Former Attorney General Musa Mwenye has charged that Bill 10 is toxic and should be withdrawn from Parliament.
Mr. Mwenye said Bill 10 was born out of a controversial non-inclusive process and continues to be a source of contention, intrigue, and division.
“If indeed this Bill is being enacted for the benefit of all the people of Zambia, why is there such a determination to pass it notwithstanding the concerns of civil society, the church and other citizens and important stakeholders?” he asked.
“Why is it so urgent to pass this Bill with little or no consultation?”
“Economists tell us that we may be headed towards negative economic growth as a country. The COVID 19 pandemic is still causing health and economic havoc, and poverty and unemployment are rising. We have increasing levels of corruption and a lack of serious political will to fight corruption coupled with wastefulness in the use of national resources.”
“We are faced with persistent abuse of our nationals by some foreign investors, and we are yet to establish the truth around the gassing of our citizens and the instant justice mobs that resulted from that.”
He added, “Needless to say, the mysterious owner of the 48 properties is yet to be identified and located and the circumstances under which an owner of such a large portfolio of properties can just disappear into thin air have not been established.”
“On the back of these and other pressing national issues, how is enacting a controversial Bill that has unpopular and undemocratic provisions a priority?”
“How will this Bill resolve youth unemployment, poverty, corruption, and wasteful spending of national resources.”
Mr. Mwenye who also served as Solicitor General during the Sata administration said he has looked at Bill 10 and that he cannot see any provisions that are progressive enough to warrant the urgent amendment of the constitution.
“Will the passing of the Bill enhance our democracy or lead to the improved living standards of our people. The Bill is neither urgent nor beneficial.”
“In fact, the environment surrounding the enactment of this bill is now toxic and the Honourable Minister of Justice will do well to withdraw Bill 10 to enable full and effective consultations.”
“Constitutions should be born out of consensus and wide consultations and should never be forced upon the citizens,” he said.