[By Mwaka Ndawa and Changala Sichilongo]
CHISHIMBA Kambwili says the NDC gave its Roan member of parliament Joseph Chishala clear instructions to go against Bill 10.
He stressed that, “You cannot force an MP to walk out of Parliament, it is against the principles of Parliament and it’s an offence.”
Meanwhile, Chishala yesterday said he will never walk out because laws are formulated inside the House “so walking out to me doesn’t make any sense”.
Reacting to the decision by Chishala not to follow suit when UPND parliamentarians walked out of the House when Constitution (Amendment) Bill No.10 of 2019 was presented for second reading on Tuesday, Kambwili said it was an offence to force a lawmaker to walk out of Parliament.
Kambwili denied instructing Chishala to vote for Bill 10.
“I have never changed my position about Bill No. 10. I instructed Chishala to go to the caucus. Our instructions were very clear: to go against Bill 10. Those allegations that I instructed him to vote for Bill 10 are not true. They are just rubbish,” he said. “We gave him clear instructions. We are not worried about those allegations. Our stance on Bill 10 remains the same.”
Kambwili indicated that Chishala’s decision to go against the party’s instructions would be dealt with within the party.
“You cannot force an MP to walk out of Parliament, it is against the principles of Parliament and it’s an offence,” said Kambwili. “Don’t think our keeping quiet is that we are not doing anything. It is a fact that we know that it is an offence to force an MP to vote otherwise. But that does not mean we are not doing anything. We will handle that matter internally.”
Meanwhile, speaking at a PF pro-Bill 10 press briefing, Chishala described as “propaganda” news that he had been compromised and had shifted to the ruling party.
“I take this opportunity to tell the nation and the people of Roan that all that propaganda that is going around that I have been compromised and that I have shifted to PF is a blue lie. I am still NDC and I am in Parliament as NDC. I’m not in Parliament as PF or UPND,” he said. “Therefore, whatever move I make in Parliament I make it for the sake of the people of Roan. My stay in Parliament I will always do it according to the way I feel will benefit the people of Roan. I want to assure the nation and the people of Roan that I will never walk out of Parliament at all cost. I would rather fight within, inside the House than walking out.”
Chishala said he did not see any sense in walking out of Parliament because the people of Roan had voted for him to debate in the House not to walk out.
“Laws are formulated inside the House so walking out to me doesn’t make any sense. Therefore, my stay in the House that date. And to add on, there is an opportunity that was given to every member of parliament to go to their constituency and present a bill as well as a select committee, which I did for my constituency and the response from my constituency was that they are in support of the select committee [on Bill 10] report recommendations,” said Chishala.
“Therefore justice minister Given Lubinda’s amendment that was released in the House to me is in line with what the people of Roan want. I can only walk out or vote against if there is any Article that will not be in line with what the people of Roan want. Therefore, I feel it was ideal for me to stay in the House.”