By BENNIE MUNDANDO
THERE will be consequences against any of our Members of Parliament who will go against the party position and vote for Bill 10, UPND spokesperson, Charles Kakoma, has warned.
But Kabwe Central PF MP Tutwa Ngulube said such a move by the UPND does not only amount to intimidation but also interference with the duties of an MP as a lawmaker.
Speaking to the Daily Nation yesterday, Mr. Kakoma, said the position of the party was that its MPs must vote against Bill 10.
“The correct position of the party is that under the Commonwealth parliamentary practice, when a matter comes up in parliament and the party thinks that they need the support of their MPs, they draw a three-line whip which means that it becomes obligatory for MPs to vote for the party position.
“In the Zambian case as we are speaking now, PF has drawn a three-line whip and the UPND has done the same. The interpretation is that we expect our MPs to vote against Bill 10 which is our party position on this matter,” Mr. Kakoma said.
He said while the PF was branding the UPND dictatorial over its position, it had done the same and had further told ministers to cancel any trip within or outside the country so that they could be available on the day of voting. “The PF have not even allowed anybody to go on a trip whether outside the country or within, not even ministers because they want all their MPs to vote for Bill 10 and those who will not obey their three-line whip instructions will face the consequences.
“Have they said what punishment will be given to anyone who will go against their party position? They haven’t. In the same vein, those who will go against the UPND position will not know their fate until after they do so,” he said.
But Mr. Ngulube said the UPND was holding its MPs to ransom using parliament after realising that most of them were smart and independent. “This is not just intimidation but also interference with the duties of an MP because us as the PF, we have allowed MPs to think with their conscience and do what is right for this country. We are not forcing or threatening anyone with sanctions because as far as we are concerned, the Constitutions is not for the UPND or PF. It is for the people of Zambia.
By BENNIE MUNDANDO