By Sakwiba Sikota
Courts sometimes overturn their judgements. I suppose this is the reason that Honorables Jack Mwiimbu and Cornelius Mweetwa have vowed that following the meeting of the Standing Orders Committee that they will take the decision to the Courts if Bill Ten is re-tabled in this Parliamentary sitting.
I imagine that the two Members of Parliament had an exchange along the following lines and Cornelius is only publicly vowing to go to Court on the insistence of his superior.
After the deferment of Bill Ten was not objected to following the Standing Orders meeting extending the life of Bill Ten, Cornelius excitedly asked Jack, “Boss what was the Standing Orders meeting you had before today’s sitting about?”
Jack revealed, “They said that they wanted to extend the life of Bill 10.”
Cornelius pressed on, ” What do you mean extend its life?”
Jack proffered, “There is a provision in the Parliamentary handbook which says that Bills should be completed within six months.”
Cornelius inquired, “But Senior Counsel, who made the Order to begin with?”
Jack with a hint of irritation retorted, “Young man you are also a lawyer, obviously it is the Standing Orders Committee as their function is to examine matters pertaining to the variation of parliamentary procedure, customs and traditions.”
Wide eyed Cornelius asked, “Are you sure Parliament can Constitutionally make its own procedure?”
Rolling his eyes back Jack tutored Cornelius, “Have you not read Article 77 of the Constitution?”
Embarrassed Cornelius answered, “of course I have read it…… but please remind me, …… what does it says?”
looking at Cornelius incredulously, Jack stated, ” I know Article 77. (1) off by heart and any lawyer worth his salt should also memories it. Article 77 (1) of the Constitution says, ‘Subject to this Article and Article 78, the National Assembly shall regulate its own procedure and make Standing Orders for the conduct of its business.’. Everybody knows this!”
To make sure he understood Cornelius asked, “So, if it wants, the National Assembly can use Article 77 in regulating its procedures to suspend anything in the Parliamentary Handbook or any Standing Order?”
Shaking his head Jack answered exasperatedly “Yeees.”
Enlightened Cornelius mused, “Just like we often do when we say we are suspending Standing Orders?”
Jack with a triumphal sense answered sarcastically, “Riiight!”
As soon as Jack gave this answer something he could not quite lay his finger on was tingling at the back of his brain and left him unsettled.
As a light bulb started to flicker in Cornelius’ head he asked, “so you participated in the meeting called to extend the life of Bill Ten?”
An irritated Jack blurted back, “YES I PARTICIPATED! SO WHAT !!?”
Cornelius seized on the opportunity to roll back his eyes as Jack had done to him earlier and disdainfully said, “By participating you waived your right to object to the jurisdiction of the Standing Orders Committee on the matter. I just hope you did not vote.”
With lessening confidence Jack volunteered, ” I voted against but the majority agreed and voted for. What was I to do?”
Cornelius staring disbelievingly at Jack exclaimed, “You should have used the UPND final solution!”
A very unsure Jack asked, “What? What ….. what do you mean our ‘final Solution’ ?”
Mimicking the irritated tone Jack had used on him Cornelius retorted back, “Our leaders have given standing instructions that if it looks like a democratic vote will go against us we must not participate but we should use the Final Solution and walk out! Now what shall we do?”
Tentatively Jack said without much conviction, “Inspite of our having unanimously agreed to have the Bill Ten second reading debate deferred when the matter came before the entire House, we can take the matter to Court. Even if we do not win the case we would have tied up the matter in Court hopefully until the next election.”
Cornelius asked, “And what will we be asking the Court to say?”
You could almost hear his brain ticking as Jack took a few seconds putting together the question they would ask the court to resolve and finally offered, “We would ask them to rule that it is unreasonable for any body to suspend any Order or Rule on the basis that the Covid 19 has brought about an unforeseen disruption to the normal way of doing things.”
With renewed confidence Jack excitedly added, “We would ask the Court to censure the Speaker and Standing Orders Committee and declare that anybody suspending Orders or Rules on the basis of Covid 19 is not only wrong but is also extremely unreasonable, ignorant, ridiculous, absurd, irrational, irresponsible and even perverse!”
Cornelius with a very condescending tone responded, “Under Article 18 of the Constitution of Zambia which deals with the Protection of the Law in sub Articles (10) and (11) provides that Court proceedings will be open to the public. It also says that those facing criminal charges must be brought before court every fourteen days if they are in custody and all judgements and Rulings must be delivered in open Court.”
Jack clearly perplexed responded, “Of course I know what the Constitution says. What is the relevance of that?”
Cornelius with a genuine sense of disbelief slowly and deliberately informed Jack, “The Courts have since March this year released several memorandum on precautionary measures on the Corona Virus suspending some of the provisions in Article 18 including not allowing the public to attend Court hearings!”
Jack in an unsure tone ventured, “We don’t need our cadres to come and hear the case and so it’s okay even though the Courts have made those new regulations. What’s your problem?”
Even as Jack asked this he got a sense of an unsettling premonition overcoming him.
Cornelius with a look of extreme frustration and horror exclaimed, “If you take the extension of Bill Ten debate to Court and ask the questions you mentioned for the Court to declare that anybody suspending Orders or Rules on the basis of Covid 19 is not only wrong but is also extremely unreasonable, ignorant, ridiculous, absurd, irrational, irresponsible and even perverse , you will in effect task the Court to nullify its own Orders!”
This deliberately confusing article reeks of desperation to breathe life into the dead Bill 10. It shows the desperation of ECL and his messengers to cling on to stolen power.
Unlike you Sakwiba, I will not evoke confusion to gain my ends. I will speak plainly.
We recognize that Bill 10 is the brain child of greed and selfishness conceived in the rotting minds of a lame duck misleadership that realises they have less than a year before the gravy train derails.
ECL and PF have had 10 solid years to better the lives of all Zambians, but they have only enriched themselves and their foreign bandits. The people of Zambia will not make that mistake again. You are the architects of your own downfall and no amount of last minute tinkering with the Constitution will extend your…
I hope pyefu cadres won’t take this folk tale story as gospel truth.
That Sakwiba is a disgrace to Lozi people, his Political party is as old as UPND, and no one has seen Sakwiba Sikota on podium campaigning.
Back to his kusabaila, that article 77 & 78 of constitution, I also memorized it, unfortunately that article was changed in the 2016 constitution.
So chikkala Sakwiba is still using the 1994 constitution.I
2016 constitution is just good, except some misspellings.
To me, I take it lightly that SC sikota was just joking using traditional cousin ship mweee
Courts can sometimes change its own rules. The fact that mwiimbu voted for the extension its final the bill in extended. What a brilliant lawyer sakwiba is, upnnd change these dull lawyers o yours.
Sakwiba had to do a very long and murky write up in order to twist truth on bill 10.
Aikona man, the bill is dead and the court will rule as such. Remember 14 days is 14 days?
There will be very few comments/replies to the above article.
it is too complicated to the average blogger to understand its gist.
Saki has merely presented the conundrum UPND and those opposed to Bill 10 face – The Bill to be “killed” , it will have to take the courts to overturn their own orders, something that has no precedence.
It is therefore advisable and more progressive to constitutionality argue against this backdrop rather than attack the persona of Saki!
SC Sikota is just waffling . PF Chief Whip Hon Mandubile conceded that Bill 10 was deferred on 4th December 2019 for 6 Months. On 4th June 2020 the 6 Months extension expired. According to the Standing Orders Rules a deferred Bill’s lifespan is only months and after the expiry of the 6 months the Bill is “killed”. PF only realised that the deferred Bill 10 had expired on 4th June 2020 and Hon Lubinda made a request to defer Bill 10 further on 24 th June 2020. The issue is: Can a “killed” Bill be resurrected 20 days after its death? Thats what SC Sikota should justify. For now Bill 10 is dead and buried and cannot legally and procedurally be retabled in Parliament. Period.
Sakwiba Sikota SC is very intelligent. He is using facts enshrined in the constitution to predict what would happen in the court if the opposition Upnd took the case to court. This is the exact process of the court if the legal counsel representing government will be as systematic and intelligent as how Mr Sakwiba has done the preview of the process. I suggest very strongly that the government should engage Sakwiba to represent them in the unlikely event that Upnd goes to court. There’s no chimbuyaship involved here. The sc is unleashing the expected events as they are expected to happen in court should this matter be taken to court. I have actually enjoyed reading this article as if I have been watching a movie in my mind.
The level of dullness and desperation from Sikota in this article is there for all to see – of course the Zambian constitution allows for parliament to make its own rules and procedures. However, its not allowed to make and change rules “on the go”, just to suit the majority in parliament on the day – that’s a recipe for CHAOS. Therefore, to suggest that the PF and company can extend the life of a DEAD bill using article 77 and 78 is simply stuupid. I mean, really, for a lawyer of his caliber is shocking!!
Even a first year law student would laugh at this…….
Sc Sikota should just get to the point. He should tell us why legally and procedurally a dead bill should be resurrected from the grave. Everybody agrees Bill 10 was deferred on 4th December 2019 to June 4, 2020 for 6 Months. On or b4 June 4 ,2020 Bill 10 was not deferred for the second time. Lubinda only applied on 24th June 2020 to defer Bill 10 for the second time. The questions which SC Sikota should answer are as follows:1.Can a Bill deferred for 6 months be deferred for the second time after its expiry? 2. Can a dead Bill be resurrected on the Order Paper 20 days after its expiry?These are the issues Sikota should address.
Just because we make my own rules and regulations about how we conduct business doesn’t mean we should change them because we want to win an argument.
This is unfortunately the step PF govt and MPs have decided to take, and it amounts to abuse of power.
Funny how mare nobodys have the odersity to call SC S Sikota dull. Some chaps even calling him a disgrace to lozis. How tribal can you be. So you suggest that he must not support UPND nonsense simply because he is lozi? Oh wait this is the same UPND that denied his candidature on the basis that he is not Tonga.
Lungu and PF are desperate.
If a referendum on wether bill 10 should go ahead was held today , the majority of Zambians will reject it.
Lungu and PF know this , but are desperate for Bill 10.
What PF did is basically changing goal posts because they have the numbers which I think is different from the intention of the constitution article that allows parliament to make its own rules and procedure. The rules are already there and must be followed. To adjust the rules just because you a situation that does favour you is lawlessness at its best. Besides is it not the same PF that was crying that 14 days is 14 days. Death to Bill 10. We don’t need it.
A lot of truth in this. The upnd do not know why they are objecting to bill 10. They have just been instructed by their dictatorial demigod hh to fight anything progressive by pf government. The upnd have no clue when it comes to how parliamentary democracy works because their party is run in an undemocratic manner. 1 person standing for president in over 4 elections.
voice of reason
Partisan politics by the PF and UPND have reduced Parliamentary business to that of a game of football between Power Dynamos and Kalampa were the opponent must be defeated at all cost. Similarly, Saki can’t give a honest expert opinion because he now partisan, especially after Mayo became VP. The only thing he has exposed here is Jack Mwiimbu’s dishonesty. As whip, Jack takes part in most decisions in Parley and receives a salary and allowances like a Cabinet Minister but he pretends as if he isn’t part of proceedings in Parley. The PF look at every opposing view as sponsored by UPND while UPND also look at every view in support as PF. That’s why Jack can’t win a case in Court, no wonder he buggered the Election Petition. Can reason prevail over national matters?
On June 4, Parliament was on recess owing to medical reasons and matters could not be discussed until 24th June. When Parley opened, the Justice minister successfully managed to extend the Bill’s life right before the eyes of our own Hon. Jack Mwiimbu. Democracy worked against him at voting time, he lost. In the next single parley meeting, the fate of Bill 10 will be decided and the opposition’s turning to the court would be merely academic.
Sakwiba dull? A disgrace to the Lozi? Are Lozi, Tonga, Bemba, Timbuka speaking people supposed to have homogenous thinking and interests as a tribe? Does it mean all Luvales, must belong to the same clubs? What is this type of thinking? When a thief is caught the first thing people want to know is his tribe not the facts about stealing. It is like a minibus getting involved in a road accident. The assumption is always that the minibus driver was on the wrong. I will never call a person like Sikota dull even if I do not agree with his point of view.
Failed attempt at satirical humour…Anyway, Bill 10 has a number of wrong things that the Sakwiba Sikota of 15 – 20 years ago would have strongly opposed, such as a) removal of “a multi-religious nation” stipulation to be replaced by “christian nation” which effectively relegates people of different faiths and beliefs to second-hand citizens, b) removal of the stipulation of election of MPs to parliament and replaced with “a mixed member representation as prescribed” which has not been defined yet and will only be defined by simple majority votes by parliament. This opens parliament to manipulation by ruling parties, for example, what stops them from increasing nominated MPs from current 8 to 30, 40 or even 50 in the quest of achieving mixed member representation?
KZ you make it look as if all PF MPS vote with their free conscious and are agreeable to everything brot before parliament that they have read BILL 10 and everything in there is ok with all the PF MPS and you are convinced it is so .
The learned man is just trying to make a light moment. Zambians, we are too tense with political arguments. Lets laugh, even in the midst of our differences
Thank you state counsel Sakwiba Sikota. Just ignore the minions calling you names. Suddenly, Lozis and tongas are no longer friends? Which planet are you imbeciles from? Chiwamina galu lonse tyala ka? Unless you only want to hear what you want. Stupid *****s mwe bana banashilu imwe to borrow our founding father Dr Kenneth David Kaunda’s terminology.
Sakwiba is looking for a job! Ki kuswabisa!
Every one expressing a different view is dull. We have not learned to respect others’ ideas and champion coexistence. In our warped thinking, we are the wisest of all and cast dullness on another person if we arent on the same page together to an extent of even disowning our own.
In 2016 Concourt dismissed the Presidential Petition on the grounds that 14 days allowed to hear the Petition had expired. Both PF and UPND agree that Bill 10 having been deferred for 6months only expired on June 4, 2020. The Law or Standing Rules provide that if a Bill is deferred for 6 months and is not debated and passed into law in Parliament it “dies”after the Expiry Date. Its not disputed that Bill 10 died on June 4,2020. The crux of the matter is whether or not a Bill that has lapsed can be resurrected 20 days after its death? This Parliamentary Session will probably end in Mid July 2020 and by that time Bill 10 will still be in Court. Will Speaker Matibini retable Bill 10 while the Bill is awaiting interpretation in Court? If he does this, then Speaker Matibini will have…
Exactly!… is this not what the Dora claimed in the case of Prime TV…. that she could not look at Prime TVs appeal because the licence had expired by the time of appeal !!! That so called Standing Orders Committee should have deliberated the issue BEFORE 4th of June and NOT after the 20th June , when the so called Bill had long lapsed/expired.. Be serious Sakwiba and dont bore us with this rubbish
is this not what the Dora claimed in the case of Prime TV…. that she could not look at Prime TVs appeal because the licence had expired by the time of appeal !!! That so called Standing Orders Committee should have deliberated the issue BEFORE 4th of June and NOT after the 20th June , when the so called Bill had long lapsed/expired.. Be serious Sakwiba and dont bore us with this rubbish
Look how angry the upnd tribalists are. Disgusting animals with so much hate. The problem in Africa is not racism but rather tribalism
You can only extend the life of a bill when its still active(or alive) and “NOT” after it has “EXPIRED”.
These rules or procedures are derived from simple logic and reasoning.
What the PF and its minions want to do is like getting a wrecked car from the scrapyard and putting back on the road.You are better of buying a new car.
WHY IS THE PF SO DESPERATE TO KEEP BILL 10 IN PARLIAMENT
Bo Sikota hiding behind a lamentable failure in attempting satirical black humour..using legal jargon …what a coward you are..utter disgrace!!
Why is Sc Sikota confusing us? The Standing Rules are very clear. A bill can only be deferred for 6 months and thereafter it dies if not debated and passed into law. Bill 10’s extension expired on June 4,2020 and there is no provision in the Standing Rules for a Second 6 months extension. So the Bill died on June 4,2020. May Bill 10 Rest in Peace pse. Next year on 12th August 2021 Zambians can unveil the Bill 10 Tombstone. Chapwa!
Bo Sikota, can’t tell if you are joking or being serious with this. But what really happened to you malume? Remember the Saki who who defended KK against FTJ dictatorship? Remember the Saki who risked it all to defend The Post and Fred Mmembe against FTJ dictatorship? Remember the Saki who came to UNZA’s Opening Night welcoming the Freshmen, Freshers and gave a great talk about “Alice in wonderland”?
Bo Sikota, please look inside your conscience and tell me all that integrity your parents instilled in you has all been sold out for few pieces of silver. That bitterness of losing the UPND presidency, surely you can forget for the common good of the country. You know you are standing on the wrong side of history. This corruption by Lungu and the PF is destroying your people… Bo Sikota…
…Bo Sikota it’s not too late. You have enough money already so please stand up and make your parents proud again!
umutonga alishupa. Give him power at your own peril
Sungwe not all tongas are like that. In fact some of my very good friends are Tonga. In every tribe we have bigots. Unfortunately it just so happens that the upnd have tainted the tongas with negativity.
THE PF HAS MADE A LOT OF ERRORS AND WRONG THINGS. BUT ON THE ISSUE OF BILL-10 THEY ARE ON POINT. THUS THE UPND HAVE SHOT THEMSELVES IN THE FOOT BY LISTENING TO THEIR ALMIGHTY god.
Lamentations of the upndead.
Just go and debate the bill.
Enemies of progress.
UPND turned UPNDEAD when they swindled Saki of his right to head the once promising party.
I am asking for copyright permission to do a play based on sikota’s script.
As a fallen politician, you can take up writing plays. You have done this one very well.
On a serious note. People expect better from the likes of you. If this is the calibre of leadership, it explains why the country is in a total message.
Just one question for “learned” (LOL) SC:
Which Article of the Constitution empowers standing committee to backdate standing order?
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