|George Kunda — failed to secure 2/3
The Constitution of Zambia bill
yesterday failed to go through in Parliament after the MMD could not manage a
The bill sought to provide for the printing and
publication of the amended constitution; savings and transitional provisions of
existing state organs. It also sought to provide for state institutions,
administrations, offices, institutions and laws; and savings of successions to
assets, rights, liabilities, obligations, and legal proceedings.
bill came up for second reading, National Assembly Speaker Amusaa Mwanamwambwa
called for an electronic vote whose result saw the MMD get 96 votes short of the
required 106 to reach the two-thirds majority.
However, after announcing
the results, Mwanamwambwa informed the MPs that they would have to go for a
manual vote because the electronic voting system had malfunctioned.
angered opposition Patriotic Front MPs, except for the ‘PF rebels’, who
walked-out in protest, led by their party vice-president Guy
Alliance for Democracy and Development Luena MP Charles Milupi
also joined the PF MPs in the walk out.
However, Speaker Mwanamwambwa
maintained his call for a manual vote.
This also did not go well with the
UPND MPs who were openly divided over the bill. The division in the UPND camp
prompted them to call for a caucus within the chambers.
MP Major Robbie Chizyuka was ejected from the group.
After a protracted
debate on the matter the UPND MPs resolved to abstain from the voting. And after
the second vote was taken without the PF MPs in the House, MMD still failed to
marshal the required two-thirds majority.
And this time around the MMD
only managed to get 93 votes, prompting Speaker Mwanamwambwa to announce that
the bill had failed to go through.
“The results are as follows: those who
voted for no, nil; those who voted for yes, 93; abstention, 20. Therefore this
means that the bill has failed to reach the 106 two-thirds required for a
constitutional bill,” he said.
At this point the chamber went dead quiet,
prompting the Speaker to remark: “I can hear a pin drop” before inviting
Vice-President Kunda to adjourn the House.
Kunda who looked somber stood
up to adjourn the House.
This means that the country will stick to the
Meanwhile, PF parliamentarians celebrated the failure
of the bill, as they sang songs of mockery to the MMD camp.
parliamentarian Given Lubinda and his Roan counterpart Chishimba Kambwili sang
and clapped loudly on the basement near Parliament entrance.
process, PF rebel MP for Bwana Mkubwa, Joseph Zulu, arrived at Parliament
grounds heading towards the chamber where the debates were taking
But when he was passing by, Kambwili exclaimed “Imwe ba rebel
ka constitution mwelafwaya twakashuta... We have shot down your
The remark upset Zulu who went for Kambwili in an attempt
to beat him, but the latter refused to be intimidated and dared Zulu to hit him
if he was man enough. “Nguma ngauli mwaume,” said Kambwili.
visibly annoyed Zulu took off his jacket in readiness for a fight while Kambwili
gestured at Zulu daring him for a showdown with him.
However, the tension
was halted when PF MPs who included Mwansa Kapeya, Jean Kapata, Guy Scott and
Mumbi Phiri intervened to stop the fight.