Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Don't bear children - Levy

Don't bear children - Levy
By Namakau Nalumango in Ndola
Wednesday August 22, 2007 [04:00]

PRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa yesterday said poor people who cannot afford to pay school fees should not be bearing children. And President Mwanawasa has said it was an insult that people who had probably never been admitted to the bar should be calling for the stepping down of justice minister George Kunda.

Speaking on arrival at Ndola International Airport, President Mwanawasa advised people against having children if they could not look after them.

He said this when MMD Copperbelt Province chairman Terence Findlay reported to him that he was receiving a lot of complaints from parents who said some schools were charging fees when it was not supposed to be the case.

“Mr provincial chairman, you have talked about the fees that are being charged by the schools. I would like it if I could get more details on this: which schools are charging school fees and we know schools have been allowed to charge PTA charges and in this case you know what it is used for,” President Mwanawasa said.

“It’s not meant as a fee in the essence that the money does not come to government. I ask you that any parent who has a school child should be in a position to pay a little money, which is called Parent-Teacher Association PTA. I want to encourage you to plead guilty to poverty because if you are so poor that you can’t afford to bring up children and put them in schools then don’t have children because the next thing you will be saying is that we can’t buy clothes for the children, the government should buy clothes for these children.

“If the complaint is the charge for PTA, tell the people who came to complain to you that I am a wrong sympathiser because I support the concept of them contributing to the extra tuition fees charge which I think is not too much for them that it should raise a lot of complaints.”

And President Mwanawasa said that he had a lot of trust in Kunda and had no intentions of relieving him of his duties because he was doing a good job.
President Mwanawasa further disclosed that he had given instructions that the National Constitutional Conference Bill should go ahead.

“People who are not lawyers must be passing statements as to the ability of these eminent lawyers who advise me. People who had not even been to primary school when I started practicing as a lawyer must be passing statements on my officials that advise me,” President Mwanawasa noted. “I left practice some six years ago. Some of these young lawyers who are appearing on television, I don’t know them. They probably have never been admitted to the bar. If they have been admitted, I don’t know them. But today they can say George Kunda is not capable. What an insult! I want to say that I have a lot of trust in George Kunda. I have no intention of relieving him of his duties. He is doing me a commendable job.”

President Mwanawasa said as a result, he did not want to hear criticism from people suggesting that he was not being advised properly. He said he had a lot of confidence in the people he appointed.

President Mwanawasa said he was elected as Republican President by the people of Zambia who wanted him to assume powers in the Constitution. He added that the Zambian people wanted him to assume all the powers in the Constitution and those powers included the appointment of ministers.

“From the team of legal advisers, we have George Kunda, a former president of the Law Association of Zambia and a state counsel. We have in my team justice Mumba Malila as Attorney General and is also state counsel. We have Sunday Nkonde, Solicitor General, who is also a state counsel. At State House we have Darlington Mwape, including myself lawyer wa ma lawyer,” President Mwanawasa bragged.

He said Kunda had asked all those interested to make a representation either to him or Parliament and the Oasis Forum among many others only submitted a comment on the NCC Bill

“In fact, it was on television the other day when they admitted that they got 70 per cent of what they wanted. Now 70 per cent, can’t others disagree with them? They wanted to get 100 per cent. LAZ have asked for a verbal meeting which the minister gave them. The problem with our civil society in this country is that consultation is not consultation unless the person they are consulting with does their will. As soon as he disagrees with them, then he is not fit,” President Mwanawasa said.

“We went through elections. The issue of constitution review was very much on the top of the agenda but despite that we came up with an increased majority lekeni ukuntinya ntinya nteke (stop threatening me so that I can govern). Government is for the people, by the people, of the people.”

President Mwanawasa said because they were elected and put where they are, it meant that the people had transferred their authority to make their decisions of public affairs to a government. He said the government was there to govern and non-governmental organisations were not a government.

“It’s us who represent the people, not them. They are the ones quarrelling with the people because the people deposited their authority in us. So the most they should do is to give us space so that we can govern this country and provide the best we know how,” he said.
President Mwanawasa also congratulated the Zambian people, particularly the civil society, for not demonstrating before the SADC heads of state summit held in Lusaka last week.

He also thanked the Zambian people for their support and congratulations for his appointment as SADC chairman and for successfully hosting the summit.
“On my part, I would like to congratulate the Zambian people, particularly the civil society and certain political parties at the fact that they did not do what we feared they might do, to demonstrate before the heads of state about the fact that they were not happy with what we were doing or what we were not doing in constitutional review,” President Mwanawasa said.

He said now that the summit had ended, he was delighted to see that the debate had commenced although he said the only unfortunate thing was that people were not being constructive.

“We are being petty and insulting. Government would like to receive constructive suggestions and when suggestions and proposals are being looked at, the Minister of Justice indicated some days ago that we are prepared to listen and make changes,” President Mwanawasa said.

“For example, the election of the chairman and vice-chairman of the constitutional conference will be passing amendment. It will not be the President who will be choosing the chairman and vice-chairman. The members of the conference will choose. That is a demonstration that we are a listening government.”
President Mwanawasa disclosed that he had given instructions that the NCC Bill should proceed.

He said the bill would be legislated upon, subject to certain amendments.
“I know that it is the right thing as was required by the majority. It is not the right thing by the minority who have nothing to offer but maliciously fight this government so that it finds it hard to operate. We are enjoying ploughing through this volume of opposition,” President Mwanawasa boasted.

He said he had travelled to the Copperbelt to officially open a road, which was reconstructed.

“It is important that the roads in the country are worked on because good roads go with a good economy. So it is a good thing that the MMD is encouraging construction of infrastructure to enable the country’s development,” President Mwanawasa said.
“As for the rapidary, we are providing a facility under which our local people will find a way in which they can improve their stones and sell it at optimum profit. We are tired and cannot allow a situation where foreign criminals are taking the wealth of our country to develop their countries while we are wallowing in poverty.”

He bemoaned that people that came in possession of precious stones were being exploited by being offered little money when the value could go in millions.
“I do hope that those villagers who come across stones, they will not be exploited but will make use of the rapidary which is being established so that they can get good money; money which can improve their standard of living and therefore the economy of Zambia in general,” President Mwanawasa said.

“Indeed, it pains some of us when we travel to certain capitals. You will find Zambia compound and yet there are mansions there and you ask how did they manage to build such skyscrapers? You are told it’s Zambian emeralds. If they want to remain poor let them remain poor but let them give it to the people who will make it better for the country.

“I appeal to the people who come in possession of these stones, we are providing you with a facility that will give you good money. Don’t give them to Senegalese. There are a lot of things government would want to do for the people of Zambia but because of lack of resources, we are allowing our resources and wealth to go out of the country. We want such wealth to benefit Zambians. I do hope that Zambians will take advantage of the facility.”

President Mwanawasa said he was delighted to be welcomed by many people, saying it was a sign that the party was growing stronger.



At 12:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

So next we will be told not to breathe because we are poor eh ?

What did we ever do to deserve this type of treatment ?


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