UPND Whip Garry Nkombo says attending Parliament this Friday will not mean his party members of parliament have recognised President Edgar Lungu as duly elected Head of State.

In an interview with News Diggers! Nkombo who is also Mazabuka Central MP explained that parliamentarians had the duty to attend National Assembly sessions with or without the President’s presence.

“By Constitution, that is an assembly of representatives, that is who we are, so with or without him, we are supposed to go to that Parliament. But let me hasten to say to you that the issue of recognition is still a function of the pending matter in court and it should be known very clearly that the reason we have not been to the first opening of the Republican Assembly in 2016 was documented and the documents that we sent to the Speaker was to the effect that PF was brutalizing our people, PF have been incarcerating our people, a situation that has not improved up to this moment. The issue of recognition does not arise at this moment,” Nkombo said.

“What arises however, is the recognition of the fact that with the effort of people that have come to the country’s aid, because the country is much greater than UPND and it is much greater than PF, there is an effort by the Commonwealth, by the European Union, there is an effort by the church to see to it that we forestall genuine dialogue which will address the issue of the problem at hand and I think maturity is believing that there is a problem at hand.”

He said the UPND had resolved to put the country’s needs before politics.

“It is only when we believe that there is a problem at hand, we put country before self, is when we can get things right. For now, we are going to Parliament simply because we are interested in bringing society back to normal and it has nothing to do with Mr Edgar Lungu. Because by the Constitution, we were elected to go there, we have made our point known about the bad governance system under the Patriotic Front party and we will not stop to say the same until such a time that they improve,” he said.

“In the absence of their improvement, they are not punishing UPND, they are punishing the whole country and the whole country stops being at peace.”

Nkombo said Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patric Matibini participated in creating a hostile political atmosphere in the country.

“There are many players who I think have contributed to the difficult situation that the country is in right now and some of those, including the Speaker of the National Assembly, we think that he has been instrumental in widening the cleavage that exists in our social structure and it is all these things that we need to deal with including the Electoral Commission of Zambia, they have been instrumental in the growing cleavage in the social structure of our country; including the police” said Nkombo.

“But we firmly believe that all these state institutions that have shown signs of compromise is as a result of PF. So the moment these institutions can start functioning in a more independent and fair manner, we will see that life will become normal again. There is a multi faceted story about going to Parliament, we are mandated by law to go to Parliament and no one must mistake us going there for submission or recognition because those issues do not arise.