THE government says it takes great exception to remark by UPND Katombora member of parliament Derick Livune against Vice-President Inonge Wina.
The Mast lead story of today quoted Livune deriding Vice-President Wina, telling her to learn to live decently, especially that she “has no more future in politics”.
Livune said Vice-President Wina is only wasting taxpayers’ money because her presence wherever she goes produces no impact.
He said Vice-President Wina must retire to the farm where she can live as a mother, probably with decency.
On Friday, PF members in Kazungula complained of hunger to Vice-President Wina, saying they had not received relief food.
The Vice-President, who was on a tour of selected districts in Southern Province, told the PF cadres that they may not see development in their homes and communities because their member of parliament (Livune), who is supposed to work with the government, was not doing so.
“We have a challenge as a government on how to reach you in your homes and communities…. That is why I come to ask you that in 2021 you give us our own member of parliament. If we had our own MP, you would have seen development in your personal capacity as well as at community level,” said Vice-President Wina.
But Livune said the words “yaba (of the) Vice-President are unfortunate.”
“Don’t mince my words; you say that Inonge Wina, as an old woman who has no more future in politics, must learn to be decent. She must learn to be decent; she must never politic over hunger,” Livune told The Mast from Kazungula on Saturday.
“The people of Kazungula are hungry! The people of Kazungula have had serious drought – the people of Kazungula have suffered the inconsequential, incompetence of government failure to deliver the required farm inputs on time.”
The lawmaker emphasised that his constituents were gravely devastated by hungry.
“Even where she (Vice-President Wina) was addressing meetings, people were telling her that they are hungry,” he said.
“Honourable Livune, Hakainde Hichilema, my president, said ‘can you declare hunger a national disaster’ so that an external hand can assist to feed the hungry people…Inonge Wina should not politic! Her district commissioner (Pascalina Musokotwane) knows what is happening on the ground in Kazungula.”
But chief government spokesperson Dora Siliya said this evenng that the government found Livune’s “disparaging language” against a person who is not only a government leader but also an elderly person and freedom fighter “totally unacceptable”.
“We call upon the various party leaders to rise to the occasion and counsel their members to show respect to elders, even under provocation,” Siliya stated. “We also call upon the to exercise self-restraint and avoid carrying headlines that portray moral decay and anarchy in our great nation. We still have many decent people who are not keen to read disrespectful and provocative headlines.”
Siliya stated that the media should play a unifying role in society in order to enhance national development as there was one who stands to benefit from a divided nation.
She stated that anyone seeking elective office must respect themselves so that they know how to respect others.
“Government’s counsel to Mr Livune is to self-reflect and, if indeed he was quoted correctly, he needs to apologise to her Honour the Vice-President,” Siliya stated.
She stated that President Lungu saw it fit to create the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs for the very purpose of ensuring that young people do not lose focus on values of self-respect, respect for others, especially elders, kindness and the fear of God.
“Government has stood with the people of Southern Province during this difficult time of food shortages due to climate change. We find it strange that instead of Mr Livune trying to work closely with the office of the Vice-President, he has instead chosen to disparage her. This is unacceptable from a lawmaker who should be in the forefront supporting women, especially such as the Vice-President,” stated Siliya.
“We call upon the people of Southern Province to identify leaders who will help take development to that area by being proactive, especially in times of disasters.”