PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu’s vigorous campaign to compel the Church and traditional leaders to favour Bill 10 is unreasonable and reveals that the PF have a hidden agenda.

Commenting on President Lungu’s recent trip to Northern Province where he engaged with traditional and church leaders on Bill 10, Kambwili said the PF had a hidden agenda in trying to push through Bill 10 into law.

“It is unreasonable! It just shows that there is something unreasonable they want to push. That is why we are saying this Bill is not for the people of Zambia. How many Bills have gone to Parliament? Have you ever seen such a vigorous campaign by the Head of State giving money to some NGOs, just to go and try and convince the people? Have you ever seen that kind of thing in this country before? It means there is something that they are hiding in Bill 10. The people of Zambia have said what is wrong with Bill 10; why are they not withdrawing the Bill? Withdraw the Bill, take it back to the people, the Church Mother Bodies must be involved, or political parties must be involved,” Kambwili said.

“Let us agree to disagree in dialogue that will be chaired by the Church Mother Bodies so that we decide what is going to go in the Constitution, that is what the people of Zambia are asking for. So, President Lungu, if he is not careful, God will punish him very badly! He is everywhere busy campaigning when the other people are not campaigning and you call that a democracy? The attitude of ‘give and take’ genuinely is the approach to take in the constitution-making process; not a one-man decision wanting to push! There have been men in this country who have tried to do that, where are they today?”

He argued that President Lungu and the PF wanted to enact Bill 10 because it removed Article 52 in the 2016 Amended Constitution, which gave rights to citizens to petition a presidential nomination, among others.

“One wonders why they should be so much in a hurry to try and pass Bill 10. They are lying to the people that they have removed what people didn’t want. There are only two ways of removing what people don’t want; firstly, is to withdraw the Bill and re-draft it; secondly, is when the actual voting is done. Before the actual voting is done, they need to open by two-thirds. The danger is that if the MPs open by two-thirds, the remaining steps is simple majority. So, what we don’t want is the MPs to open the master key by two-thirds because they can manipulate the process, we don’t trust them. So, the easiest they can do is just withdrawing the Bill, not that gazette they did where they were cancelling things, no!” he said.

“We want a Bill that is going to be presented in First Reading without the contemptuous issues, particularly the amendments of Article 52, which seeks to remove the rights of the citizens to petition a presidential nomination. Secondly, we don’t want to give power to the President to create provinces, alter boundaries and create constituencies, no! That has to be done through the normal delimitation and according to the population of the people after census or, indeed, after every five years.”

Kambwili appealed to the Church not to be used by the PF in campaigning for Bill 10.

“Bill 10 is not good. The best thing you can do is to bring those people together to agree to disagree and again move forward. But why are they failing? He is saying ‘everyone was consulted.’ Why did the PF run away from the dialogue organized by the three Church Mother Bodies to look at the Constitution? Why did they run from Church Mother Bodies now they are going to churches to lobby support? The problem is that some of these churches, also, have become sell-outs. But you understand that money is the source of evil,” bemoaned Kambwili.

“We know that the PF has too much money that they have stolen and they are dishing out money like nobody’s business! That is why you see some churches, NGOs have gone to support this Bill 10, not that they like it, but it is a money-making venture for them. We want to appeal to our churches that, please, don’t sell the flock, you are shepherds and we expect you to shepherd the sheep properly.”