LEADER of the Opposition in the National Assembly Jack Mwiimbu has directed all UPND Members of Parliament not to support Constitution amendment Bill number 10 of 2019 as it comes up for second reading today.
Speaking during a press briefing held at the party secretariat in Lusaka, Monday, Mwiimbu who is also UPND member of parliament for Monze Central, told journalists that his party had come up with a three line whip compelling all its MPs to vote against Bill 10.
Mwiimbu warned that any UPND member of parliament who supported Bill 10 would be doing so without the blessing of the party and against the will of the people of Zambia.
“When the Bill was introduced on the floor of the House, we did indicate that as UPND, we are not going to support the amendment to the Constitution for various reasons which we stated. The position at the time and the position now of the UPND has not changed. Come tomorrow, if the PF government come tomorrow and wish to proceed with the proposed second reading of Bill 10, please be assured that UPND is not going to support it. We have been consistently consistent pertaining to the process that was undertaken by the PF government prior to the introduction of the Bill to the floor of the House. We, as UPND on behalf of the people of Zambia with the progressive Civil Society Organisations and everybody have objected strongly to the enactment of Bill 10,” Mwiimbu said.
“It must be stated very clearly that a Constitution is not for a political party. This particular process is not for PF or UPND, this is a process for the people of Zambia. The people of Zambia must participate and be seen to be involved in promulgating a Constitution for themselves. And the people of Zambia have been very loud in their objection to this particular Bill 10.”
Mwiimbu added that allowing Bill 10 to pass would be like giving the PF a blank cheque to do as they pleased.
“We want to make it very clear that as UPND, just like the PF have done; they have lobbied, they have instructed their members to support Bill 10, I as leader of the opposition in the House on behalf of the UPND, we want to state that we are drawing a three line whip, indicating that all loyal members of the UPND in the Parliament have to toll the party line. They have to toll the line of the people of Zambia that they should vote against Bill Number 10. The line has been drawn in the sand, anyone who crosses that line is not with us and that is Parliamentary. And when a party makes a three line whip, all members of that particular party must toll the line. And as I have indicated, a three line whip has been drawn, you are either with us or you are not. You are either with the people of Zambia or you are not with the people of Zambia,” said Mwiimbu.
“The people of Zambia have made it very clear that they don’t want to see Bill 10 on the floor of the house. Therefore, allowing this Bill 10 to go through second reading is giving PF a blank check so that they can make any arrangements they require. And we all know what kind of amendments they can introduce on the floor of the House.”