Sunday, January 20, 2013

Copperbelt UPND labels Ntundu a mole

Copperbelt UPND labels Ntundu a mole
By Ernest Chanda
Sun 20 Jan. 2013, 10:30 CAT

THE UPND says it has not stopped any of its members of parliament from working with the government. But the party leadership on the Copperbelt has labeled its Gwembe member of parliament, Brian Ntundu, a mole for urging his colleagues to work with the government for development.

Reacting to Ntundu's call for his fellow party members to remove politics and work with the government, party deputy spokesperson Cornelius Mweetwa said the leadership only forbade its members from working with the ruling PF.

"As UPND we have not stopped our members of parliament from working with government. That must be very clear on the minds of all well meaning Zambians. What we have stopped our members from doing is to work with PF. A clear distinction must be made between a government and a party," he said.

"Working with government is different from working with the party. However, the silver lining between government and the party running government is extremely thin that sometimes it is very difficult to figure it out where it ends because you find that the same people who are running a party are the ones in government. However, what is important in my view is to recognise when a member of parliament is interacting with government at the level of a government function. And a government function is blind to political parties. Now if a member of parliament is going to collaborate with government for government functions there is nothing really wrong that one can point at."

Mweetwa said there were so many issues on which UPND members of parliament had worked together with the government.

He said UPND members of parliament had many times voted together in parliament with the government on what he termed progressive policies.

Asked if he agreed with everything that Ntundu said, Mweetwa answered in the negative.

"I respect the fact that honourable Ntundu is entitled to hold an opinion that is constituted by himself. And I will defend his right to form and hold an opinion, but I do not agree with what has been attributed to him; some of the things that have been attributed to him," he said.

"For instance I don't agree with him when he says this budget is the best so far. He knows that the budget contains some of the things that we have disputed, so how can he brand such a calamitous budget as best? And I also disagree with what has been reported that he was speaking highly of President Sata. He must show evidence of what it is that Sata has done to deserve ululation and accolade in a meeting such as CDF meeting."

Asked if the party would discipline Ntundu based on what he said at the meeting, Mweetwa answered in the negative.

But Copperbelt Province UPND chairman Elisha Matambo said Ntundu was contradicting the stance of the party.

"We are asking honourable Ntundu to resign on moral grounds. He is a mole in the party who has an appetite for a ministerial position. So, we are asking him to leave quietly and look for a job from the PF government," said Matambo. "He is praising the budget which we refused as UPND. He is also speaking highly of the President who is harassing our president Hakainde Hichilema. Is that the government he says we should work with? He is putting salt on the injuries which we have. As an opposition party we are there to tell PF to create jobs for the people. In short we are working with government already by providing checks and balances."

Meanwhile, Mweetwa described the appointment of justice Minister Wynter Kabimba to the ZAWA board as a scandal.

"It defies all forms of reasonable logic, it is anomalous and scandalous. He is a very senior minister who by virtue of being on the ZAWA board should not be reporting to a junior minister Sylvia Masebo. It is like reporting to himself, and his presence in board meetings will intrinsically entail intimidation to the others. So, we urge President Sata to intervene and revoke that appointment," said Mweetwa.

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