ARCHBISHOP Telesphore Mpundu says it is lawlessness of the highest order to restore an expired Bill in Parliament.
And Archbishop Mpundu says President Edgar Lungu should listen to the voice of Zambians who are telling him “thank you very much for your luckless time in State House but now time has come for you to go away”.
In an interview, Archbishop Mpundu lamented that PF was so desperate to pass Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 that they were changing the rules.
“It is very sad that the PF government is hell-bent on taking the dead Bill 10 back to Parliament again by changing the rules of Parliament known as standing orders. In the first place, the bill did not have sufficient numbers to support it in order for it to go through the second reading in Parliament. The PF government decided to buy time so as to dangle carrots and sausages so as to obtain the numbers required to vote for it to sail through the second reading. The life of the bill expired a long time ago and Parliament decided to change its own rules regarding the life span of a bill before it is enacted into law,” Archbishop Mpundu said.
“This is lawlessness of the highest order perpetrated by the lawmakers themselves. Rules and regulations must be followed, and Parliament must lead by example in following rules and regulations. Of all institutions, Parliament must champion constitutionalism, not lawlessness by bowing to the dictates of the Executive. It is immoral and therefore wrong for this PF government and its stooge Parliament to insist on resurrecting a dead Bill 10 which instead ought to be buried. Parliament as the Legislature must play the role of checks and balances supporting one of the pillars of democratic rule.”
And Archbishop Mpundu insisted that Bill 10 was designed to allow President Lungu to stand for a third term.
“Bill 10 is designed specifically to allow Edgar Chagwa Lungu to stand for the third term which the current Constitution has outlawed! Late Fredrick Chiluba after tasting the sweetness of power wanted to change the Constitution to allow him to stand for a third term and he kept saying that he was listening to people who had already spoken through the Constitution Chiluba desired to bend. They saw through all that and said an emphatic ‘no’. Today that voice from the people that told Chiluba to go away after the second term should be heard again very loudly and loudly ‘Chagwa Lungu, thank you very much for your luckless time in State House but now time has come for you to go away’. Laws are made for all not just for some people. No animal should be more equal than others in a truly democratic dispensation,” he said.
Archbishop Mpundu advised President Lungu to throw away Bill 10.
“My word to the President is, repent and bring back to the people of Zambia their God given right to determine how they are going to rule themselves through a Constitution of their own they can truly claim is truly theirs by the words ‘we the people’ and not ‘we the PF government’. Throw away Bill 10. In fact, it is already too late to start discussing it again, it takes a long time to fine tune a Constitution. The current one in use was signed only after the last presidential and general election. If forced down the Zambian people’s throats, Bill 10 is the litmus test that will summarize and judge President Lungu and his presidency for today and posterity. He will be known as a spineless Judas Iscariot who betrayed this nation for 30 pieces of silver. In other words, the disciple who sold Jesus for a song or the then prevailing price of a slave. By ditching Bill 10, President Lungu will be voting with the people of Zambia and his name will be forever revered as that of an audacious patriot. The die is cast, it is now for President Lungu to choose,” said Archbishop Mpundu.