Mazabuka Central UPND Member of Parliament Garry Nkombo says Southern Province Minister Edify Hamukale does not understand the role of a member of parliament because he has never won an election.

And Nkombo says Hamukale is only saying UPND members of parliament are not working because they neither attend his functions nor sing his praises.

Reacting to Hamukale’s attacks on Southern Province members of parliament in an interview with News Diggers! yesterday, Nkombo observed that the Minister lacked basic knowledge of the roles of MPs.

“You know, it’s simple to answer to a Minister like Mr Hamukale. He has attempted to become a Member of Parliament many times, he has tried in Bweengwa, Mazabuka and just the preliminaries within his own political party show that he is not good enough. So the only litmus test that one can have to determine ones usefulness is an election, so let him tell us which election he ever won even at PF branch political level, let him say which elections he ever won and let him explain whether in his view the function of a councilor is the same as the function of an MP. Let’s test his civics knowledge for him to think that one can overshadow another,” Nkombo said.

“Because a councilor has specific duties and the intersection is just representation otherwise the MP’s function is to make laws. Laws are made in the National Assembly of Zambia which is in Lusaka, oversight is done in the National Assembly in Lusaka and representation is done at constituency level. So beside the one aspect where the councilor and the MP actually intersect that of representing people, let him teach us maybe he went to a different school for him to think that one can overshadow the other because the whole point is that one is a law maker and the other one is not.”

And Nkombo said Hamukale should not expect MPs in the province to run to him and sing songs of praise each time he visited saying that was not part of their duties.

“So it may be the fact that people don’t attend his functions when he goes to constituencies he thinks he is the only one working. We go there ma’am and like now I am even here, right now as I am talking to you I am in my constituency and him he is in Choma. So if on a day he is visiting Mazabuka he doesn’t find me, it does not mean I don’t come here. So it is malicious for him to think that when he is in the constituency then all members, these people who were elected should be running to him. Him he is just appointed by an individual and his appointment is at the whim of that individual. Today he can lose his job [but] I can’t, I have to wait for five years to lose my job,” Nkombo said.

He said Hamukale needed to learn some respect.

“So I think the other way to put it strategically and clearly is that somebody must teach him some respect because for him to say what he said, he is actually demeaning the people who voted for us, who know exactly how we intersect with them. So let find a constituency, let him stand, let him win then he will know what it means to become an MP representative who is a legislator as well rather than somebody who is just appointed to become a Minister and then he thinks he is the Alpha and Omega,” said Nkombo.

“If he said that MPs are being overshadowed by councilors simply because maybe when he is in this constituency or ward, the councilors go to give him a welcome, then he doesn’t understand the job of a Member of Parliament. It’s not to go and sing praise songs for him, no. And to be honest with you, I have been a Member of Parliament for 11 years and the Minister has never been a Member of Parliament even for two minutes for a constituency. He has just been a Member of Parliament by virtue of appointment, so who would understand the job better than the other? Who is going to be a person that would do an assessment? One who knows, who has felt it or one who imagines it?”