KAPOCHE member of Parliament Charles Banda has challenged Caritas Chipata to single out members of Parliament in Eastern Province who are underperforming instead of generalising its observations.
In interview, Banda said the statement by Caritas that Eastern Province members of parliament were a disappointment was irresponsible and a deliberate defamation of well meaning legislators who were working tirelessly in their constituencies.
“This is a very irresponsible claim by Caritas Chipata. They should single out the MPs they feel are not helping the development of their constituencies because a blanket statement like that is not just irresponsible but an indication of deliberate defamation of well meaning members of Parliament who are working tirelessly to ensure that development is delivered to their constituencies,” he stated
He challenged Caritas to visit Kapoche Constituency to point an area where he had not touched starting from boreholes to schools.
“I am challenging Caritas to say what I personally have not touched in Kapoche Constituency. Let them come and count the boreholes, bridges, clinics that have been completed, communication towers that have been elected. How much I have contributed to various schools and churches by way of providing cement and roofing sheets. Caritas should not speak without gathering facts on the ground and I am also aware of how much other MPs have been applying themselves in their constituencies throughout Eastern Province,” said Banda
And Mkaika member of Parliament Peter Phiri said the best judges to ascertain whether parliamentarian were weak or strong were the electorates.
He added that it was not okay to judge members of parliament before a term ends.
“The electorates are the ones to judge us because they stay within the areas we operate from and it is them who know better whether we are active or not. I wonder how Caritas which is based in Chipata came to that conclusion without a survey…let the electorates be the best judges of our work; whether we are performing or not,” he said.
“The term of an MP is five years, so it is not good for some people to judge MPs before the end of five years maybe two years and half and say they have failed.”
Phiri mentioned the construction of one by three and one by two classroom blocks, clinics, and boreholes drilled, among projects he had accomplished in his area.
“Look, we are not the only ones to provide development, we also rely on government. In my case, we have constructed a clinic at Songwe village under Mphangwe ward, we have constructed a one by three classroom block at Vulamkoko Primary School which is at 80-90 per cent job done, a one by two classroom block at Chinkhombe Primary School, a staff house at Chiwolya Clinic, not forgetting the boreholes and the other thing is that we are connecting Chinsale Day Secondary School to power grid to which a total of K750,000 has been allocated to put up power at the school before the end of this year,” Phiri explained.
He also said it was hard to conduct successful meetings during the rain season as people were busy cultivating.
He said having few people turn up for meetings make the MP feel as if they are losing popularity.
Phiri said MPs face many challenges, reaching to extents of using their personal monies to ensure things were moving.
He said it was not good for someone to paint them as failures.
Phiri also members of parliament that were viewed to be successful were those whose works were highly publicised by the media.
“But all in all, we will try our best to improve where we are not doing fine” said Phiri.
Last week Caritas Chipata observed that most MPs in Eastern Province are not active in terms of service provision to their constituencies.