PF deputy whip Tutwa Ngulube says government has not sneaked in any Clause in Bill 10, contrary to Rainbow Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba’s assertion.
Last week, Kabimba charged that the ruling PF has sneaked in two clauses in the Bill which seek to create the position of a Deputy Attorney General as well as one that seeks to limit the term of the Auditor General even when the two clauses were rejected at the NDF.
“What I find difficult to understand is for a group of people to declare themselves that their view is the only view and the absolute truth. This discourse we continue with it and continue persuading one another without any form of intimidation or threats so that people can express their views. We in the Rainbow Party have certain articles in Bill 10 that we don’t agree with even as we participated in the process. One of them is the creation of the office of Deputy Attorney General. It came before NDF, and it was thrown out [but] the government has sneaked it in. Does that make the whole Bill 10 a monster? No, we can debate. The other one I think is the term of office of the Auditor General,” said Kabimba.
“I remember a colleague of mine calling me and telling me that ‘you are embarrassing me by participating in a process where you want to bar one presidential candidate in 2021 using that process’ and I said there is nothing like that. There are also rumors which don’t exist that Bill 10 is about extending Edgar Lungu’s term of office from five to seven years. There is nothing like that. And I want to appeal to my fellow politicians that let us be factual. What does it cost us to present the facts as they are? Nothing. This Bill has some solutions to the problems of the country. It may not have all the solutions but it has some.”
But in an interview, Ngulube said Kabimba was lying because the PF had not added or subtracted anything from the Bill.
“He is lying. On the issue of the deputy attorney general, we are not creating any new position. There was a proposal to simply change the name from Solicitor General to Deputy Attorney General. And I think that went through at the NDF. It’s not that the PF sneaked it in. He is lying. And the Bill was being drafted in full view of everybody and the proceedings were live on TV. It was an attempt to change the name from Solicitor General to Deputy Attorney General. And on the face of it, I think it did go through,” Ngulube said.
Ngulube also said it was officers from the Auditor General’s office who made a proposal to have a seven-year fixed term of office for the AG.
“The people were proposing that there should be a fixed seven year term within which the Auditor General can’t be fired or disturbed so that he can have some security to work and do things. The Constitution as it stands talks about the Auditor General having security of tenure and that he can only be removed on the same grounds as the removal of the High Court Judge. So people were proposing that at least the Auditor General should be sure that ‘in the next seven years I will not be fired for any reason.’ And the NDF accepted that proposal from the Auditor General’s office and not from the PF,” he said.
Ngulube said both the proposals went through at NDF, urging Kabimba to consult his notes carefully.
“It’s not the PF that was making proposals and so the PF cannot subtract anything or sneak in anything. No. Those Bills were read line by line and everybody who was at the NDF will tell you what transpired. If it’s me, I was legal counsel and I was also sitting on the management team. There is no single, not even a full stop that the PF has introduced in that Bill which people can accuse us of having sneaked in. Maybe he is just mistaken or has just forgotten what transpired. Otherwise, the PF has not done anything like that,” said Ngulube.