Govt to enforce intra-party democracy when Parliament resumes

Minister of Justice Given Lubinda has announced that as Parliament resumes sitting in June, government will bring a Political Parties Bill meant to entrench intra-party democracy in political parties.

And Lubinda says UPND MPs should reflect on what they intend to do for the country as they go on recess.

Debating President Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament on national values and principles, Thursday, Lubinda mocked that according to 2005 records, he was still a legitimately elected chairperson for information in UPND.

“I’m delighted as Minister of Justice to report to you madam that in the process of coming up with the political party’s bill, we consulted widely. And everybody has agreed that if there is going to be democracy at national level, there must be democracy in the organisations that sponsor national leaders. There must be democracy in political parties. We cannot have political parties that are not democratic. For the sake of the record, I happen to be the last legitimately elected chairperson for Information and Publicity in the party call UPND. Since 2005 to date, madam I have not been replaced. Therefore the record of the elections will show that one Given Lubinda is still chairman for Information for UPND. How can that be surely? Madam we shall be coming next sitting with the political parties bill to make sure we entrench democracy in our political parties,” Lubinda said.

And Lubinda appealed to UPND MPs to reflect on what they intended to do for the country.

“Let me appeal to my friends in the UPND, as we go out on recess, can they please spend time to reflect upon what it is they intend to do for this country and concentrate on that. And keep away from calling every body corrupt except themselves. Time shall come when these men and women who have been so quiet for too long will have to speak out to defend themselves for the sake of this country,” he said.

Lubinda accused the UPND of degrading morality and ethics in politics.

“Over the recent past we have seen frightening growing trend by one particular political party to degrade morality and ethics in politics in this country. This country’s memory is still very alive to the immoral conduct of a presidential candidate threatening that in the event that they lost elections, this country would witness Armageddon. As we all know Armageddon is associated with unquenchable fire. Is it any surprise that after the vote was counted, and one President Edgar Chagwa Lungu was declared a President and madam Inonge Wina was declared Vice-President, we saw the symptom of Armageddon. We saw fire. Madam is it not true to their threats that soon after they lost elections we saw unprecedented number of arson attacks on public facilities in the history of Zambia? While many Zambians were mourning the losses emanating from these fires, some members of the UPND were celebrating on social media and warning us that as a country we hadn’t seen it all,” he said.

“We have witnessed how the decorum of this House has been impeached by those who have such an insatiable appetite for power. Those who carry the incurable disease of anger of loss. We have been treated to and retrained long string of accusations of corruption, moral decay, bad governance, etc. we have been called all sorts of names. Madam we have suffered the pain of such criticisms because of our respect for your authority which you have always exercised with the highest integrity by guiding us on your right to listen attentively when those members on your left are debating. We have done so. We have kept quiet as they call us names. Unfortunately madam has that been the case for our colleagues on your left? When it is our time to respond where are they?”

Lubinda said it was a mark of moral bankruptcy for UPND members to walk out of Parliament on Thursday when it was time for ministers to respond to their accusations against government.

“After they debate and cast aspersions against us, when the ministers decide they must now clarify matters and explain, they choose to walk away. Rule number 38 in the National Assembly members handbook 2006 is very instructive concerning the breach of etiquette. When I say that there is moral decadence on the part of the people who walk away from us when we are about to respond, it is not me who is coiling it, it is provided for in the handbook of the national assembly. It is a mark of moral bankruptcy to accuse a person and not give them an opportunity to defend themselves,” said Lubinda.

“The PF government under President Edgar Lungu shall not in any way be moved by prophets of doom. They may continue to cast aspersions. They may climb the highest mountains to preach hate and to try and bring President Lungu’s name into disrepute but for him he has indicated to all of us that he has a mission to accomplish. This is illustrated by the numerous interventions he has undertaken in this short time that he has been President. He is determined. And with support from the men and women on your right, the Zambian people can be rest assured [that] their lives are in safe hands.”

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