SINAZONGWE member of parliament Gift Sialubalo says being an opposition lawmaker in Zambia calls for one to die a little for their people failure to which no tangible development can happen.
In an interview, Sialubalo said the PF was failing to read between the lines that the opposition was there to offer checks and balances as such should not be regarded as enemies.
“Being an opposition lawmaker in Zambia calls for one to die a little for their people failure to which no tangible development can happen because the country’s political environment under the PF regime is not fair,” he said. “The problem with this PF government is that when we speak as opposition, we are regarded as bitter and they don’t listen to us so as a result we have no choice but to die a little for our people who desperately need services because they too pay tax just like everybody else in our friends’ strongholds. If as an opposition MP you don’t think out of the box then there will be literally nothing to point at the entire term of office.”
Sialubalo said it was wrong for the PF to mistake checks and balances for hate.
He called for mutual respect among all those chosen to represent the people regardless of which area and political party they belonged to because they were all serving Zambians.
“Why can’t we share ideas as representatives of the people with those in government? Why should I be labeled UPND when I’m speaking for the people of Sinazongwe? Instead, if they want to label me, they should say ‘he is a representative of the people’,” Sialubalo said.
He said there was need for everyone to be given an equal opportunity and share of the national cake since all parliamentarians were in it to serve the people.
Sialubalo called for co-existence among political parties for inclusive development to take place.
“We pass the national budget whose proceeds should be shared equally but that is not the case on the ground. Let coexistence be adhered to and not this environment where those in government do not want to listen to those from the opposition,” he urged.
“Elections are over and so there is need to incorporate all MPs because the legislature is an arm of government. We all draw salaries from taxpayers’ money and if this PF government is willing to pay us our salaries as stipulated by the law then why is it not like that with development? Why should our people not be given development? The fact that they chose the opposition should not be reason to deny them services.”
Sialubalo said the rift between the opposition UPND and the ruling PF must be discouraged.
He wondered why the PF was perceiving the opposition UPND as an enemy instead of a partner in development.
“An ideal political environment should be where those in government realise that we are in a multiparty dispensation and as such we must all be given equal opportunities even if we are opposition MPs because we are part of government as well,” Sialubalo said.
He said Sinazongwe residents were eagerly waiting for development to trickle down to their area.
Sialubalo said the PF administration should not pay a blind eye to Sinazongwe.
He said the Batoka-Maamba road had seriously deteriorated and now required urgent attention.
“Maamba General Hospital is lacking adequate funding, Sinazongwe Day Secondary School since 2012 has stalled, works at the Sinazeze modern market have stalled, Namanzabwe bridge – the contractor did shoddy works, he needs to be brought back, the Bottom Road to date since the time the President did the ground breaking ceremony in Sinazongwe, nothing has happened, Buleya Malima and Siatwiinda irrigation schemes need to be revamped because people of Sinazongwe depend on irrigation to survive as the area doesn’t receive enough rains to support agriculture activities,” he said.
Sialubalo said in a democracy MPs should be encouraged to have zeal to lobby for their people by engaging government as well as other cooperating partners unlike a situation where they were regarded as bitter people.