Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Kabimba challenges ministers to explain PF manifesto

Kabimba challenges ministers to explain PF manifesto
By Ernest Chanda and Moses Kuwema
Wed 22 Feb. 2012, 12:01 CAT

WYNTER Kabimba has challenged government ministers to explain the party manifesto to the public so that President Michael Sata does not look like he is running a one man show in the decisions he makes.

And Kabimba, who is PF secretary general, has maintained that the party will pursue the Rupiah Banda parentage case until it is disposed off by the courts of law. Explaining President Sata's realignment of districts across the country, Kabimba said the programme was not new, but that it was in the PF manifesto.

Kabimba, who expressed disappointment with ministers for keeping quiet, said the realignment of districts was meant to enhance development in all parts of the country.

"We are committed to devolving power to local communities in order to enhance the development process, especially in the rural areas where poverty amongst our people is still endemic 47 years after independence. We are, however, disappointed as a party to see that some of our ministers in government are failing to articulate our party manifesto and hence creating the impression that His Excellency the President is running a ‘one man show'," Kabimba said at a press briefing in Lusaka yesterday.

"I would like to urge all our government ministers to use the manifesto as a guide in all their policy pronouncements instead of resorting to common sense or personal opinions as we have seen in some cases. The manifesto is the only programme of the party which both the party and government must use for our social and economic development agenda until it is reviewed in due course or in 2016. We do not want to see the emergence in PF of the MMD culture where government ministers and party leaders make policy pronouncements which reflect their personal views and not decisions of the party and the government."

On criticism from mainly the opposition UPND that President Sata did not consult when realigning Chirundu and Itezhi-tezhi districts, Kabimba said the decision was legal.

He said even when first Republican president Dr Kenneth Kaunda created more provinces in the 1960s, he did not hold any workshops over the matter. Kabimba said at independence in 1964, the country only had six provinces until Dr Kaunda later created three more.

He said the programme was continued by the MMD government which led to the increase in number of districts from 65 to 72.

"The Copperbelt Province, North Western Province and Lusaka Province did not exist at independence. This therefore means that these provinces were carved out from other provinces in order to facilitate smooth government administration and the allocation of financial resources in line with the demand for improved infrastructure development due to the increase in population," said Kabimba.

"There were no workshops or seminars which were conducted by the two governments at the time over these developments. However, this is not to suggest that the PF does not believe in stakeholder consultations where this is deemed necessary to marshal consensus on national issues."

And Kabimba said Banda's parentage case was a matter of public interest rather than a PF issue.

"I want to state that the issue as to whether or not Mr Rupiah Banda was governing this country in line with the constitution of this country is a matter that the party and I'm sure the people of Zambia are interested in.
So it is not a dead matter," he said.

Meanwhile, Kabimba justified the appointment of party cadres into the civil service, saying they were not appointed by the President.

Kabimba said since they were now appointed by the Civil Service Commission, they ceased to be under any political interference.

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