NGOCC rejects the rebranded Bill 10

The women movement the proposed amendments not only lack clarity but exhibited lots of inconsistencies which make it difficult for people to understand how the constitution will address the concerns raised during the submission made to the parliamentarians select committee

By Francis Maingaila

Lusaka (18-06-2020) The Non-governmental Gender Organisations’ Coordinating Council ( NGOCC) has rejected the rebranded Bill 10 as proposed in the amendments which were recently published in the Gazette number 534.
NGOCC Board Chairperson Mary Mulenga told journalists at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon that the proposed amendments does not address the concerns people raised during the submission to the parliamentarians select committee which was instituted y parliament scrutinise Bill 10.
Mulenga observed that the proposed amendments not only exhibited lots of inconsistencies but also lack clarity and this has made it difficult for the people that made the submission to the select committee understand the how constitution would address the concerns raised.
Mulenga regretted that the proposed amendments were more confusing than the original Bill 10 which the people initially rejected.
Initially Mulenga explained the NGOCC did write to the minister of justice not only to seek clarifications on confusing clauses in Bill 10 but also advising the government to withdraw the bill to facilitate consensus.
Instead of giving the response the NGOCC wanted to see and hear, Mulenga observed, the government republished the proposed amendments as suggested by the parliamentary select committee without giving the required clarifications.
She said republished amendments which the government want to include in the new Bill 10 does not reflect the will of the people.
She cited the Mixed Member Proportions Representation (MMPR) as one such clause which does show how it will work to the advantage of the target groups.
According to Mulenga, the NGOCC expected the MMPR to define will address the issues in the in the constitution.
She said the way things are this would be subject to clause to manipulation and will only benefit the ruling party.
She also indicated that article 68 defines the election and composition of national assembly lack clarity on how the election will done and does not give clear guidance on the composition of parliament.
Article 81 does not clearly state the dissolution of parliament.  The term of parliament is five year and end on the date of election.  Does not want to the idea of repeal the provision which will allow the parliament to be dissolved 90s before election will provide unfair play. This will also affect the adoption process if other remain in office.
She also said article 154(2) which provides for the election of mayors from councilors will affect the loyalty of the mayor to the people.
As a way forward Mulenga said the government has no option but has to acept the plea from the people that want Bill 10 withdrawn to facilitate consensus on what should be included in the constitution.

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