When you are old, there is this huge expectation that you should not be a liar. I am not really condoning lying for the younger. All I am saying is that the burden to speak the truth gets higher as you age. In this Christian nation of Zambia, we expect everyone to be truthful; but even so, we hope older people not to lie or to be found spreading lies. For clarity and brevity, I will characterise all these lies coming from the PF gentlemen and their supporters as the Lungwangwa Lies. For some reason – Lungwangwa kind of rhymes with lying!
The first Lungwangwa Lie is this thing that is being peddled by Honourable Mundubile, Honourable Tutwa Ngulu (autocorrect is not doing me justice here), and Honourable Lungwangwa that somehow, there are too many versions of Bill 10. This is not true. There is only one version of Bill 10. It is this Bill that is on the Parliament of Zambia website, it is on the Order paper in Parliament, and it has been read by several citizens in Zambia. My blog eliasmunshya.org has the same bill as well. It is not true that Zambians have access to many different versions of Bill 10. Bill 10 is really what it is and people can freely access it. You see, when you are trying to deceive people, the first casualty of every deception is the perception of reality. Deceivers usually invite the general population into doubting the authenticity of their own experiences. For the Patriotic Front and their team of cheats to deceive the Zambian people, they are starting by claiming that there are a lot of versions of Bill 10. The Bill 10 that is on the parliamentary order paper re-introduces deputy ministers among many other provisions. Bill 10 also introduces the ill-defined and un-defined coalition government. Bill 10 further gives cabinet (read President) the unilateral powers to borrow kaloba without parliamentary accountability. These are some of the contents of the deplorable Bill 10.
After you show the PF liars that there is only one version of Bill 10, they then resort to the second Lungwangwa lie – that they have changed the original Bill 10 to something else. This is not true. Since Bill 10 is a government Bill, it is only the government that can change it. Lungwangwa or Mundubile cannot change the contents of Bill 10 because it is a government Bill that can only be changed by the executive and its sponsor – Justice Minister Given Lubinda. Even as the noise from Mr Lungwangwa has been daily increasing, the Justice Minister has been silent. So from all indications, the Justice Minister is still standing by Bill 10 in shape and form it has been presented to Parliament.
The third Lungwangwa lie is very closely connected to the second lie – the idea that the select committee’s report on Bill 10 has now become the new Bill 10. A bill passes through five stages – First Reading, Second Reading, Committee Stage, Report Stage and Third Reading. In the case of Bill 10, Parliament decided to have a select committee scrutinise Bill 10 after its First Reading. This select committee comprised over 20 MPs and was chaired by Honourable Raphael Nakacinda. Other members of the select committee are Mundubile, Tutwa Ngulu (again autocorrect is not doing me justice), and Kasonso of Solwezi. This select committee published its report – which I have nicknamed the Nakacinda Report. The Nakacinda Report is the report coming from the select committee and its role is to advise the Speaker regarding two things – first, stakeholder views on Bill 10 and secondly, the select committee’s own recommendations regarding the government Bill 10. The Nakacinda Report has rejected almost 70 per cent of Bill 10’s contents. But even then, the Nakacinda Committee cannot change Bill 10 using its recommendations because Bill 10 can only be changed by the sponsors who are the government. The Patriotic Front and its able troops of phonies are now spinning the Nakacinda Report to be the new Bill 10. This is the spin that the old man, and an aged liar, Mr Lungwangwa is trying to spin – without shame! How the mukula can the Nakacinda Report become the new Bill 10? How can Honourable Lungwangwa be spreading this lie on public television that somehow the Nakacinda Report has “removed” toxic provisions from Bill 10? The Nakacinda Report cannot remove any toxic provisions from Bill 10. The Nakacinda Report has only shown how toxic Bill 10 is and it is up to Honourable Given Lubinda to recall the Bill, and if they still want to amend the Constitution, to come back with a new Bill and a new process. The idea that somehow Lungwangwa has made Bill 10 more palatable is a lie. We challenge Mr Lungwangwa to tell us where he is getting these lies from. We challenge him. Where is he getting the idea that the Nakacinda Report is now the new Bill 10? The Justice Minister, who is the sponsor of Bill 10 on behalf of the Executive, has not expressed any willingness to budge on Bill 10. Bill 10 remains what it is with all of its toxic provisions that will ultimately undermine Zambia’s rule of law.
As we approach the PF’s self-imposed resuscitation of the dead Bill 10 in February 2020, we need to hold all MPs to the truth. We need not allow these old men to continue spreading lies. But then, when you see that even younger persons like Tutwa Ngulu (I am losing patience with my keyboard by now) can still be eloquent in lies, you begin wondering whether lying is really an age thing – or it is just the PF thing. But Honourable Lungwangwa is not PF, so why would he be lying regarding Bill 10? Someone has a theory – the old man is lying because he has been bought. And as Christmas Day approaches, it appears like mukula thieves will continue peddling and trying to buy more MPs to carry out the malevolent Bill 10 schemes in February 2020. But even then, I am incredibly confident that Zambia’s MPs will resist the PF government’s efforts of corrupting them. Zambia shall be saved, while Bill 10 rests in eternal peace.
The author practices civil litigation and immigration law at MUNSHYA LAW, a firm based in Alberta, Canada and can be reached at email@example.com.