Thursday, January 03, 2013

Nawakwi calls on opposition to boycott Mpongwe election

Nawakwi calls on opposition to boycott Mpongwe election
By Mukosha Funga
Wed 02 Jan. 2013, 16:40 CAT

FDD president Edith Nawakwi says her party will not participate in legitimising wrongs by taking part in the Mpongwe by-election. And Nawakwi has called on other opposition parties to boycott the elections in order to benefit the poor in society. Meanwhile, MMD vice-president Michael Kaingu says the party is ready to re-contest the Mpongwe seat.

The Mpongwe parliamentary seat fell vacant following the defection of its member of parliament Gabriel Namulambe from the MMD to the ruling PF. In an interview, Nawakwi (right) said the Mpongwe election was non-existent to her party.

"We find it unacceptable. When there is a lacuna in the law, we as a party are not going to participate in legitimising something that is wrong. As a party, we don't even think that there is a by-election because it is not necessary," she said.

"This is an election which has not been caused by a misfortune of death but by a mere adventure by one of the members of the House to try and cross the floor."

She said by-elections caused by people's selfishness should not be condoned and should be boycotted.

"I am calling on other political parties to boycott the so called by-election and let Namulambe or whoever the ruling party will choose to adopt get it on a silver platter so that we save the country; there are so many people suffering...the money can go to equipping the hospitals, for supporting the teachers and for supporting the police. We now see the police on the roads without raincoats," she said.

Nawakwi condemned the manner in which the MMD were conducting their politics.

"I strongly condemn the manner in which our colleagues in the MMD are conducting their politics. They are nothing but politics of the stomach, looking at only what they as individuals can benefit other than the politics that can serve the people. I have recently been to Mpongwe and it is not acceptable that our people who are living in poverty and are in dire need of support from our government should be subjected to unnecessary by-elections," she said.

Nawakwi added that Namulambe should have exercised his right to work with the ruling party without causing an unnecessary by-election. She said there was need to amend the law regarding defections.

"In other democracies, what is provided for in the constitution is that an MP can cross the floor without causing a by-election. The law should either be amended to show that those who cause by-elections cannot be adopted or Parliament should be provided for so that members can just cross the floor and sit on the other side," said Nawakwi.

Meanwhile, Kaingu said in an interview that the party was ready to contest the Mpongwe seat.

"We are ready and we are still discussing who should take up the role of campaign manager. We will come up with a name very soon. We are also in the process of adopting a candidate," said Kaingu.

The election has been scheduled for February 28.

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