ITEZHI-TEZHI UPND member of parliament Herbert Shabula says it is foolishness for the ruling Patriotic Front to continue forcing the Constitution Amendment Bill No.10 of 2019 on Zambians because it is now a dead Bill.

In an interview, Shabula argued that Bill 10 was now an expired proposed piece of legislation following a second adjournment of Parliament Sine Die, Tuesday.

“How many times has Bill 10 been brought to Parliament? All the times that the Bill was brought to Parliament, it failed to attract the two-thirds majority. Now, on those bases, PF through the Speaker (Dr Patrick Matibini) had to find a way of deferring it. The last time, they used an excuse for Coronavirus. Thereafter, when we opened (Parliament), it was brought again, it was not debated because they could not get the two-thirds majority and so they decided it will be deferred to an unknown date. That is why the Speaker instructed the Executive, the Minister of Justice, Given Lubinda, to ensure that the Bill is brought before closure of this sitting. The end of this sitting was to be on Friday and there is no indication that it was going to be brought to the table. When the Vice-President (Inonge Wina) was outlining the activities for this week, there was nowhere where it was appearing that it was going to be tabled,” said Shabula.

“This means that Bill 10 is a forgotten Bill, it is a dead Bill, an embarrassment Bill and it is something that the government is trying to push before the people. And people have rejected it through the MPs. Now, the PF don’t know how to bring back this Bill for it to go through. To make it worse, I pity the families that have lost the two MPs with this loss, it becomes very difficult for them to raise the necessary two-thirds majority. It is a buried Bill; we are just waiting to put leaves on the grave. Doing one wrong thing time and again and expecting a different result is foolishness. I am sure PF is not foolish enough not to see that they will not be able to get the two-thirds majority.”

Last Month, Dr Patrick Matibini said there was something unusual about Bill 10 that had confused the nation and hoped that the debate on the matter could come to an end.

“Indeed, yesterday, there was a request he (Given Lubinda) made to defer. But I also recall that it ended at a mere request. If you have heard his statement, he has provided a preface to events leading to his request. And this is a statement he wanted to update the House on as circumstances leading to his request. I agree with you, Honourable member of Mongu Central (Mwilola Imakando) that this matter insofar as the deferment is concerned, is a concluded matter. But I find this entirely innocuous. I must state, by the way, that there is something unusual about Bill 10 that has confounded us as a nation and I hope that sooner or later, somehow, we will put this matter to a final rest. In its current form, this is the last opportunity I have given the promoters in its meeting. The last meeting of the fourth session to complete business surrounding Bill 10. And I truly hope that we will bring this matter to a close,” said Dr Matibini.