UPND members of parliament yesterday walked out of the House before the ruling PF via a simple majority restored Bill No.10 of 2019 onto the Order Paper.
Acting justice minister Stephen Kampyongo moved the motion to restore the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill, National Assembly of Zambia Bill No.10 of 2019 onto the Order Paper.
The Bill was first presented to the House on August 2, 2019 before Speaker Patrick Matibini referred it to a parliamentary select committee, which was chaired by nominated member of parliament Raphael Nakacinda to scrutinise it.
But leader of the opposition in Parliament, who is also Monze Central UPND member of parliament, Jack Mwiimbu, said the UPND has been “consistently consistent” in opposing Bill 10.
He said the Bill having elapsed should not be brought back to the House to be reconsidered.
“It’s a disposable Bill. It should be thrown away,” Mwiimbu said.
He said in its current form, the Bill should remain in the shelves.
“The Bill has elapsed,” Mwiimbu said while urging the government to do the needful by taking it back to the drawing board where people are consulted before they could bring it back to the House.
He said the UPND would support a bill that was a product of citizenry consultation and approval.
“Do the correct thing,” he advised. “In its form we will not support it.”
Mwiimbu noted that yesterday’s motion only required a simple majority vote to restore the Bill onto the Order Paper.
At this point, the UPND MPs walked out of the House before First Deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala asked those remaining whether or not they agreed to the motion, which was resolved in the affirmative.
And Kampyongo thanked the MPs for supporting the motion.
He said the PF remained open and would collaborate with those members of parliament that opposed the Bill.
He claimed Bill No.10 was not for the PF but for Zambians.
Kampyongo said no member of parliament opposed to the Bill would be harassed.
The April 24 to May 16, 2019 National Dialogue Forum (NDF) birthed Bill.
Last Friday, the Constitutional Court, via the majoritarian principle, threw out, for lack of merit, the petitions by the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and Chapter One Foundation, which were challenging the State’s decision to alter the Republican Constitution through Constitution (Amendment) Bill No. 10 of 2019.