By Elias Munshya
The question some people ask me:
“Why should you come out so strongly against those supporting Bill 10? Why should Zambians face your criticism when they are just trying to put across their opinion?”
Promoting Bill 10 is not an “opinion”. Bill 10 is trying to change the constitutional structure of the republic. This is not an opinion, it is a change of Zambia’s constitutionalism as we know it.
Those supporting Bill 10, are actually traitors of our country. They do not mean well for Zambia, and I have no apology for saying this.
Bill 10 has actually been soundly rejected by all – the church, the political parties, the NGOs, everyone has rejected something or the other in Bill 10. Why then should it be tolerated in parliament? Those seeking “changes” while Bill 10 stays in parliament are doing it in the dark. They are approaching MPs and negotiating more acceptable terms to be sneaked into the Bill. What a terrible way to amend a country’s constitution.
It is because of the next big lie – that Bill 10 will be changed once it passes Second Reading in parliament. Says who? Honourable Kopulande, a backbencher is trying to assure us that they will change Bill 10 after it passes Second Reading. But again, Bill 10 is a government Bill and so it has to be the government, in this case, President Lungu’s cabinet to assure the nation, that they will change Bill 10. And once they say so, they will then have to withdraw Bill 10 and go back to seek consensus. But both President Lungu and Given Lubinda have been quiet about Bill 10 and its rejection by the Zambian people. All we have are the backbenchers telling us that they will change the Bill after Second Reading – backbenchers can’t change the Bill without the sponsor’s consent, and the sponsor so far is quiet, busy bribing the voters in Chilubi Island, after doing the same in Milenge.
This brings us to the second lie, that we have no time to take it back and begin afresh. Using the language of our newly found Jewish-Bisa princes Mumbi – “We do have time”. We do have time to do the right thing. We do have time to take Bill 10 back to wherever it came from. We do have time to begin afresh in a more transparent manner. We do have time. Bakwetu, we do have time.
The Bill has been rejected. Why insist that it stays put? Withdraw it completely and fully!