Zambezi East UPND Member of Parliament Brian Kambita says only four out of 12 constituencies in North Western province have received Constituency Development Fund (CDF) since 2015.
And Kambita says the party will not substitute its leader Hakainde Hichilema because he is their most lethal striker.
Speaking when he featured on Muvi TV’s The Assignment programme yesterday, Kambita lamented that even those constituencies that got CDF, did not get the full amount.
“My constituency, it will be very interesting to know viewers that Zambezi East has never received Constituency Development Fund (CDF) ever since I became Member of Parliament, I have been Member of Parliament for more than a year now. We have never received a single coin since 2015 I think, CDF has never come. There are only four constituencies in North Western out of the 12 that have received Constituency Development Fund. And even those that received, they only received half of what is allocated per year. They only received K700 thousand. My constituency has never received that funding. We have a lot of projects that are still pending, some projects were financed by CDF, others were earmarked to be financed by CDF and this is making my work very difficult,” Kambita said.
And Kambita said HH was the party’s most lethal striker.
“The perception of saying there is an overstay of the HH leadership is yours. We are a democratic party so if we choose what is best for us, I think let it stay the way it is. The reason to why you are seeing all those insinuations saying that we are not democratic and we have a president who has overstayed is because they have seen the weight of the president, that is the best we have, and we don’t want to lose our best. Who substitutes a player in a football game who is the most lethal striker at the moment? HH is our best and shouldn’t be replaced,” he said.
“The president’s position has never become void ever since president Hakainde became elected into that position. And there has not been any need arising to replace him. We have had positions of a vice president which were replaced, and we have systems, it’s not just the convention that ushers in members in positions, we have also got certain management committees which can sit down and probably replace a member who has left, that’s a cheaper way. And through our structures as well, we do recommendations to say replace this one.”
Kambita also said the state’s decision to arrest HH had boomeranged.
“The incarceration of our leader has actually boosted us. We are ten times stronger than we were because we have even this sympathetic voice. I don’t even know who advised the powers that be, that arresting HH would destroy UPND, that is not the way. We would think that there was such advice looking at the vigor in which they arrested HH, and the manner in which they brutalized the people who work for him at his residence and even the comments from fellow politicians which were coming forth. We saw that people were motivated to doing harm to this individual who is a member of the UPND, he is a leader and thinking that by doing so, they would destroy the party, they wouldn’t because they are many other people in the party and the party remained functioning. We believe that up to today, the Patriotic Front did not win the elections. That is the reason to why we went to court. We are now 10 times stronger,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kambita, who is also Chairman for the Parliamentary Committee on Delegated Legislation, said the suspension of opposition UPND MPs for a month affected the quality of bills which were passed during that period.
“Out absence from parliament it didn’t really affect our performance down there in as far as the people we represent are concerned, we were available to the people and we went back to the constituencies to visit the constituencies. Except of course in terms of our role in what we participate in terms of being part of the law making process, of course that affected us and there are very important bills that were passed during that period and you will agree with me that it was the time when committee reports were being presented and debates as regard to these were ongoing,” Kambita said.
“Me being the seating chairman for the committee on delegated legislation, I was key actually in that area especially that we were looking at several statutory instruments. There is no statutory instrument that is passed by parliament without passing through my committee and therefore it was cardinal that I was supposed to be part of it. In as far as me performing my duties as Member of Parliament, I think it did not significantly affect me. I think government lost out in that our contributions could not be accessed on key issues. Of course our colleagues who were able to hastily pass laws in our absence and a lot of other things could have been affected.”
He explained that the opposition MPs had stayed away from President Lungu’s addresses as a way of demonstrating their rights to protest.
“The issue is not about us not knowing the consequences, the issue here is about us demonstrating our rights. We do and up to today, we still we have the right to protest and that was a show of our protest. It was nothing to do with show of disrespect or anything, the way it was taken. And up today we are still arguing it and that is the reason we had gone to court because we feel that we have the right to actually present our feelings. There were major issues that we were protesting against and that is the reason why we boycotted the opening speech by the President on that date. So it’s not really a question of walking away because of certain issues that people have taken out of it. Ours of more of a protest, there are many other issues. And especially the fact that there seems to be a trend of ignoring the issues that we presented as reasons to why we decided to stay away. Many of our supporters were incarcerated, up to today, I can attest to the fact that we have we have so many people more than 300 people, UPND members who are still incarcerated,” Kambita said.
He claimed that when he attended President Lungu’s address to Parliament on Friday, he was only interested in what was being presented and not who was presenting it.
“My role is to sit in parliament and listening to whoever is debating. The President is a member of parliament by virtue of his position and me sitting in there, I was of course listening to one of the Members of Parliament addressing parliament. And therefore I was listening and I am yet to read this speech in full, to comprehend it and be ready to debate it. Of course the issues that I was not interested in who is presenting it but on what is being presented because that is what is going to help our people. Of course I wouldn’t say anything good about the speech because of the environment that we are living in,” said Kambita.