We have 79 amendments in Bill 10 and out of those, only seven were objected to because the other 72 were straight forward, says government chief whip Brian Mundubile.
And Mundubile says enacting Bill 10 will reinforce Zambia’s anti-homosexuality stance by entrenching Christian beliefs in the Constitution.
In an interview, Mundubile also advised parliamentarians to sensitize their constituents about the benefits of Bill 10.
“As a party chief whip, I have spoken to my MPs to go their constituencies and say ‘this was the initial submission through NDF but now, it was refined further and these have been removed as is.’ We have 79 amendments in Bill 10 and out of those, only seven were objected to, because the other 72 were straight forward. And the report [of the select committee] has cleaned those seven. So, the question now that begs [an answer is] what next? Like any other well-meaning party, the Patriotic Front party means well. I will be in Northern Province and I will be very aggressive in terms of telling people the truth about Bill 10. We will also be telling them about the lies that were told about Bill 10 and we will explain the process in Constitution-making. The difference between PF and other political parties is that we respect democratic tenets,” Mundubile said.
And Mundubile said enacting Bill 10 would reinforce Zambia’s stance against homosexuality.
“So, the fight around Bill 10 is not what Zambians have been meant to believe. The fight only drives around the amendment to Article 4 to delete multi-religious and include Christian nation. The fight is on Article eight (8) where we want to include as National Value and principle, Christian morality and ethics because it means when interpreting the constitution in line with national principles, you will be interpreting the constitution in line with national values, [then] it means now that Gay rights and homosexuality cannot be introduced. So, in case you are wondering, this Bill 10 and the fight for Gay rights are not separate,” Mundubile said.
And Mundubile insisted that those still fighting the document had not even read it.
“It is important to note that when you deal with matters to do with the Constitution, the aspect of consensus should come to light immediately. And when you talk about consensus, you are not talking about unanimity. So, the confusion that has been there in the country is that consensus should be unanimity [and] it’s impossible. You can’t have an exercise like that accepted by all. Again what also transpires is that you can have a situation where those that are objecting for instance to Bill 10, manage to misrepresent facts as regards the content and then the people join in. We are on record of saying that if we had a Bill 10 that was increasing the presidential power to extend his stay in office to seven years, even I would be against that Bill 10. If there will be a Bill 10 which will remove power from the Bank of Zambia and give it to the Cabinet to print money, even I would be against that Bill 10. You will realize that the many voices that are against Bill 10 have actually not read Bill 10,” said Mundubile.
“People have left it up to very few people to tell them what is contained in Bill 10. We have seen lawyers heading very big organizations, go on radio and taken to task on Bill 10 but they haven’t read it. Now where we are as regards the Bill 10, by the time we were deferring the presentation of Bill 10 on second reading, a report from the select committee was already circulated and that’s the beauty. So the committee was looking at the majority, what are the majority speaking to? And you will realize that most of those clauses that were causing discomforts have actually been addressed.”