Vice-President Inonge Wina has urged parliamentarians to support the Constitution Amendment Bill number 10 of 2019 if they want to cut down on the number of by-elections.
During a parliament session, Wednesday, Senga Hill PF member of parliament Kapembwa Simbao asked how much money was spent on conducting Parliamentary by-elections in 2018 and 2019 in Sesheke, Mangango and Kasenengwa constituencies, in a question for oral answer.
In response, Minister in the Vice-President’s Office Olipa Phiri said; Our response Mr Speaker, in a) K14, 920, 999 was spent on the Sesheke parliamentary by-election, b) K14,877,228 was spent on the Mangango parliamentary by-election and c) K19,769,702 was spent on the Kasenegwa parliamentary by election, I thank you Sir.”
And in response to a follow up question from Simbao on how best by-elections could be reduced in order to save on costs, Vice-President Wina said the current Constitution provided for by-elections after the death of an incumbent, hence the need to enact Bill 10 and make the necessary changes.
“Mr Speaker, this government respects constitutionalism and as such, the Constitution details this nation to undertake an election 90 days after the passing on of a member of parliament and according to the current Constitution that is in use, it requires the nation to go to an election. So if the honorable members are so passionate about cutting costs of elections, I believe the change in the provision in the Constitution regarding elections should be looked at. So as a House, we unite and agree to change the pattern in which we elect our members. It is advisable for the House to consider the change in the provision regarding elections, so Bill 10 provides that opportunity for this country,” said Vice-President Wina.