GOVERNANCE activist Brebner Changala has called on Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to adjourn Parliament sine die in order to avoid further spread of COVID-19 amongst Parliamentarians.
In an interview, Changala argued that there was no need for Parliament to continue endangering the lives of its members just for the sake of passing Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019.
He also expressed worry that the COVID-19 fight in Zambia had weakened because President Edgar Lungu and his officials seemed to have relaxed on their commitment to the fight.
“This COVID-19 has been mishandled by our Zambian government. They started well, then they loosened up and they weakened the momentum. We have reached a situation where we have gone back to our new normal. But in the recent days, weeks and months, we are experiencing sudden deaths of individuals. COVID-19 is real; so my appeal to our colleagues in government and our Parliamentarians is to show leadership by adjourning that Parliament sine die. Their main reasons of staying functional is because of Bill 10 which seems to be a matter of life and death to them. It is very important to preserve human life. I am reliably informed that a lot of MPs have tested positive to COVID-19 in Parliament…The Speaker must be magnanimous enough and adjourn that House,” Changala said.
“They will die before they even pass the Bill 10 law. So they must look at the human interest other than passing a bad law that will cost them in the end. So I am appealing to the Speaker to adjourn that House sine die.”
He observed that Zambians were not taking the presence of COVID-19 in Zambia seriously because government was doing much to sensitise the citizenry.
“The current COVID-19 challenges must also be explained to our colleagues in street vending. If you go to Lumumba road and Freedom Way, you would think twice even to talk about COVID-19 because there is no social distancing there, they have thrown away the masks and yet, the deaths in the country are rising day by day. Our President has also gone into oblivion, he has reduced or totally disappeared from the public eye to galvanise and sensitise the people of Zambia on how serious this pandemic is. It is ravaging many nations, South Africa, America, Europe and many other states. So it is very sad that leadership is lacking in this matter both from government and from the legislature,” said Changala.