Bwana Mkubwa Member of Parliament Jonas Chanda has said that the Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 (Bill 10) debate which was hosted by News Diggers and others last Friday was deliberately stage-managed to propagate UPND slander and hooliganism.
In a statement issued to the media, Dr. Chanda has accused the hosts of the debate of either ‘deliberately or accidentally’ allowing UPND cadres to be loudly disruptive of contrary views presented by Patriotic Front (PF) Members.
“The Public Debate on Constitutional Amendment Bill Number 10 of 2019 (Bill 10) hosted by News Diggers, Prime TV, Eden University, Chapter One Foundation, and Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) at Intercontinental Hotel on Friday 27th January 2020 was a sham, deliberately stage-managed to propagate UPND slander and hooliganism,” he said.
“Debate is supposed to be a process that involves formal discussion on a topical issue, with opposing arguments being put forward to argue for opposing viewpoints. The objective is for one side to prevail over the other party by presenting a superior ‘context’ or framework of the issue based on factual information and logical consistency. This is done by following rules of the debate for participants to discuss and decide on differences, and for the audience’s conduct. The hosts of the public debate on Bill 10, whether deliberately or accidentally, allowed UPND cadres to be loudly disruptive of contrary views presented by Patriotic Front (PF) Members of Parliament Hon. Tutwa Ngulube and Hon Sebastian Kopulande, while loudly cheering their UPND members Hon. Jack Mwiimbu and Mr. Sangwa. While it is commendable that organisers of this sham debate have issued a lukewarm regret on ‘certain sections of the audience who became intolerant of opposing views,’ they fail to outrightly condemn the UPND cadres who were deliberately packed in the debate room to discredit anything said by the two PF MPs. If the PF had also ferried it’s cadres to that sham debate, there would have been total mayhem. It is obvious that UPND and their sympathisers have lost the Debate on the Constitution Amendment Bill Number 10 due to their own refusal to participate at the National Dialogue Forum (NDF). Having first argued against NDF based on PROCESS, they are now lying on content of Bill 10, saying it was generated by PF when the truth is that it was generated by participating stakeholders at NDF who included the Church, traditional leaders, civil society organisations, public institutions, political parties, the Media and others.”
He further accused UPND and their sympathisers of focusing on poisoning the minds of Zambians through propaganda, “including rubbishing a very important report of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Bill 10 in which all Zambians were invited to make submissions.”
He reminded Zambians that it was UPND and their sympathisers who killed the Bill of Rights in the Referendum during the 2016 elections through propaganda which they are now “hypocritically” saying they support.
He has stressed that PF MPs will find other fora to engage with the citizens as participating in debates packed with UPND cadres will be a waste of time.
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