The Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 is not progressive because it seeks to take away all the authority traditional leaders have over land, says senior chief Nzamane.

And Chief Nzamane says Zambia’s economy has not performed well due to the PF’s poor governance.

In an interview, chief Nzamane of the Ngoni people of Eastern Province cautioned that Bill 10 was not progressive because it sought to remove chiefs’ rights over traditional land.

He also wondered why the PF were insisting on enacting the Bill into law when various stakeholders were against it.

“I think listening from the masses, and looking at what everybody else is looking at, and the information that has been passed to the masses, for us, personally, it’s like this Bill 10 is going to take all the authority from us. We won’t have any authority over land. I don’t want to go into details, but I have a lot of negatives in the Bill. So, if there are a lot of negatives and it’s not progressive, why should we go ahead with it? I am speaking by myself. I think this is my opinion, which I suppose should be respected as well. I think the majority of Zambians are against the Bill,” chief Nzamane argued.

But nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda told the traditional leader that contentious clauses had been removed following the submissions made to the parliamentary Select Committee, which he chaired.

“Your Royal Highness, I was privileged to have chaired the Select Committee scrutinizing that Bill, identifying those things that the Zambian people rejected. And I can report to you, your Royal Highness, that every inimical clause that was in that Bill, we have since recommended that they be removed. Whether it is to do with the much-talked about deputy ministers, we have said ‘remove that.’ When we talk about issues of the coalition government, we have removed that because the Zambian people have spoken against that. We have further removed issues of succession, that they should not be handled in the manner that is proposed in Bill 10. On issues to do with land, we have further removed that, issues to do with the demarcation and creation of provinces; [new] districts [created] by the President cannot be without Parliament’s approval. Your Royal Highness, we have gone as far as dealing with every detail of those issues that the Zambian people have rejected,” Nakacinda explained.

“So, what is coming to Parliament right now, as a result of the work that your committee has done, is a cleaned-up Bill, removing those things that the Zambian people have rejected. But I know that most of the Zambians are discussing Bill 10 from the original proposal and not after what we have done.”

But after Nakacinda’s explanation, chief Nzamane insisted that the Bill should be revisited so that citizens can give a proper reaction to it.

“So, it was premature for me to say anything because I didn’t understand it. But I know that in its original form, that’s what it carried and the Zambian people had rejected it. But, maybe, if it is revisited and the people of Zambia get to know about it, we will see what their reaction will be,” he replied.

And Chief Nzamane said Zambia’s economy had not performed well due to the PF’s poor governance.

“When these political parties are selling their manifestos and so on, we look at their manifestos and see what is best for our people. And it is all dependent on the people that are going to run through that manifesto. And possibly, we bought into the manifesto of PF. It was favourable, but I don’t think we are following it up, hence bad governance. The governance has not been too good and a lot of other things have fallen. We are talking about the economy, which has fallen, because of the poor governance or the average governance for lack of [a better] word,” said chief Nzamane.