PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has struck a deal with MMD members of parliament in an effort to attain a two-thirds majority in Parliament and to pass the constitution amendment bill in exchange for adoptions ahead of the 2016 elections, State House sources have disclosed.
And PF secretary general Davies Chama says it is not a secret that the MMD has offered to support the PF in voting for the constitution bill in the House.
According to State House sources, President Lungu on Wednesday met Kasenengwa MMD member of parliament Victoria Kalima, Vincent Mwale of Chipangali, Keith Mukata of Chilanga, Mafinga’s Catherine Namugala, Lumezi member of parliament Isaac Banda, Allan Mbewe of Chadiza and Chitambo MMD member of parliament Mushili Malama.
“Yes, most of the MMD MPs don’t see any chance of being re-elected next year, so they have decided that instead of crossing the floor now, they will wait until Parliament is dissolved. That’s when they will officially defect to the PF where they will be adopted,” sources said.
“That is why they came to State House and they managed to meet His Excellency on Wednesday at around 16:00 hours and the meeting only finished around 22:30 hours. Politics is about numbers, so the party feels that the MMD MPs are very relevant in strengthening numbers even in Parliament so that when a bill is proposed, like the constitution amendment bill, it should not be difficult to attain a two-thirds majority.”
But in an interview, Chama said there was no need to strike any deals with the MMD MPs because they had already made it clear that they would support the amendment bills.
“The constitution bill is in Parliament and the MMD have made their position on the bill. [MMD president] Nevers Mumba and the MMD MP’s have been on record that they will support the bill and the statement is out there for everyone to see. Whether we are engaging them…I think the bill is in Parliament. We will let the MPs exercise their right to debate and apply their conscious. It’s a rumour so I can’t confirm it,” said Chama.
When contacted for comment, Mumba said he was not aware of the scheme by PF to get his members of parliament.
President Lungu has already appointed several MMD members of parliament and some from the UPND into his Cabinet.