THREE musicians have called on members of parliament to reject the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 when it returns to Parliament.
Maiko Zulu, Chama Fumba popularly known as Pilato, Brian Bwembya a.k.a B Flow were speaking on Radio Phoenix’s Let the People Talk programme, Tuesday.
Zulu, who is also a civil rights activist, described the Bill as evil and urged people not to be blinded by the inclusion of some popular recommendations made by several stakeholders on the Bill.
“I think it is very clear that Pilato and I have been championing the Yellow Card campaign. We have gone across the country and one of the things that we were championing was the shooting down of Bill 10. In my personal opinion as a citizen, I think it is an evil Bill. The opposition of Bill 10 defines what patriotism is for an ordinary Zambian. If you see a lot of people that are championing Bill 10, they tend to be on the side of the people that have an appetite for power,” said Zulu.
“I think that public debate has shown us that the majority of Zambians do not want Bill 10 . So I stand with the people that do not want Bill 10 to be passed and I am calling on honourable member of parliament Given Lubinda, who is Minister of Justice, people seem to be hijacked by the resolutions after Bill 10, the popular recommendations, to the point where they have forgotten the real devil. The real devil is the Bill itself.”
And Pilato wondered why the government wanted to amend the amended 2016 Constitution when many Zambians had not asked for a change in the national document.
“For me, logic guides me that if the premise is wrong, you cannot expect a correct conclusion. The question I ask myself is: at what point did we ask for a new constitution after the 2016 Constitution? If I remember correctly, what prompted the NDF was the aftermath of the 2016 election and that Mongu rubbish that happened where people started arresting each other. Even the Church and the ZCID, their intervention was to create a platform where political parties should not be seen as enemies to each other, to reconcile coming from the 2016 elections; why should Mr Lungu and Mr HH view each other as enemies? The NDF was a product of that discussion so we addressed this problem where we have these political tensions even after elections. So how do we resolve this? How that changed and the complexion changed to the Constitution is a different story,” Pilato said.
“At what point did we the people feel that we had so much power, we want to give power to the President? Where did we say that? What is the answer we are trying to respond to by changing the Constitution? What is that we are trying to achieve when we are changing the constitution? Are we saying we don’t have drugs in hospitals because the Constitution is like this? Are we saying that the poverty levels are this high because our Constitution is like that? For me ,I can never accept a Bible or an instruction from the devil. If I call myself a Christian, I cannot accept a book or any lists of instructions from someone I stand to challenge.”
He added that the amendment of the Constitution would not benefit Zambians but grant the PF chances of maintaining power beyond 2021.
“We as Zambians have not complained about the 2016 Constitution. As a matter of fact, when the President was signing that Constitution, a lot of scholars, a lot of lawyers, a lot of these intelligent people that we have in the country challenged that rushed signing, they said ‘you can’t sign this, this thing is faulty, this thing has a lot of gaps, this thing has to be refined’. They loudly expressed themselves because it was for political convenience, the President signed it; his party rushed that and he signed it. Why is it that we should get back to address issues that were not even raised then? What is the benefit for the people that we must change or alter the Constitution now when we were quick to sign it then, even when these calls were made? In 2016, they used the Constitution as a campaign tool and when the President signed it, it was victory,” said Pilato.
“Over time, they have realised that for them to extend their stay in power, they will need to go back to the Constitution and use it as a tool to get to the next level of power. We the Zambian people must ask ourselves: are we going to have a situation where every constitution has to be changed by anyone who is in power? How many times are we going to change this Constitution? If we allow this editing of the Constitution by politicians to happen, what will stop somebody coming next year to organise his political friends and connections and say ‘let us change one, two, three thing so that we do these things’?”
Meanwhile, B Flow said many Zambians had already rejected Bill.
“I think the reasons are convincing enough, people have rejected it! People have said no to Bill 10 and if that is not convincing enough, they made sure that each and every point in the Bill [has] a reason why it shouldn’t be allowed. They have said ‘this one is giving too much power to the executive and it shouldn’t be like that’, power should be to the people,” said B Flow.