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Alba Iulia
Thursday, July 9, 2020

Bill10 is the gravedigger of Zambia’s democratic tradition – Sishuwa

Feature Politics Bill10 is the gravedigger of Zambia’s democratic tradition – Sishuwa

If passed into law, the Constitution of Zambia (Amendment) Bill Number 10 of 2019 would weaken institutions like elections and the constitution that offer the long-term hope for democratic consolidation, University of Zambia lecturer Sishuwa Sishuwa has warned.

Commenting on the imminent presentation of Bill10 that would follow the reopening of parliament on 9 June 2020, Dr Sishuwa appealed to opposition and independent MPs to vote against the proposed changes to the constitution.

“The Bill is the gravedigger of Zambia’s democratic tradition because it is primarily designed to weaken institutions – such as elections, the judiciary and the constitution – that offer the long-term hope for democratic consolidation. Should it pass, it would consolidate the Patriotic Front (PF)’s stay in power, make it effectively impossible to remove President Edgar Lungu from office, and serve as the ultimate executioner of Zambia’s democracy. Voting against Bill10 would constitute the highest expression of patriotism and respect for the basic structure of the constitution”, he said.

Dr Sishuwa, who is also a Senior Researcher at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR), stated that the PF have severely dented Zambia’s democratic tradition.

“Even before the first case of Covid-19 was confirmed in March 2020, Zambia’s flight from being a model of democracy in Africa to a disguised authoritarianism had already taken off. The erosion of democratic principles started under President Michael Sata, but worsened under his successor, Lungu. As well as successfully pressuring the Constitutional Court to allow him to run for a third term, President Lungu has presided over the shutdown of the main independent newspaper, removed the vestiges of autonomy in nearly all state institutions, almost succeeded in muzzling civil society, and created a general climate of fear”.

The UNZA academic said the outbreak of the coronavirus disease has only accelerated the country’s slide into chaos and repression.

“Amidst this changing political character of Zambia’s democratic tradition, the arrival of Covid-19 proved, for the authorities, to be a blessing in disguise in two main ways. The first was that it threw a lifeline to Lungu’s power push ahead of the 2021 elections. At the time, when the first few cases of Covid-19 were reported, Parliament was debating the deeply problematic Bill 10. After failing to raise the two-thirds majority required to pass it, the PF, fearful that the Bill would be defeated, asked the Speaker to abruptly suspend Parliament using the coronavirus as the pretext”, said Dr Sishuwa.

“Since then, the confirmed number of Covid-19 cases in the country has soared to about 1000, but the authorities now plan to resume parliamentary sittings, presumably after having had enough time to mobilise the required support. Should the Bill pass, the PF would have succeeded in establishing the administrative, legal and constitutional framework that would almost certainly guarantee their re-election and enable them to perpetuate their stay in power. Conversely, the collapse of the Bill would provide the opposition with a better chance of unseating the ruling party and strengthen the voice of those in PF who are calling for the replacement of Lungu with a better candidate ahead of the 2021 election. In fact, if the PF want to rid themselves of Lungu, it is in their interest to make sure that Bill10 fails, as it must”.

Dr Sishuwa further noted that the government has manipulated the coronavirus disease to curtail the activities of the media, opposition parties, and civil society.

“The PF have manipulated the pandemic to bury authoritarian abuse under the guise of fighting it. In April, the broadcasting license of Zambia’s leading private television station was cancelled, days after it declined a government request to broadcast Covid-19 adverts for free. Radio stations that host opposition figures who highlight the government’s failings have also been violently attacked by ruling party supporters, who insist that no form of campaigning should happen until the pandemic is past. Meanwhile, public meetings by civil society and opposition parties remain proscribed on health concerns, even when the PF continues to hold theirs. A series of repressive measures that curtail civil liberties have also been enacted. In the words of one government minister, ‘when it comes to fighting Covid-19, human rights are suspended’!

The SAIPAR Senior Researcher argued that in Zambia, Covid-19 has mainly claimed democracy, not human life.

“With the official death toll standing at seven since the onset of the disease, the major casualty of the coronavirus in Zambia is not human life but the country’s democratic tradition. Only the election vaccine may be enough to end the pandemic, as the standard vaccine (soon) to be recommended by the World Health Organisation is unlikely to cure our strain of the virus!”, observed Dr Sishuwa.

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20 COMMENTS

  1. Sishuwa is a upnd cadre driving a upnd agenda. Don’t bark like hh’s lapdog, put each clause into context and prove bill 10 is bad. But to all with a rationality, read it and understand it, don’t be fooled by these stunted and divisive cadres.

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  2. Well said Sishuwa. The enactment of Bill 10 into law will mark the death of Constitutional Democracy, Rule of Law and respect for Good Governance and Human Rights in Zambia. Under a Lungu Dictatorship its not only the Opposition that will suffer but Members of PF Party will also become victims of this One Party State Dictatorship. All progressive MPs across all Parties should vote against Bill 10. Its every MP’s patriotic duty to vote against Bill 10 to safeguard Zambia’s Constitutional Democracy. The enactment of Bill 10 will remove all the checks and balances among the three Pillars of Govt namely the Judiciary,Parliament and the Presidency. Bill 10 seeks to concentrate all the Powers into the Presidency at the expense of Parliament and the Judiciary. All progressive and…

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  3. I dont always agree with Sishuwa, but I am always impressed by his interllectual abilities. His patriotic tone and his fearlessness. He is an exceptional man. And the fact that pf caders hate him so much just shows that he hits the nail on the head most of the time.
    Bill 10 is evil. Pure and simple.

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  4. Covid-19 doesn’t need to be politicised. Only sadists like bitter Sishuwa can choose that route. You can politicize bill10 because it is political by it’s very nature.
    It is amazing how this 1d1o+ can dupe some people sometimes. His divisive political stereotypying stunt disguised in the works of civil activism is baffling to the core.
    He can’t seem to handle the fact that with or without Bill10, PF will triumph in 2021.
    That with or without Sars-Cov-2, PF is steering that Ship in 2021.
    Sishua is a dull shrimp. I hate supposedly learned but dull compound of organs. Damn it!

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  5. This guy shishupu is very predictable like a fart after eating beans and boiled egg. These are small boys being funded by the gay funded opposition party. A very unbiased dirty individual who is misleading our nation. Bill 10 is going ahead as it is for the benefit of the country. If you don’t like it you can follow your friends and move to diaspora. **********

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    • KZ Sishuwa is more educated than you. He has brains and he thinks first for the people of Zambia and not these brats who think of themselves. Sishuwa Weldon. We have UPND and Independent MPs they are more intelligent they will do the needy. Thanks.

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  6. To the so-called Thorn in the Flesh: do you really live in Zambia? Do you know the anger in most Zambians’ hearts because of the destruction to the country that has been caused by PF? Do you know how much meallie meal now costs compared to 2011 when PF came into power? How about the Kwacha-dollar rate? How about Zambia’s internal and external debt? How about unemployment? How are our roads now after the Eurobond inkongole and tollgate fees? Wake up my friend from your slumber into reality. To foolishly think that PF can destroy’s peoples’ lives and still expect the same people to vote for them is nothing but insanity of the highest order. That’s the illusion KK and UNIP had in 1991: they failed to read the evident signs on the ground that people were angry; the rest is history as…

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  7. I think you need not worry about the shady Bill brother. If they do not want to go out through resolution, they will go out through revolution. By the ballot or the bullet, any which way PF must go! He who lives by the sword will die by it. When a man faces a wall, he has no option but to turn around and face his oppressor and fight for his life. Worry not, nature will take its natural course. The Arab springs of 2010 should serve as a sound warning against politricks. Nothing has changed about the Zambians that fought for independence in 64, booted out KK, and repressive MMD in 2011. We are still the raging bulls bound by democratic principles and a social contract. But when things get out of hand, you will see a sheep shade it’s skin to reveal the wolf. Timely warning!!

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  8. The passing of Bill 10 into law is a Passport for Lungu’s 3rd Term and the introduction of a One Party State Dictatorship under PF. Power will be concentrated into Lungu and Parliament and the Judiciary will be weakened further. Under such One Man Dictatorship no-one will be safe. Even PF Mps risk being victims of this Dictatorship. Therefore all MPs in Parliament should vote against Bill 10 If they want continued freedom. Its patriotism of the highest order to vote against this notorious Bill. The writing is on the Wall.

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  9. Shishuwastics as usual!! Your leader should have sent you to the convention!!. Bolting the stable door after the horse has bolted is a poor strategy.

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  10. The only undemocratic entity in Zambia is the party that has never held a convention in decades. A party that has the same candidate losing over 4 elections but continues to stand. A party that said only a Tonga could rule it. Why doesn’t shishupu address that ? Useless cadre

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  11. Kaizar Zulu, dont divert our attention from the subject matter on hand. Reasonable MPs will vote down Bill 10 period!

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  12. How dull can one be? Thought it was in black and white that civil servants should be above politics…[email protected] looks like brain freeze is a qualification for top civil service jobs.

    No wonder bad policies are being made given that those tasked to undertake policy advisory seem to be in a zombie state or the appointing authorities have carefully sought to appoint incompetent people?

    Look at the decisions made at the treasury, ZRA, ZCCM-IH, IDC, Zesco, Judiciary…..even the guys on the street would not make such decisions!!

  13. Zambian Citizen , and whats wrong with being a UPND cadre…You and KZ are also PF cadres…. unlike us who have independent minds…kikikiki… On a serious note…I DONT STRESS OVER THIS COUNTRY…..If voters are happy, they will vote for PF (Hopefully NO RIGGING THIS TIME AROUND)…..Lets just be real here…Life is TOO SHORT and in this SHORT LIFE , ITS EACH ONE FOR HIMSELF…PERIOD!! Even KZ on this forum is speaking for his TUMMY….That is HOW LIFE WORKS GUYS…. MILES SAMPA SAYS : ECL 2021 and BEYOND…..BEYOND?? A good illustration of WORKING FOR ONE’S TUMMY….

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  14. The impostor based in the UK writes, “The only undemocratic entity in Zambia is the party that has never held a convention in decades”.
    Was it not two days ago that Lungu appointed two members of the PF central committe, against the PF constitutional requirement that members of the central committe are to be elected by senior PF members? What democracy is there in PF if you say “We have agreed on Lungu as sole candidate” in defiance of the PF constituional provision for intra party elections? and effectively banning everyone who wants to challenge?
    Aside from party constitution breach, isnt it the same PF that has disregarded Concourt rulings?

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  15. Zambians, do you want to suffer another 27 years of dictatorship? The choice is yours!
    Don’t be blinded by PF’S raw hatred for HH! The only reason I see in PF Phobia for HH is they know he’ll straight away send them to jail for their many crimes. Tenderpreneurs also know their thieving will be curtailed once Real Managers take over!
    The consolation is Youth Power is our only hope!

  16. PF 100% for now!
    Patriotic Front through and through until the rogue element in the political system leaves. The rogue element that is determined and determined to bring homosexuality to our land. The rogue element who ripped Zambia of it Mining Assets. The rogue element who promotes and thrives on politics of tribalism. The rogue so divisive and a lone player. The rogue element who is against any institutional reform in our land. So stagnant, evil, selfish, tribal, inexperienced, vindictive, sabotageous, destructive, mean and fake.

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