Tue, 28 Mar 2017 10:06:25 +0000




UPND Members of Parliament, fearing to be severely punished by the Speaker Dr Patrick Matibiini over their boycott of President Edgar Lungu’s State of the Nation address on March 17, have obtained sick notes from Parliament clinic to justify their absence from the House.

According to documents obtained by the Daily Nation, the MPS went to the clinic and were given two days off from Parliament on the same date of the planned boycott that saw all the opposition UPND MPs abscond the second Presidential address to the National assembly since the election of President Lungu following the August 2016 vote.

And Patriotic Front (PF) media team member Sunday Chanda has blamed UPND president Hakainde Hichilema for the MPs’ misrepresentation in Parliament through his continuous campaigns to mislead his members that there was hope for his presidential ambition.

Mr Chanda said the buck stops at the party leader who has continued with his ploy to suggest that he would soon be in Government when he should be facing reality and live in the present to avoid leading his party into a sinkhole, where it would be irretrievable.

“The buck stops at Mr Hichilema to face reality and stop his continuous pronouncements to mislead his members that maybe one day they will be a reversal of President Lungu’s swearing-in ceremony to the Presidency.

“PF says give us a mature discourse, if UPND wants to be relevant on the Zambian political scene,” he said.

He said plan to use sickness as an excuse to abscond Parliament was a scandalous scheme to justify their action, when it was a planned boycott as indicated by their party chief spokesman Mr Charles Kakoma.

Mr Chanda said it was illogical and unreasonable to imagine that all the UPND MPs who were absent from the House on that day could have fallen sick, and coincidentally on the same date the Head of State was delivering his State of the Nation Address to Parliament.

He said it was unbelievable that all the MPs refuse to take responsibility for their actions and are now causing unnecessary drama that risks tarnishing the image of the legislature into a circus. Documents obtained by the Daily Nation indicated that some UPND MPs obtained the sick notes from Parliament Clinic on 16th March, a move that has bene described as a scheme to imply they were sick when in fact it was a planned boycott by the party leadership.

Mr Chanda was commenting on the revelation that the UPND MPs in their quest to find reprieve have acquired sick notes from Parliament Clinic so as to be excused from the wrath of the Speaker over their boycott of the Presidential Address on 17th March, 2017.

“Are they implying that all the UPND MPs fell ill on the same day? It is highly scandalous, illogic and nonsensical. Simply unreasonable, especially for people we call “Honourable” to stoop so low as to begin to lie to such levels.

Mr Chanda said the UPND must be serious and provide the necessary checks and balances to the PF Government to be relevant to the people because it would be impossible to recover from where they were currently trending.

UPND MPs commenced court proceedings against the Speaker Patrick Matibini to secure themselves from reprimand in future boycotts, filed a day before the Presidential address.

“We want to salute the few MPs who were genuinely out of the country and it was impossible to be present on that day, and even to the opposition leader of the House, who has refused to be part of the illegality when he said he was attending a funeral.

“They should just own up and take responsibility of their wrong decision, and especially when their chief party spokesman Mr Charles Kakoma already told the nation that the MPs had a caucus the previous night where they agreed to the boycott, why should they come up with the mindless excuses of falling sick?

“Parliament Clinic must investigated because this scandal embarrassing the respected institution and the Honourable Speaker,” Mr Chanda said.

He said Zambians were aware that the UPND’s continued court process was a ploy for the party to remain relevant to its members and to keep their president at the helm of the party, adding that “because he knows that he is irrelevant to the party and only the legal battles are keeping him in position.


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