Good morning fellow patriotic Zambians.
- Bill 10 is about to go through second reading in parliament but it seems that many Zambians do not even know its contents.People are being subjected to be debating on something that they do not know its content s.
Let me share with you some of the clauses in bill 10 which I feel are contentious and should be resolved before the bill is enacted into law.
1. COALITION GOVERNMENT
Current constitution provides that if no presidential candidate attains the 50% plus provision in a general election,the two presidential running mates will go for a re-run.
Bill 10 is proposing formation of a coalition government so that if any political party fails to get the 50% plus one.The president can decide to form a coalition government with another small party in order to cross the 50% plus one threshold.For example, let us assume that the results for presidential candidates were as follows:
President Lungu 45%
Haikainde Hichilema 43%
Edith Nawakwi 6%
President Lungu can agree with madam Nawakwi to form a coalition government so that their total votes give them 51% which meets the required threshold.
The current constitution states that when a presidential candidate files in his/her nomination papers to take part in the elections,anyone who thinks such a candidate is not eligible to be republican president can go to court within 7 days and challenge the candidate in question.
Bill 10 proposes to remove this provision.Under bill 10, there will be no room for anyone to challenge a presidential candidate’s eligibility,anyone aggrieved can only challenge the outcome of the election.
3.MINISTERS STAY IN OFFICE
Bill 10 seeks to allow cabinet ministers to continue in office after dissolution of parliament,until the date of the election.
4.INTRODUCTION OF DEPUTY MINISTERS.
Bill 10 also proposes the re-introduction of deputy ministers.
5.PAYMENT OF RETIRED CIVIL SERVICE WORKERS.
Current constitution dictates that when a person is retired, they must remain on the payroll until all their retirement benefits are settled.
Bill 10 wants this provision amended so that retirees can be removed from the payroll on their last day of work without their benefits so that they can go home and wait for their money.
Current law says that before government goes ahead to borrow,there must be approval from parliament.
Bill 10 will remove parliament approval from debt contraction.
7. ROLE OF SPEAKER DURING ELECTION PETITION.
The law currently states that once the election of a presidential -elect has been challenged in court,the speaker of the national assembly must assume the role of acting president until after the election dispute is settled or until the next election is held.
Bill 10 proposes that the sitting president retains all the executive powers and functions during the whole process,which takes away a level playing field.
In the current constitution,there is a provision for every political party taking part in the general elections to hold primary elections.This means that there cannot be any such thing as ‘sole candidate’.
Bill 10 seeks to remove this provision so that party members who want to challenge the current president do not stand a chance of challenging the sole candidate(wamu yayaya!).
9.CONTROL OF THE JUDICIARY
The current constitution provides for an independent Judicial Complaints Commission that looks into the conduct of judges.
Bill 10 wants to change this and revert to a system where the president retains the power to appoint tribunal members for a specific case.Further more,under bill 10,the chief justice will be part of the constitutional court.
This,according to the government,is what the Zambian people want.