Thursday, December 06, 2012

PF Councillor thought beer in Hotelroom was free

PF Councillor thought beer in Hotelroom was free
By Ernest Chanda
Thu 06 Dec. 2012, 09:20 CAT
By Ernest Chanda

FOREIGN affairs minister Given Lubinda yesterday told Parliament that Lusaka councillor Chikutano Nkhoma who accumulated a US$2,000 beer bill in Ethiopia had admitted that it was his first time to be exposed to a room with beverages in a fridge.

Nkhoma, a councillor from Northmead, accumulated the bill in five days at Addis Ababa's Sheraton Hotel where the Zambian travelling party was accommodated. The Addis Ababa City Council, on an exchange programme, invited councillors from Lusaka City Council about two weeks ago.

Lubinda gave a ministerial statement on the matter after a point of order raised last week by Kalabo UPND member of parliament Chinga Miyutu on what the government would do about Nkhoma's behaviour in Ethiopia.

And responding to a follow-up question from Moomba UPND member of parliament Vitalis Moya on whether Nkhoma knew about the ceiling at the hotel he was accommodated, Lubinda responded: "Chikutano stated that this was his first-ever exposure. And he thought that all of the beers in the fridge were for free, and so he completely consumed them."

Asked by Chembe MMD member of parliament Mwansa Mbulakulima what the government would do to discipline the PF councillor, Lubinda said the issue was not about the party someone belonged to.

He said decisions of such nature were to be adopted by a full council, and that the Lusaka City Council would receive a report from the disciplinary committee today.

"This is not about the party, councillor Chikutano was elected by the people and he was not travelling to Ethiopia as a cadre," said Lubinda.

"This incident has caused huge embarrassment to the Zambian government and has also tarnished the image of the Zambians living in Ethiopia. When we travel abroad, we must conduct ourselves in a manner beyond reproach. For example, we have someone who recently impersonated a minister by driving on a ministerial vehicle."

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