Withdraw Bill 10, let church lead drafting process – CiSCA

The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) has called on the President and the Justice Minister to withdraw Constitutional Amendment Bill number 10 of 2019 and let church mother bodies lead the process of drafting an acceptable document.

And CiSCA has charged that the sporadic riots which have rocked Lusaka could be state sponsored and a result of government’s fear of losing the 2021 elections.

Meanwhile, CiSCA has called for the caging of Bizwell Mutale, Chanda Nyela and Professor Nkandu Luo for peddling tribal talk which is against the laws of Zambia.

Speaking during a press briefing, Thursday, CiSCA vice-chairperson Judith Mulenga wondered what the PF stood to benefit Bill 10.

“We urge the President of the Republic of Zambia and his Minister of Justice to immediately withdraw Bill 10 as soon as the National Assembly session commences, revisit the roadmap that was drawn after the intervention of the Commonwealth Secretariat and entrust the facilitation of the new process to the church mother bodies,” Mulenga said.

“In effusing the Commonwealth from leading the dialogue process, President Edgar Lungu said it was ‘wrong for external forces to lead the process with set conditions in a sovereign state like Zambia’. Again the same President snubbed the process that was begun by the church mother bodies to set up his own preferred national dialogue forum process whose resultant was Bill 10. With this eminent list of opposition to Bill 10, we are perplexed as to why the PF government is adamant and determined at pushing through the Bill 10 even in the face of such strong tide of opposition. Is there something in it for the ruling party alone that they are not telling us? Is the PF the epitome of, “we the people of Zambia?” will Zambia stop functioning and come to a complete stand still if Bill 10 does not become law?”

And Mulenga demanded that all political party leaders refrain from uttering tribal sentiments.

“We want to urge our very able deputy Inspector General of Police to arrest Bizwell Mutale, Chanda Nyela and Proffessor Nkandu Luo for contravening articles 23 and 60 of our constitution and section 70 of the Penal Code chapter 87 of the laws of Zambia since the police under the current constitutional and legal regime are mandated to enforce the law without fear and favor for public order and peace. For the rest of us Zambians, let us replace the names of these archaic, prehistoric individuals with the words tribalists…We also demand that all political party leaders refrain from uttering tribal sentiments or making decisions based on ethnocentrism and take a leading role in respecting the Constitution and [promoting national unity],” said Mulenga.

Meanwhile, speaking at the same event, CiSCA chairperson Bishop John Mambo charged that the riots could be state sponsored.

“On the riots, it is sad, we will blame the police, we will blame the government of the day in fear of the 2021 election, they are trying to cause confusion here and there so that for some reason, you want to declare state of emergency and so forth. Pray that that should not be the case because Zambians are not known to burn someone alive with tyres, that is not our culture. That we must condemn, we do not want that,” said Bishop Mambo.

“We’re the losers in this, whoever is being shot, maimed, beaten, whatever is happening that is happening because we are the losers and there is a breakdown of law and order. It doesn’t matter how many threats we hear from the police command, that we don’t carry blanks, there is a breakdown of law and order, which is why we have all these riots sporadically. And then we have the executive that buries its head in the sand and when that head comes out of the sand, it’s threats and warnings, that is a failure of leadership.”

Natasha Sakala

About Natasha Sakala

Natasha Sakala draws inspiration from people who stand up for what is right. She is very versatile and likes to bring out issues as they are.

Email: natasha [at] diggers [dot] news

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