United party for National Development President UPND Hakainde Hichilema has justified reasons behind the need to have the defective constitutional amendment Bill 10 of 2019 recalled and the need for stakeholder involvement in the process.
Mr. Hichilema told journalists at an opposition alliance media briefing this morning that the government did not only fail to follow the required process but that the content itself is inimical to the democratic process in Zambia.
He said the ruling PF leadership in its culture of telling lies is trying abeit with resistance to deceive the people that the recommendations by the parliamentary select committee had been taken on board to prove government’s good will on the constitution making process.
“Contrary to claims by the PF that the content of Bill 10 has been adjusted to take into consideration the recommendations of the parliamentary selection committee,they have only sugar coated the content to suit the interest of the PF in trying to deceive the people.The PF has deliberately created a situation which exclude key stakeholders including the church, civil society organisation and political parties.There is no sincerity on the part of the PF and we thank God that Zambians are seeing through this desperation”, he revealed.
He said following public resistance, the government decided to Gazette the recommendations from the parliamentary select committee in a process he said was in violation of the law as provided by article 77 of the constitution as amended in 2016.
He observed that the PF deliberately chose to repeal article 52 of the Republican Constitution using section 11 of Bill 10 to stop people from challenging the nomination of president Lungu and will in the process allow him run for a third term.
” If allowed to pass Bill 10 will allow the ruling party not only to change the composition of parliament and create unfair play but also give power to government to change boundaries of the constituencies. Bill 10 further seeks to allow only four paramount chiefs to be responsible for the selecting of chiefs in the country.This will be a recipe for anarchy an disorder.We appeal to ruling,opposition and independent members of Parliament to reject bill 10 in its current form as it is poisonous”,he added.
And Nation Democratic Congress NDC President Chishimba Kambwili has demanded for the immediate a 90 day voter registration exercise as opposed to the ECZ proposed thirty days as it is far from being enough in the commission’s quest to capture nine million registered voters.
Dr. Kambwili further wondered what rationale the Elections body used in coming up with October as the month for the voter registration knowing very well that most parts of the country will be experiencing rains while the farming season would be underway.
He said the commission was participating in an illegality that has the potential to defranchise a number of potential voters hence his call on the body to rescind its decision by bringing the dates forward to allow more people participate in the country’s democracy.
The opposition leader has also demanded for the reduction in election nomination fees to allow more people participate wondering whether politics was now a preserve for the rich while the poor but intelligent will continue being led and their voices dwarfed.
The opposition alliance briefing held at President Hichilema’s residence was attended by among others Republican Progressive party President James Lukuku, Alliance for Democracy and Development Secretary General Anakoka Mubiana,NDC Vice President Joseph’s Akafumba, RPP vice President Leslie Chikuse, UPND National Chairman Mutale Nalumamgo and Alliance National Secretary Sylvia Masebo.
By: Andrew Phiri/ Africa Daily Updates – Zambia