MUNALI PF member of parliament Professor Nkandu Luo lied that all Catholic members of parliament are in support of the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019, say UPND members of the Catholic Parliamentarians’ Association.

Speaking when he addressed journalists at Parliament Media Centre in Lusaka, Friday, UPND Catholic parliamentary representative, who is also Kabompo UPND member of parliament, Ambrose Lufuma said Association chairperson Prof Luo lied to the nation that all the Catholic members of parliament had agreed to support Bill 10.

He insisted that UPND members of parliament remained in full support of the communiqué and demand made by the Catholic bishops to have the controversial Bill withdrawn from Parliament.

“We, the UPND Catholic members of the Association of the Catholic parliamentarians, have decided to issue this press release in order to clarify the statement by the chairperson of the Association Nkandu Luo in [response to] the communiqué issued by the Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops (ZCCB) on Bill 10 of 2019. In the statement, Luo insinuated that all members of the Association were in support of Bill 10 and, therefore, not in support of the communiqué issued by the ZCCB on the need to withdraw Bill 10, and that the bishops have been misinformed and, therefore, wrong in calling for the withdrawal of Bill 10. We want to state in no uncertain terms here that this is misrepresenting facts. It is only some of the PF members in the Association that are in support of Bill 10. As UPND MPs in the Association, we are in full support of the communiqué and the demand by the Catholic bishops to have Bill 10 withdrawn,” Lufuma said.

He said most citizens remained fearful that the PF was hijacking the Constitution amendment process for political expediency aimed at perpetuating their stay in power.

“We join the ZCCB and other churches and civic leaders in demanding for the withdrawal of Bill 10. Indeed, Bill 10 is an evil attempt at usurping the freedom and liberties of the Zambian people and consolidating the PF’s stranglehold on citizens. We categorically and without reserve, hereby disassociate ourselves from Nkandu Luo’s statement and instead support the Catholic bishops. We shall do all that which is in our power to represent the people of Zambia who are calling for the withdrawal of Bill 10 in Parliament,” Lufuma insisted.

“No amount of manipulation and persuasion from PF will coerce us, as Catholic parliamentarians, into supporting Bill 10. It is conceived with ill intentions and, therefore, adds little or no value to the current Constitution.”

And Lufuma urged Zambians to heed the Catholic bishops’ advice and other Church bodies in rejecting Bill 10.

“We urge Zambians to heed to the advice of the ZCCB and other mother Church bodies, Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and civic organizations in rejecting Bill 10. Their collective wisdom cannot be in vain, neither can it be doubted. For PF, anything that one doesn’t agree to or with…can only be that which is in support of the opposition, [which is…] wrong. This is the intolerance that we say the PF always exhibits against any divergent view no matter how genuine,” said Lufuma.