Wednesday, September 24, 2008
By Patson Chilemba, Terence Miselo and Sututu Amukena
Wednesday September 24, 2008 [04:00]
SOME Patriotic Front (PF) members of parliament sitting on the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) yesterday dispelled claims that they are working with MMD.
Reacting to information minister Mike Mulongoti who on Sundaysaid that MMD had a majority in Parliament because it was working with 26 PF 'rebels', the parliamentarians said Mulongoti was a shameless liar.
They said Mulongoti was a nominated member of parliament and his desperation could be understood because he would have no job in an event that the MMD lost.
Lubansenshi Constituency member of parliament Lazarous Chota said he could not betray PF.
Chota said he did not go to the National Constitutional Conference (NCC) to fight the party.
"I cannot work with MMD because they are gong'a. I went to NCC but I'm here campaigning for the party," said Chota. "We are not going to condone such nonsense from Mulongoti. I'm here with Honourable Christopher Mulenga, Honourable Chisala and Honourable Chitonge. We all went to NCC but we are campaigning for the party."
Chota further challenged Mulongoti to name the 26 rebel parliamentarians that were working with the MMD.
" Mulongoti is paranoid, nobody is working with MMD. How can a person in power tell lies? How can you trust them?" Chota asked.
Chinsali Central member of parliament Christopher Mulenga said Mulongoti was desperate.
Mulenga said the information minister wanted to destabilise PF because he knew that Vice-President Rupiah Banda could not win the election.
" All 26 MPs are still PF members. No one has come out in the open to say he or she will not campaign for the president Sata," Mulenga said. "He should mention them because I am here supporting the president yet am one of the so-called rebel MPs, so which 26 is he talking about?"
Chilubi PF member of parliament Obius Chisala said he could not sink so low to campaign against PF.
"I'm not part and parcel of the group working against the party. My going to the NCC was on principle and not to fight the party," said Chisala, who was in the company of former NCC member Samuel Chitonge whose election as Mwansabombwe parliamentarian was nullified recently.
Chisala said Mulongoti's statement was a sad story which had no facts.
"We wish to challenge Mulongoti to produce a list of the 26 MPs. They know that they have no support so they have resorted to telling lies," said Chisala.
Luapula PF member of parliament Peter Machungwa said it does not hold water for Mulongoti to warn that MMD would make it difficult for any opposition president to function because of their parliamentary majority.
"If another party comes into government, usually there is realignment. So that does not hold water," Machungwa said. "In any case, the number of MPs who were attending NCC are no longer 26."
Machungwa said opposition members of parliament worked together with the government in positive aspects such as enhancing development in their constituencies.
During a public rally at Chinamanongo ground in chief Kopa's area, Mulongoti said PF had 40 members of parliament of which 26 were working with the MMD, which currently has 84 members of parliament.
Meanwhile, Chingola member of parliament Joseph Katema said Vice-President Banda should not be given credit for saying he would not assent to the proposed salary increment bills because he used it to gain political capital.
Dr Katema said he was surprised to Vice-President Banda taking credit for saying he would not assent to the Bill for proposed salary increment when he was the one who chaired Cabinet meetings which approved the bill.
" The Bill was brought to Parliament under his office, he proposed the bill to Parliament and it passed through the stages expressly," said Dr Katema.