PATRIOTIC Front North Western Province chairman Jackson Kungo says most member of parliament’s main interest is money.
Kungo warned members of parliament who are politicking in the House that it is them who will not be re-elected.
“One thing they should know is that their actions cannot decampaign President [Edgar] Lungu and they will be shocked in 2021 that despite their games, the humble leader will still win, he will still be in State House,” he said.
In an interview, Kungo said members of parliament must know that they had a duty to respond to citizens’ needs, especially where laws and policies were concerned.
He was commenting on remarks made by PF member of the central committee Kebby Mbewe that the grade 12 clause as minimum qualification for a parliamentarian had not helped matters and that currently Zambia had the worst crop of MPs in the country’s history.
Kungo said unless lawmakers left politics aside and realised that they were in Parliament to serve Zambians, nothing effective would be achieved.
“If MPs think that no one can question them and they can do whatever they want, they are wrong,” he said. “Let them be above board and realise that they are in the House to serve citizens and should leave politics outside. I think they are wrong to think they cannot be questioned, criticised. They need to realise that they are in that House to serve Zambians.”
Kungo said every Zambian was represented in Parliament through MPs.
“So the same MPs, especially those in the opposition, are making government to fail to run properly because their job is just to shoot down everything progressive, thinking that they are making President Edgar Lungu unpopular to the people but they are lying to themselves,” he said. “We are going to make sure that we campaign for President Lungu and…the MPs thinking they are de-campaigning President Lungu, they are cheating themselves. It is them who are not going to be voted for again in 2021 because people love President Lungu very much and there is no doubt come 2021 he will still be in State House.”
Kungo said Zambians, especially the educated ones outside Parliament, expected a lot from those in the House in terms of how they conduct themselves.
“And for me I have seen that most MPs’ main interest is just money. Maybe they thought going to Parliament is about just making money. They didn’t know that going to Parliament is about making laws and policies for this country. [But] their interest is just on money,” Kungo said.
He said while President Lungu’s administration had provided enough resources for them in terms of Constituency Development Funds, unfortunately, some MPs like the case for Ikeleng’i had their CDF still in the bank.
“For example in Ikeleng’i, two CDF allocations for Ikelen’gi Constituency are still in the account, they are not using it. And as PF, we suspect that such cases where government releases the money but without convincing reasons those in charge of these monies decide to keep it in the bank, instead of using it for development is a gimmick to make Zambians in such constituencies think that there is no development and that President Lungu hates them when it is MPs and councils who are keeping money in bank accounts,” Kungo alleged.
He said the Minister of National Planning Alexander Chitenge was in Ikelen’gi recently and questioned the rationale behind keeping the CDF at the bank when people were yearning for development.
“The minister wondered why there were complaints of lack of development from his fellow MP for Ikeleng’i (Elijah Muchima) when CDF was intact in the bank. He questioned us that ‘you say you don’t have development but you have money in the account, why are you not using it and you are even still asking for more money!’” Kungo said.
“So the same opposition MPs are making government to fail to run because their job is just to shoot down everything. They don’t mean well for the Zambians. And I know those are the same people MCC (Member of Central Committee) Mbewe was talking about because they don’t mean well. All they want is to be deputy ministers, all they want is to be appointed, they are not looking at the bigger picture of this country. They are just looking at themselves, what they are supposed to eat, what they are supposed to earn.”
Kungo said parliamentarians, especially from the opposition, must realise that they were in the House to serve and not just to oppose.
He said Mbewe’s observation regarding the behaviour of parliamentarians from the opposition of just following what their leaders wanted instead of their independent minds was on point because they had a duty to protect the Constitution as well as to make laws and policies for the country.
Kungo said opposition MPs should not to be walking out every time there was a hot issue before Parliament.
“So if MPs think that shooting down good things that goes to Parliament to help government to run properly then they are decampaigning the Head of State, they are just lying to themselves,” he said. “So for me, MCC Mbewe, being a Zambian, a citizen of this country, is concerned and spoke according to him being a citizen, he has to question the MPs because he pays tax which those MPs are paid as salaries. And if he sees them walking out and boycotting instead of debating issues, he gets concerned like some of us are. I’m sure the downfall of the economy is caused by MPs because they are failing to come up with proper policies inside there due to politicking in everything. So if they think whatever goes in Parliament they shoot it down they are making President Lungu unpopular, they are cheating themselves. President Lungu still remains popular to the Zambian people, he will still go through in 2021 because Zambians have seen that he is a President who doesn’t segregate, he is a President who has taken development across the country, even rural parts have received mobile phone network towers, mini hospitals, health posts, schools and roads under his leadership.”
Kungo urged MPs to help provide direction and not just politicking.
“They have gone with politics inside Parliament especially MPs from the opposition. Everything that means well for this country to them because they get instructions from their leader Hakainde Hichilema, it’s just to shoot it down. They never went to Parliament to mean well for the people of this country,” said Kungo.