There is no doubt that the whole process surrounding the attempted enactment of Bill 10 has polarised our communities, perhaps to levels never seen since our independence in 1964. This is an indisputable fact and one that calls for a collective national soul searching.
We must however use the fall out of Bill 10 to foster an energy of unity despite our political differences, because Zambia’s greatest strength lies in its diversity. The intense debate the Bill generated must strengthen our democracy, our values and ideals that provide that even though we hold different views, we are one people and citizens of one mother land under one God.
We must rekindle the shared values with which this great nation was founded upon, that any human has a value far greater than any label, stereotype or misconception and that multiculturalism is an intergral and deep rooted part of Zambia’s national identity. We must strive for the ability to exist as one people in which we see each other as people first, without defining ourselves by race or tribe or deploy fear mongering by pitting citizen against citizen in order to maintain political power. This is dangerous and has ramifications that can affect how our communities relate to each other now and in future and most tragically, can endanger national security.
The rejection of Bill 10 must not provide an array of weaponry by those who opposed it against those that were its proponents. Instead it must provide all stakeholders an opportunity to inspire renewed hope, brotherly love and support to our nation and its citizens and also help us search for answers on the best way forward to resolve many challenges(and there are many of them) that still face our nation, especially on the electoral process as we lay the ground work for the 2021 election.
In this regard I wish to extend our profound gratitude to all citizens who moderated this intense national discourse for or against. My heartfelt thanks also go to various professional bodies, Civil Society organisations, Labour unions, Church Mother Bodies, different Churches and other organisations of other religious faiths. I wish to particularly express our gratitude to the Catholic Church for its sustained vigilance and consistency in providing leadership and spiritual guidance to the nation during the entire period of the debate, the Law Association of Zambia (LAZ) and the Zambia Congress of Trade Unions for their forthrightness in the whole process despite a lot of pressure from the Patriotic Front and its surrogates.
My sincere thanks also go to different political parties and fellow politicians for affording citizens an opportunity to explore the Bill 10 debate from two sides of the coin, and lastly our MPs from all political parties that debated and expressed their views for or against the Bill and finally voted, abstained or voted against the Bill.
The failure of Bill 10 is a prerequisite for change of the status quo and the way the PF conduct public affairs that ultimately negatively impacts the lives of our people and the nation. It is a clarion call to duty for all citizens to demand for accountability in the running of national affairs from the PF.
People want decent jobs and proper healthcare, the ability to put food on their tables, pay school fees for their children and buy medicines in private pharmacies, because of lack of essential drugs in public hospitals. This can only be possible under a new government with fresh ideas and renewed vigour. You can’t put new wine in old wine skins.
PF is totally bankrupt on how to reinvigorate this country back to where they found it. The people of Zambia fully recognised this impotence and will vote them out next year. UPND has a good economic plan, capable team of managers and technocrats to create the much needed economic recovery, once our citizens vote us into office next year. We have the political will and the capacity to fight corruption and any economic crimes, vigorously and without fear or favour. This is time for change!