Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Nonde demands govt explanation over cadres in AU summit entourage

Nonde demands govt explanation over cadres in AU summit entourage
Written by Moses Kuwema
Wednesday, February 04, 2009 11:14:25 AM

FEDERATION of Free Trade Unions in Zambia (FFTUZ) president Joyce Nonde has demanded a satisfactory explanation from the government over the inclusion of Edith Nawakwi and Judith Banda Simuziya in the African Union (AU) summit entourage.

In an interview, Nonde expressed concern over the inclusion of FDD president Nawakwi and MMD cadre Simuziya in President Rupiah Banda's entourage to the AU summit, saying the government needed to explain to the people. She said the government needed to provide satisfactory answers to the questions raised by people on issues that involved taxpayers' money.

Nonde said government should learn from developed countries that communicated to their people effectively.

"We need to be told in what capacity these people travelled there because for the President to have taken them along, there is a reason. So government needs to have an effective way of communicating because we are the taxpayers, the ones who made it possible for them to be there. They don't need to be rude, they need to answer with a lot of respect," Nonde said. "I know that the opposition can be invited at such functions, but we also need to look at the value that these people will have. For instance, what value is a cadre going to add there which will benefit the country?"

She said people should not be taken to such events for the sake of appeasement but that they needed to be of value to the deliberations.

"I don't know in what capacity Edith Nawakwi and the MMD cadre [Simuziya] travelled to Ethiopia but there is need to go to such events and add value to their country and the summit," Nonde said.

And Mansa Catholic Diocese Vicar General Fr Mambwe Mpasa said it was sad that the opposition, which was supposed to speak for the people had now joined government in misusing national resources.

Fr Mpasa questioned the value that Simuziya would add to the summit and ultimately benefit the country.

He said President Banda should not appease people.

"What is she going to do that will benefit the nation, because President Banda did not go there for a party function but a national function," he wondered.

Fr Mpasa called on other church leaders to pray for the leaders in government to make them realise that the country was in difficult times.

"One thing I find to be sad is that some opposition parties decided to join the MMD during the campaigns and this, I think, weakened the opposition and is a drawback to the our young democracy," Fr Mpasa said.

Fr Mpasa said the opposition political parties should stand against misuse of public resources as opposed to what was currently happening.

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