CiSCA Statement on the Fall of Bill 10
Lusaka, 30th October 2020: The Civil Society Constitution Agenda (CiSCA) joins the rest of Zambia in celebrating the fall of the infamous Bill 10. The fall was the only logical conclusion because the National Dialogue Act and its accompanying National Dialogue Forum gave birth to a stillborn Bill 10. We further resoundingly applaud the patriotic judicious Members of Parliament that refused to betray the people of Zambia. By defeating Bill 10 in Parliament after so many ploys by the PF Government and their cronies to hoodwink Zambians into believing that if Bill 10 flops we will suffer, the MPs have shown their allegiance to the Constitution whose authority is derived from the people of Zambia. The joy of witnessing the unplugging of the life support system from the comatose Bill 10 was indescribable.
CiSCA would like to remind the PF that scheming is not governing, scheming is just pure treachery unworthy of a democratically elected government. This is a lesson to them that constitution making processes cannot circumvent the doctrine of consensus building. Therefore, an approach of turning constitution making into a battle ground is foolhardy as the end result is the well-deserved defeat that Bill 10 has suffered. We want to remind the PF that when you are in power there is no need to show where power lies on every issue. Not following laid down procedures is what has plunged our country into debt. The late highly vexatious Bill 10 project will now be a case study of ‘how not to facilitate a constitution making process’ in constitutional law.
CiSCA thanks the supporters of Bill 10 for enhancing democratic discourse and the affirmation that freedom of expression is mutually inclusive. If you exercise your freedom of expression, then do not be outraged if anyone says something back in disagreement.
We ask our fellow citizens who live by the value of ‘silence is golden’ to reflect on Martin Luther King Junior’s maxim, ‘the ultimate tragedy is not the oppression and cruelty by the bad people but the silence over that by the good people’. Yes, the Constitution is not an easy read but if you cannot bring yourself to read it all just learn these three articles; Article 1, this Constitution is the supreme law of the land; Article 2, every person has the right and duty to defend this constitution and resist or prevent a person from overthrowing, suspending or illegally abrogating this constitution and Article 5, Sovereign authority vests in the people of Zambia, which may be exercised directly or through elected or appointed representatives or institutions.
Finally, we urge State Counsel John Sangwa and Kelvin Bwalya Fube and indeed other legal minds, to in this race of constitutionalism, take the relay baton from the MPs and stop the 3rd term by challenging the unlawful nomination of those whom our Constitution disqualifies from standing.
CiSCA Acting Chairperson