RAINBOW Party general secretary Wynter Kabimba says there is no evidence to prove that those opposing Bill 10 are in the majority.
And Kabimba says the Access to Information bill should not be enacted because it is not relevant and is only being advocated for by donors so that it can help them to push their agendas in Zambia.
Speaking when he featured on Pan African Radio, Monday, Kabimba said those opposing Bill 10 were just a click from within Lusaka and they had no evidence to prove that majority Zambians had opposed it.
“There is no argument as we hear from the other side that the Zambian people have rejected this bill. They have no evidence whatsoever that those who are saying no to Bill 10 are in the majority, they have no evidence. It’s just a kama small click in Lusaka of those that are anti-Bill 10. Go to Luapula, go to Mumbwa and find out if they have been there. I live in the village and as I go round, when I find people who don’t understand Bill 10 I tell them ‘if UPND’s presidential election [petition] was not fairly determined because of the 14 days, aren’t you happy that that period has been extended to 30 days’? And in a local language, then everybody will say ‘ah that’s very good. Then Bill 10 is very good if that’s what it’s brining about’. So I interact with everybody using the language which they understand; not on WhatsApp, not on Facebook but on one on one basis,” Kabimba said.
Kabimba argued that while it was possible to withdraw Bill 10, the reasons being given for that were not convincing.
“It is possible to withdraw Bill 10 but I think what is not convincing are the reasons why the bill should be withdrawn. Those that are agitating for the withdrawal of Bill 10 are not putting forward any convincing reasons. So the bill 10 flight has taken off already, so those that are not on the flight, even if they tried to run, they can’t catch up with the plane and they don’t have any convincing reasons. Our view as Rainbow party is that the Bill 10 process has gone so far and there is no need to have it withdrawn,” Kabimba said.
He refuted assertions by some people that he was supporting Bill 10 because of his friendship with President Edgar Lungu.
“This is not Edgar’s bill, that’s where people are wrong. If I am a friend of President Lungu and I support Bill 10, it’s pure coincidence. Bill 10 is not President Edgar Lungu’s, this is, our view as Rainbow Party, a bill that is intended to move us forward from Constitutional Amendment Act Number 2 of 2016, which the time when it was assented to by the President, we said that it was a bad law and it has been tested in a few areas and our point has been proven that it is a bad law. So when the time came that we should participate in its amendment, we thought that as responsible citizens, we should participate in the process and that’s what we have done. So our support for Bill 10 has nothing to do with President Lungu,” Kabimba said.
Meanwhile, Kabimba said the Access to Information Bill should not be enacted because it was not relevant at the moment.
“We must legislate or originate legislation which responds to our social condition. We can legislate because the donors say ‘legislate and we shall give you money’ and we can’t legislate by copying and pasting. We must think through; what will be the consequences of this piece of legislation? The Freedom to Information Bill is being advocated for by donors. Don’t we learn surely as a country? Look at what they did with the Land Act of 1995 which has caused so many problems for us. And they (donors) said to the government of President [Fredrick] Chiluba then, ‘if you don’t repeal the Land Conversion of Titles Act of Kaunda of 1975 and replace it with this bill’… which they themselves had drafted, the World Bank said ‘we shall not give you any money’. And I remember the resistance against that bill. But because we are poor, it was passed and the consequences are disastrous for this country,” Kabimba said.
“You will not be there but you will be turning in your grave because your grandchildren will be buying land from foreign nationals in this country at prices that they won’t even afford. We are creating an apartheid system, a system that we helped South Africa fight against. The elite now are busy displacing the fellows in the village, driving them from fertile land because they can wave a certificate of title. That’s what may happen with the Freedom to Information Bill. Don’t we learn? Who has bewitched us? So that bill is not relevant as at now, it may be relevant in the United States, it may be relevant in UK, it is certainly not relevant in Zambia. The South Africans who have a larger economy than ours have failed to pass it, they have been cautious. So who bewitched us that whatever comes from outside we should copy?”
And Kabimba charged that most of the NGOs in the country were parallel political parties being used to push for their funders’ agenda.
“Isn’t it ironic that you have Civil Society Organisations (CSO)s that are called Non-Governmental Organisations and yet they are sponsored by foreign governments? How do you become an NGO when you are sponsored by a foreign government? And who told you that a guy can give an NGO money without trying to manipulate that NGO in line with their agenda? Let’s open up our eyes. These NGOs are just parallel political parties being used to promote the agendas of the donors,” said Kabimba.