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Bill 10 will ensure peaceful polls – Davies Chama

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Davies Chama

DEFENSE Minister Davies Chama says once enacted, Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 will ensure that Zambia’s elections are peaceful.

In an interview, Chama said there was need for less ambiguous laws for the county to have peaceful elections.

“It is like in Zambia, people want to oppose for the sake of opposing, I don’t understand. I am a positive thinker and I want progress. I think you have heard that the Minister of Justice [Given Lubinda] has indicated that Bill 10 is coming on the table, if our colleagues [in the opposition] have anything that they want say, this can be refined, this can be perfected so that our laws are very responsive to our developmental agenda. We all want our country to be transformed to make sure that it is competitive and democratic. What makes this more sad is that there was a motion that was moved by the opposition themselves to refine the constitution urging the government and the same government they urged to refine the constitution responded and they are now saying ‘no.’ So you start wondering if they are other motives that other people are propagating,” Chama said.

“That is why for us in government, we are sincere and we want to be truthful in whatever we do. This bill has undergone a lot of interrogations, consultations, and meetings have been held with a lot of stakeholders, I don’t know whether we should be an industry of talking as arguments. We want to have laws that are less ambiguous, easy for the court to interpret so that we have peaceful elections because we all want to have a country that is peaceful so that we can build our country. So for me any refinement of any law is welcome so that we make it better, simpler for the court to interpret so that it reduces issues of frictions or issues of misunderstanding. So anyone who says ‘no leave it as it is so that we can keep on fighting’ then maybe he is not supposed to be a Zambian.”

Chama said any efforts made by the government to refine laws should be welcomed by any well meaning Zambians.

“So any effort by the government to refine our laws should be welcomed by the opposition and any well meaning Zambian for that matter. I don’t know why we should be arguing over straightforward issues like this one. In Zambia we have a tendency of arguing over things that we are not supposed to argue over. I am not a constitutional lawyer but I have read through Bill 10 and for me, the clauses are straightforward. It beats my mind why we are arguing. There is so much politicking in this country. Bill 10 is a progressive bill and it must be supported because certain lacunas will be removed. The same lacunas that people were crying for in 2016 when they lost elections where they did not know whether the 14 days included working days or not and somebody says ‘14 days is not enough to prepare a case’, you need 30 days or even 90 days can’t you be happy? Can we put to bed this issue, can we debate it and can we pass this law,” said Chama.

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