SENANGA UPND member of parliament Mukumbuta Mulowa says Hakainde Hichilema cannot chase him from the party for voting for the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 which fell off last week.
In an interview, Mulowa said he was still a member of the opposition party and that he was going to recontest his seat next year.
“UPND is my party and I am standing on the UNPD ticket. Hakainde is still my friend despite me voting for Bill 10. He is my close friend and there is no way he can chase me because of Bill 10. Tell Hakainde, he is still my friend and president. I wish to work with him in the future very well. In the party there are different people, there are those who are reasonable and those who are not reasonable. Reasonable people like Hakainde cannot bring a grudge against me,” Mulowa said.
He said it was unfortunate that Bill 10 fell off because there were some progressive clauses in it.
“It is unfortunate because I don’t think that delimitation will take place. For us to have delimitation of these constituencies, there is supposed to be a form of constitution amendment and that was an opportunity which was given to us through Bill 10. I know there are some arguments that the Electoral Commission of Zambia (ECZ) can still move a motion so that there can be delimitation, I agree with that but whatever constitution amendment which takes place, it will need about two thirds. Now do you think our friends in the PF will agree this time? Some of us with wide constituencies will suffer because they are quite big to be developed. I think we have lost out,” Mulowa said.
He said Bill 10 also provided an opportunity for MPs to go back to the councils.
“Remember in 2016, the constitution amendment number 2 of 2016 removed MPs from the councils, hoping that there could be provincial assessments which never happened. So now the failure of Bill 10 means that MPs will not go back to the councils. There are a lot of things which are happening in the councils, things like equalization funds being misused. One of the functions of the MP is to provide an oversight role which is not there. So that means the fight between the mayors, council chairperson and MPs will continue at the expense of the Zambians who voted for these people,” said Mulowa, who also refuted claims that he was bribed by the ruling Patriotic Front to vote for the bill.
“There is also an issue of chiefs. Today, the paramount chiefs, like the Barotse Royal Establishment, anyone can declare himself chief, so this bill wanted to save these chiefs from such embarrassment that anyone can declare himself chief anywhere. The people of Zambia are going to lose out on this. The women, the youths, the church will all lose out. We are not saying that we can make a perfect law, the only perfect law is the law of God. Look at the money that was spent on the roadmap for Bill 10! So now we are back to square one.”