MONZE Central UPND member of parliament Jack Mwiimbu says the PF are desperate to enact the Constitution Amendment Bill 10 of 2019 to ensure that no one challenges President Edgar Lungu’s eligibility to stand as President next year.

Mwiimbu said that the PF were desperate to enact Bill 10 to ensure that no one was able to challenge President Lungu’s eligibility to stand as President next year.

“Honourable Mundubile has just confirmed the irrational and emotional discourse pertaining to Bill 10 by the Patriotic Front. It is important to note that Article 52 in the current Constitution protects the interests of the citizens of this country. The rationale behind Article 52 is to ensure that a person who does not qualify does not contest the election in the democratic dispensation. The qualifications and the disqualifications that are provided under the Act specifically are not exhausted and this is why Article 52 was provided to ensure that members of the public are given an opportunity to bar a person who does not qualify from contesting elections. This particular clause is not targeting any particular individual whatsoever. It is now interesting to note that the PF are so emotive in their quest to have Article 52 repealed,” Mwiimbu said.

“They have realized that Article 52 does not allow candidates to contest the elections who do not qualify and they have just realized that their candidate Edgar Chagwa Lungu does not qualify to contest the 2021 election. That is why they have been very emotive over this issue on Bill 10. As far as we are concerned, the reason why the PF have been insisting to proceed in enacting Bill 10 is nothing else, but Article 52. That is all they are interested in. They are trying to protect the candidature of Edgar Chagwa Lungu. All along they have been trying by all means to mislead Zambians as to why Bill 10 must be passed. But it has been made very clear by Honourable Mundubile that for all intents and purposes, they are bringing in Bill 10 in order to ensure that Edgar Chagwa Lungu is on the ballot paper in 2021.”

He added that the clause did not in any way disadvantage any person vying for public office, but was just a desperate move to ensure that President Lungu’s eligibility was not challenged next year.

“The argument that Brian Mundubile is trying to indicate and tell the nation that, ‘Lungu will qualify’ does not hold water. If he qualifies to contest the elections, why the panic in the PF camp over Bill 10? As far as we are concerned, we fully support the provision of the current Article 52 and we will not want any of these provisions, which are progressive to be repealed through an illegal process that is currently in place. We have come to the conclusion that there is no other motive other than ensuring that President Lungu is on the ballot paper in 2021, that is the reason behind Bill 10, nothing else,” said Mwiimbu.

“They are desperate! They think that President Lungu is the only candidate that can win elections in 2021. But us, as UPND and other progressive opposition political parties, we do not mind whoever is put as a candidate for PF for 2021, the PF will still lose the election! We do not want to allow illegalities to take place in the country by ensuring that unprogressive provisions are introduced just to protect an individual. Honourable Mundubile is saying that he doesn’t want provisions to be targeted at individuals; what he is trying to do and his PF, they are bringing in a provision just to protect an individual. Have you ever heard of any other person, a councillor or an MP, who has complained against the current Article 52? None at all.”