Mon, 03 Oct 2016 11:08:40 +0000
THE UPND Members of Parliament (MPs) should not even attempt to enter the chambers of Parliament and be part of the business of the House after boycotting the official opening of the National Assembly by President Edgar Lungu, Chishimba Kambwili has charged.
And Mr Kambwili said Speaker of the National Assembly should consider taking disciplinary action against all the UPND MPs for boycotting the official opening of the National Assembly by President Edgar Lungu on Friday. But the UPND MPs have vowed that they would be in Parliament tomorrow as the House resumes its sitting and debate the Presidential speech despite having boycotted its official opening to receive the presidential speech.
Mr Kambwili said it was illogical for the UPND legislators to start attending sessions in Parliament when they refused to recognise President Lungu who had convened the House. Mr Kambwili, who is Patriotic Front (PF) Roan Member of Parliament, said it did not make sense for the UPND lawmakers to return to Parliament and contribute to the business of the House after declaring that they did not recognise President Lungu. He said the UPND MPs and their entire leadership had declared that they would not recognise President Lungu and could, therefore, not return to the House which was officially opened by the President they did not recognise.
He wondered why the MPs were eager to debate President Lungu’s speech during his state of the nation address when they (UPND MPs) did not recognise the Head of State as having been legitimately elected. Mr Kambwili said if the UPND did not recognise President Lungu, then the opposition party should have nothing to do with his speech and should, therefore, permanently stay away from the current session of Parliament. “President Lungu convened the current session of the National Assembly but the UPND boycotted and refused to recognise the Head of State.
Now they want to come back to the Parliament when they have refused to recognise President Lungu who convened the House. Let them stay away for the rest of the session and they must not even attempt to come back. This week, the business of the House will focus on debating President Lungu’s speech and since the UPND refused to receive it, by boycotting its official assembly, it will be illogical for them to come and start debating the speech,” Mr Kambwili said. But UPND Nalikwanda MP Geoffrey Lungwangwa said all the opposition legislators would be in Parliament tomorrow to debate President Lungu’s speech because they did not have a problem with the state of the nation address. Professor Lungwangwa said as MPs, they had a duty to participate in the business of the House despite having boycotted its official opening on Friday last week.
Prof Lungwangwa said unless there was something they did not like about the speech, all the MPs were ready to take up their back bench seats and deliberate on the policy direction the Head of State had announced. He said the UPND had no reason to continue boycotting Parliament or refuse to debate the presidential speech because as legislators, they had a duty to represent their constituencies.“We are going to be in Parliament on Tuesday and we are ready to debate President Lungu’s speech because it is a public document. We have no reason not to take part in the normal business of the House,” Prof Lungwangwa said.