala put up the question for the House to restore Bill onto the order paper, leader of opposition Jack Mwiimbu, who is also Monze Central UPND member of parliament, said the Bill should be thrown away as it was a disposable one.

“Madam Speaker, I want to make it very clear that as the UPND, we have been consistently consistent over this matter pertaining to Bill 10. Our position, Madam Speaker, has not changed in any way. Our position is that this particular Bill should not be brought back to this House to be considered. This particular Bill, Madam Speaker, is disposable. It’s a disposable Bill which should be thrown away and should not be brought here. It is our considered view as UPND that this particular Bill should remain in the shelves and should not be brought here in the current form,” Mwiimbu said.

Mwiimbu said his party haD rejected it and that it would only support the Bill after it goes back to the drawing board for stakeholder consultation.

“Madam chairperson, this particular Bill has lapsed and there is no Bill that should be brought here. And we are refusing to have it tabled. We are urging the government on your right to do the needful to ensure that this particular Bill goes back to the drawing board where the people and other stakeholders are consulted. Once they finish the consultations, Madam Speaker, this Bill will then be brought back pursuant to 126 and our colleagues and ourselves will support it at that time. Right now, Madam Chairperson, we don’t support the Bill. They should do the correct thing and not bring it here. We will not support this Bill and because this is simple majority Madam Speaker, we will leave this matter to be determined by our colleagues, let them pass it and then at an appropriate time we will be involved in this particular process. [But] for now we are not part and parcel of this process,” said Mwiimbu.

After his remarks, Mwiimbu led his colleagues out of the House while Prof Lungwangwa and Kasonso remained seated.