ALLIANCE for Community Action (ACA) executive director Laura Miti says President Edgar Lungu should transfer Justice Minister Given Lubinda to another ministry because he is too emotional and will mislead the Head of State on other bad laws like Bill 10.

And Miti says government has deliberately approved the one-month voter registration period to increase their chances of winning the 2021 general election.

Speaking on 5FM’s The Burning Issue programme, Tuesday, Miti argued that Lubinda was an emotional Minster who could not lead a critical Ministry such as the Ministry of Justice.

“Bill 10 represented one of the darkest clouds that hovered over Zambia. And towards the end, it got to a point where you said we have talked; we have begged and so on. The actual voting day, I could hardly watch Parliament TV. So, going forward, the fall of Bill 10 is good for all of us. And for the Minister of Justice, he needs to pull back his emotions from legislation. Don’t say, ‘I’m going to do it again and present the Bill to Parliament again!’ That is what killed the Bill in the first place. If everybody could read you from afar, you know. So, the only thing I am going to say to Mr Lubinda, now, is pull back! The whole period of Bill 10, he was emotional and he was insulting to the people of Zambia. He was becoming worse off during this period,” Miti said.

“It’s a little disturbing and I hope that the President will tell him to calm down. If not, he should reshuffle him. He needs to take him away from the Ministry of Justice maybe this law is too personal, so take him to a Ministry where he can kind of cool down. And then, pull someone there who can watch the law and legislation for the good of the country. Otherwise, in the same way that Minister Lubinda led the President down the wrong path, he might do it again with other laws. And it’s not only the President he is leading down the wrong path, it’s the whole country.”

She said Lubinda was emotionally charged, which influenced his actions, adding that he was capable of enacting laws just for vengeance.

“And those emotions are not good for the country, especially when you are talking about law-making. Never go to court, never go to Parliament to pass laws simply because you want to prove to someone that you can do it. When you are making laws, you stand back and say, ‘this law can see me when I’m on the other side, it can see me through.’ So, go back now and look at 2016. These are procedural laws that were supposed to be passed in order of us to go forward as a country. Remember, the 2016 Amendment was the one, which was popularly accepted by the people. So, what Minister Lubinda needs to do is pull back and stop passing laws for his own vengeance. When he is speaking, he sounds as though he is saying ‘muzachiona, mwanya!”, she said.

And Miti said that government had deliberately approved the one-month voter registration period to increase their chances of winning the election in 2021.

“Again, it’s the why? Why are you doing this? We want an explanation where you will say where, from time immemorial, we have used the three months period, now you want one month. There is no explanation. Further, a lot of people do not know that they have to register. The grandmothers in the villages have no idea of this because there has been no campaign. So, the equation I keep asking is why is the ECZ trying to disenfranchise people? It would have made sense if ECZ had stood up and said, ‘we want to reduce the number of people on the register.’ What is the logic? Because we don’t even have resources to register voters for three months. This is a question that Mr (Patrick) Nshindano needs to answer,” said Miti.

“Why are we trying to reduce the period of voting? From the three months we have always been used to, to one month. It’s almost as though we want to make life difficult. Governance in Zambia is about making life difficult. Question again, what are Mr Nshindano and Judge Chulu’s motivation to reduce this period? Because from where I sit, it’s going to be an extremely unfair election because the people, who have National Registration Cards, are being denied the opportunity to register and vote! The reason is that the government wants to see few people register and vote. Last time, they won by few votes and they know that the odds are against them this time around. That’s the reason.”