Friday, March 29, 2013

UPND is decaying, says Siamunene

UPND is decaying, says Siamunene
By Cynthia Phiri in Sinazongwe
Fri 29 Mar. 2013, 14:01 CAT

THE UPND is decaying, says the party's Sinazongwe member of parliament Richwell Siamunene.

And confusion reigned at Sinazongwe civic centre on Wednesday when councillors attempted to stop Siamunene, from attending a full council meeting.

Upon seeing Siamunene's vehicle, all the 14 UPND councillors left the council chambers for another office where they seemed to have convened a meeting to strategise on how to hound their member of parliament, who has been suspended following his appointment to the Patriotic Front government, out of the full council meeting.

The meeting, which was scheduled to start at 09:30 hours only commenced at 11:30 hours because of a caucus held by the councillors, who seemed to be divided over the matter.

The councillors claimed that Siamunene had no right to attend the full council meeting as Sinazongwe member of parliament because the UPND district officials recommended that he (Siamunene) be expelled from the party.

But Siamunene explained to the councillors that they had no right to lock him out of the full council meeting because the Speaker of the National Assembly had not declared his seat vacant.

He also told them that the council chamber did not belong to the UPND but government.

He told the councillors that their action lacked merit and only showed how ignorant the civic leaders were about local government procedures.

''This is a sign that the UPND as a party is decaying. I am aware that the instruction came from the UPND secretary general Winston Chibwe that I should be blocked from attending this meeting just to embarrass me. Looking at a person of his calibre, it's astonishing that he exhibited colossal levels of ignorance over local government procedures," he said.

President Michael Sata appointed Siamunene commerce deputy minister and this week, the UPND leadership in Sinazongwe convened a meeting at which they suspended Siamunene from the party and recommended his expulsion.

And chief Sinazongwe, who has declared support for Siamunene, advised the UPND councillors not to rush into anything they would regret.
Chief Sinazongwe said in any election, the people vote for a person who was able to deliver and not for a particular party, adding that until and unless Siamunene's seat was declared vacant by the Speaker, he had right to attend any meeting in his capacity as member of parliament.

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