By Patson Chilemba and Agness Changala-Katongo
Opposition UPND member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa says he will vote in favour of Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 10 because there is nothing contentious in the document anymore.
Lungwangwa’s position is contrary to that held by his party on the bill.
Yesterday, when the bill came up for reinstatement on the order paper, Professor Lungwangwa, the UPND lawmaker for Nalikwanda, and his Solwezi West counterpart Teddy Kasonso remained in the house, when all their fellow party lawmakers plus four independents and one National Democratic Congress (NDC) walked out of the house
When contacted for comment by Daily Revelation, Prof Lungwangwa said he and Kasonso remained in the House because they were part of a parliamentary select committee that scrutinized the bill, plus the process of reinstating the bill was procedural and nothing was contentious about it.
Professor Lungwangwa defended the bill, saying the select committee had scrutinized several clauses that were contentious in the bill, by removing clauses such as the reinstatement of deputy ministers and coalition government among others.
“We scrutinized the bill in the best interests of the country. We can’t stop the function of BoZ (to print money), deputy ministers staying after the dissolution of Parliament we removed that, coalition government, no contracting loans without the approval of Parliament we said no. People being removed from the payroll before receiving their dues, we said no,” he said.
Prof Lungwangwa said based on what the select committee has done, the bill could now stand as law for the country, and because of that he would vote for it to be enacted into law.
“Yes, from the point of view of the select committee we have done what is in the best interest of the country,” said Professor Lungwangwa.
Meanwhile, Daily Revelation has learnt that some UPND members of Parliament were bribed to vote in favour of Constitutional Amendment Bill No 10 of 2019.
Sources say the MPs in question received a deposit of 20,000 USD each with a view to receive the balance after they have delivered.
“Yes they got $20000 each without asking for it. One of them said he did ask for the money so he will vote no. He will tell them he will refund it as he raised it,” the source said.
The source also said some of those that were paid have indicated that they will not vote in favour of the bill and will pay back the money they received.
After the UPND leadership heard about this development, an order was issued for its members to walk out of Parliament when the bill was presented for reinstatement.
The sources further said the suspected members of Parliament have not even been attending meetings called by the party leadership.