LEADER of the Opposition in Parliament Jack Mwiimbu says the UPND has garnered enough numbers to block Bill 10.
And UPND chairman for elections Gary Nkombo says not all PF members of parliament want Bill 10 to pass.
On Monday, Kabwe Central PF member of parliament Tutwa Ngulube claimed that Bill 10 would go through with the help of 10 UPND members of parliament who had agreed to support it.
But in an interview, Mwiimbu said Ngulube’s statement was not tenable.
“We shall not vote for Bill 10 for the said bill is not in the interest of the people of Zambia. Members of the public must realize that this is one particular bill that has been so contentious to the extent that the Church and other civil organizations have raised their concern pertaining to this particular bill. Because we are a listening party that works with the people, we have resolved not to support the bill. The statement that has been made by the rogue PF member of parliament for Kabwe Central is not tenable. As far as we are concerned, as UPND we have the number to block this bill. If they have excess funding to ensure that they purchase some of our members, that is their style of doing things in this country. He has indicated that the delay was due to the gazzeting, that is ignorance with horns!” said Mwiimbu.
“This bill was gazetted in 2019, there has not been any legal gazzeting of this bill, it shows his ignorance of the constitution making process. We have the numbers together with alliance partners to block this bill on behalf of the people of Zambia. We are aware of three MPs, they have made their decision consciously and as a party, we are not going to do anything against them, the people of Zambia and those in their constituencies will deal with them at appropriate time.”
And in a separate interview, Nkombo said Ngulube’s statement was wishful thinking.
“Mr Ngulube’s statement can be classified as wishful thinking which is allowed. We are still seated together with all MPs and it will be very shocking and a very dark day for the country if any of our freedom fighter MPs who we have stood together with from the beginning…Mr Ngulube is trying to excite the public on a matter that is clearly nonexistent but we will cross the bridge when we get there. Human beings as they are, you can only vouch for yourself but in my own frame of mind, I am very certain and sure that all the colleagues who have said no to Bill 10 are still in the same accord and we have not shifted an inch. So it is a wait and see situation,” Nkombo said.
“We should not forget as MPs that we are not here serving people in our own accord but we are there courtesy of those people who stood up to go and vote for us. So sometimes it is not a matter of one’s conscious and how much money you are paid by PF that you make a lone decision and decide to vote against your conscious.”
Nkombo said there were also some PF MPs that did not want Bill 10.
“I can also tell you that not all the PF members are in the same accord as those who are promoting Bill 10. The members in PF are stifled because they know the dictatorship in their backyard, they are petrified about the consequences if they listen to their conscience. We do talk to them and with the presidential pronouncement that some of them are not good enough to continue serving people as you heard the President saying in Chilubi. There is heavy despondency in PF from among PF members of parliament they have told us that. They even say ‘bakai votele abene pali Bill 10 (they will vote for Bill 10 alone)’,” said Nkombo.