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Saved By the Virus: How the PF used COVID-19 to dodge the Bill 10 Defeat in Parliament

I knew something was really cooking, or rather burning, when on Wednesday last week, Honorable Malozo Sichone, of all people, stood up in Parliament to raise a point of order. He wondered why given the COVID-19 crisis Parliament was still sitting. The point of order was unusual that it was coming from no less than a government minister. This clearly showed that the government was panicking regarding an impending defeat of Bill 10. The PF government had not managed to get the one more parliamentary vote needed for them to take Bill 10 to Second Reading. As a pretext, they had to find something convenient to get them out of the hot soup – and Corona Virus became the perfect alibi.

The executive is the driver of the parliamentary agenda. There was no need for a government minister to raise an order whether Parliament was in-order to be debating Bill 10 given the Corona. What the government should have done is to have the leader of government business in the house to state that she was requesting an adjournment. The panic was obvious and was oblivious to reality. It was evident. And the COVID-19 alibi would fall apart just a day later when the PF parliamentarians met at a hotel to explain themselves about Bill 10. The same kelenkas who had the day earlier shot down debate in the assembly due to Corona had assembled in a small room, shoulder to shoulder. They were declaring their undying love for their stomachs and necks. Turn after turn, they took various turns to praise their stomachs. Bill 10 must be passed, they screeched. One said because it is the Christian thing to do. Another claimed the people of Roan had asked him to pass Bill 10. When he was later questioned, the prick went on to state that the people of Roan are sandwiched between Mushili and Malembeka chiefdoms. This gentleman in full dump-site fashion lived true to his name – a Chishala par excellence. It is incredible how the bunch that runs away from debating Bill 10 in Parliament due to Coronavirus found it acceptable to meet the following day and declare their undying love for Bill 10, and perhaps each other.

Further, the following day, Mr Given “Prescribed” Lubinda made an unusual declaration. He said that the adjournment was God’s gift to him so that he can have more time to explain Bill 10 to the Zambian people. These kelenkas had no plan. They know what Bill 10 will do to Zambian democracy. But one thing they only care about is their corrupt stomachs and necks. They are only concerned about keeping the Patriotic Front in perpetual power using Bill 10. And this is precisely why they are willing to corrupt opposition MPs so that those MPs can support Bill 10. If Bill 10 is so good for the people of Zambia, why would these charlatans be offering cash to opposition parliamentarians to pass it?

I trust Cornelius Mweetwa. He is right when he says that the PF ministers and corrupt operatives were offering vehicles and money to the opposition in return for Bill 10 support. I find no reason why Mweetwa would lie about these offers. The PF and their operatives indeed were phoning MPs and making fraudulent offers to these MPs. I believe Mweetwa.

Caught in their web of lies – the PF are now resorting to straight forward lies regarding Bill 10. The most famous of lies is this thing that they have somehow changed Bill 10. They have not changed Bill 10. Bill 10 remains what it is with the atrocious proposals to destroy Zambian democracy and keep Lungu (or his successor) in perpetual power. However, Zambians are waking, and they will not allow these charlatans to succeed. If by any chance these kelenkas succeeded in destroying Zambia, may it never be said that we remained silent.

In the meantime, COVID-19 is now posing a great danger to our people. After their disastrous theatrics in Parliament, it is our prayer that MPs, government, as well as the President will try to do the right thing and provide leadership during this time. But all they are doing – is to talk about Bill 10 and whine and whine some more. Zambia needs leadership!

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