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On January 21 this year, President Edgar Lungu told PF and government officials not to sit “ndwii” while members of the civil society go around the country campaigning against the Constitution Amendment Bill number 10 of 2019. Speaking in Mongu where he went on a working visit, the Head of State expressed frustration that government and PF officials were too quiet while some people were “lying” to Zambians.
“You are too quiet! Don’t allow people to tell lies and you are there ndwiii [sitting idle], go to the radio stations and answer!” President Lungu exclaimed. “Tell them what we are doing. If the radio stations ask you for money, ask for money and pay so that you go and tell the truth. People are telling lies about Amendment Bill number 10 of the Constitution and you are quiet, you are letting them lie to the people, go and tell them what Amendment Bill number 10 entails. I want to assure you that as government, or as a political party, we will look for resources so that you talk and you talk the truth, we will support you with resources.”
Following this directive, ministers and MPs jumped to their feet and thronged radio stations to preach the ‘gospel’. Others called for press conferences to denounce opposers of Bill 10. Indeed, money has been splashed around and every other day, there is a minister or MP from PF preaching about Bill 10, much to the satisfaction of the Great Leader. But what has shocked us is that this team of ministers which President Lungu unleashed to correct the “lies” around Bill 10 have gone on rampage telling lies themselves. The reasons they are advancing for people to support Bill 10 have nothing to do with what is contained in the document.
Look at what the Government Chief Whip Honourable Brian Mundubile said on January 20, this year, about why the people of Zambia must support Bill 10!
“One thing to note is that as a country, we remain very peaceful. But for that peace to continue to prevail, we must come up with laws that regulate conduct. So, if, indeed, what we want is peace for an election winner to remain a winner, and a loser to remain a loser, we need to clean up these laws because these laws were tested in the 2016 elections or after the elections and, clearly, they manifested some gaps that need to be cured. Because if you keep on complaining that, ‘someone has been stealing my votes’ and somebody comes up and says ‘can we put burglar bars’, you are the first person to say, ‘we don’t want burglar bars.’ Then people now begin to question your real intentions or your cries are questioned: are they genuine or you would want there to be burglar bars? I think that is where we are as regards the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 because I think it addresses a number of issues that arose during and after the 2016 general election,” Honourable Mundubile.
Now, we are at loss! Which clause in Bill 10 talks about protecting votes from being stolen? Which clause in the Constitution caused disorder after the 2016 elections that Bill 10 will fix by guaranteeing peace? Where does Bill 10 say it will ensure that a winner remains a winner and a loser remains a loser? Which clause in the 2016 amended Constitution failed in this regard? This is a lie! A blue lie, and they know it.
And the Government Chief Whip added that Bill 10 will fight Gay rights or homosexuality. We are not making these things up. Honourable Mundubile said this on the 9th of February.
“So, the fight around Bill 10 is not what Zambians have been meant to believe. The fight only drives around the amendment to Article 4 to delete multi-religious and include Christian nation. The fight is on Article eight (8) where we want to include as National Value and principle, Christian morality and ethics because it means now that Gay rights and homosexuality cannot be introduced. So, in case you are wondering, this Bill 10 and the fight for Gay rights are not separate,” he said.
Surely, how can the Government Chief Whip mislead people like this? Which article 8 in Bill 10 talks about homosexuality?
In Parliament, the Vice-President said Bill 10 will make sure that government stops spending money on by-elections.
“Mr Speaker, this government respects constitutionalism and as such, the Constitution details this nation to undertake an election 90 days after the passing on of a member of parliament and according to the current Constitution that is in use, it requires the nation to go to an election. So if the honourable members are so passionate about cutting costs of elections, I believe the change in the provision in the Constitution regarding elections should be looked at. So as a House, we unite and agree to change the pattern in which we elect our members. It is advisable for the House to consider the change in the provision regarding elections, so Bill 10 provides that opportunity for this country,” said Vice-President Wina.
Ummmm! Are we reading the same Bill 10? Madam Inonge! Your Honour! Bo ma! Which clause in Bill 10 says there will be no by-election when a member of parliament dies or resigns? This is misleading the nation, and we are disappointed that such lies are coming from one of the most respected women in this country.
We have observed that the PF is trying to create a narrative that all the problems that Zambia is facing now can be fixed by Bill 10. The floods in Lusaka, the load-shedding, high mealie prices, the cost of fuel, all of them can be fixed by Bill 10! Even the gassing of people at night, when you ask PF, they will tell you, ‘we need Bill 10 to provide security for citizens’. Why are these PF ministers and MPs lying to the people? Shame!