Chiengi FDD member of parliament Given Katuta says its unnecessary to have nominated members of parliament in the House because they do not represent anyone.
And Katuta says the Constituency development Fund (CDF) is a small amount which can not be used to carry out any meaningful development.
Last month, President Edgar Lungu nominated PF deputy Secretary General Mumbi Phiri as member of parliament. Mumbi who is former Munali member of parliament, however, remains without a ministerial or any other government position.
Speaking when she featured on Pan African Radio’s ‘News Feedback’ program on Sunday, Katuta said it was unnecessary to have a nominated MP in Parliament who represents no one.
“These nominated MPs, who do they represent? They are just nominated maybe to add up for the numbers in parliament. When I look at it, who are they representing anyway? I don’t find it necessary. Who are they speaking for? Its something I have always questioned. I can do that [move a motion in Parliament] if I have the support of the majority. The majority are the ruling party and would they agree with that? They can agree with me from outside [but] inside they are afraid of being disciplined. The job of the member of parliament is to speak on behalf of people and I wish those members of parliament from the ruling party can deliver this to their constituencies,” Given said.
And Katuta said it was government’s responsibility to take development to the constituencies and not MPs.
“If you read the Constitution, Article 63 is very clear of who is a member of parliament. A member of parliament is not an undertaker. A member of parliament will never take development to a constituency. People have this conception that a member of parliament should deliver development. No its the government. We can only speak and remind the government to deliver. That’s why when we were changing the Constitution, I had submitted to say ‘if a member of parliament is mute in parliament; is never heard and doesn’t even have evidence of lobbying from the offices, let the constituency recall that member of parliament’. And I was hoping that could have been included in there. The duty is for us to propose some bills in Parliament, also to pass some bills and also to see that we enact some bills that have become law,” she said.
Meanwhile Katuta said the CDF was not enough to carry out any developmental work.
“Where on earth will a member of parliament get the money from to take development [to their constituency?] Let’s say water, industries or empowering youths and women? The CDF that we get is a little money which is meant for the constituency development, as it is called. Look at the money, K1.4 million. What can you do with K1.4 million? Its nothing. If that’s the money that they say ‘you have failed’ then ask them that ‘where have I taken that CDF’? In fact we are given half of it. What can you do with a K700,000?” she wondered.
“If you go in Kabulonga or in Mutendere you will find houses now about K800,000. So what can you do with K700, 000? It’s nothing. If they say ‘this member of parliament of Chiengi has failed the people of Chiengi, she is not bringing development’ they are disgracing themselves because they are the executive who are supposed to deliver. So if they [PF government] don’t take development to any constituency, they are the ones who have failed not a member of parliament.”
Katuta said politics had lost value because some people went to Parliament to joke instead of going for serious business.
“If somebody is a legislature, you expect good language and good conduct. Politics have lost its value in Zambia. The first time I went there [to Parliament] I went with so much excitement that we are going to discuss and to debate [but] then I realised that some people come there to joke. I remember the time I got so angry. We were talking about the people of Chiengi not having water and here is somebody from the ruling party saying ‘ka votelwe’. How do you say that honestly? You are a mother, we are talking about water being life and you make fun of it. There should be light moments but there we go for serious business [for] things that are affecting the people,” said Katuta.