Several ministers on Friday utilized time allocated to debating President Edgar Lungu’s address on national values to attack the opposition United Party for National Unity over the impeachment motion.

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata said the UPND was dreaming if they thought what had happened in the southern African region could happen in Zambia.

“The speech by His Excellency the President to this House on the application of national values and principles was timely as it was delivered at a time the country had been witnessing a growing decay in morals and patriotism among others. Mr Lungu won [in] 2015, he also won [in] 2016. Zambia is a sovereign nation and for the UPND to think that they can come here and move a motion to impeach the President, kutali nempanga, meaning that it is far from the bush. What has happened in the Southern region would not happen in Zambia because Zambians are not interested. Zambia is not Zimbabwe, neither is Zambia, South African. Zimbabwean problems are not Zambian problems, South African problems are not Zambians problem. It will never happen in this country because we only vote through the ballot box,” Kapata said.

Kapata said come 2021, the UPND would lose again.

“The first time for 50 plus one, PF through our President we managed to score 50 plus one. Therefore, Madam Speaker I want to tell the UPND that come 2021, they are going to lose again. The opposition is scared of the President’s popularity hence the schemes that they are doing now to discredit the President. UPND should concentrate concentrate on giving us checks and balances because that’s why they are here. And if they are only pregnant with going to State House, they never get it. They should stop antagonizing the PF government because as far as we are concerned the government has delivered,” said Kapata.

And Minister in the Office of the Vice-President Silvia Chalikosa charged that the UPND were perpetually playing victim to attract sympathy from the international community thereby tarnishing the country’s image for cheap political mileage.

“I was making a point on how UPND are perpetually playing victim to attract sympathy from the gallery of the international community and tarnishing Zambia’s image for cheap political mileage. When all is said and done, those platforms do not offer any votes back home. At most, if they get any financial and material support, it is mostly likely to benefit those who seek it for the very obsessed reason. We are all aware of some opposition political leaders who have been on international media platforms speaking ill about the Zambian government and passing disparaging remarks on the judiciary and legislature thereby undermining the very country they dream to lead one day,” Chalikosa said.

“Madam Speaker what freedom is the opposition crying for? Is it more freedom to disparage the executive? There are over 85 radio stations, 15 television stations, including more than 10 newspaper firms operating freely and independently in Zambia. Including this August House which UPND is mishandling to perpetrate falsehoods. I hope the Zambian people can see the evil UPND is doing to divide this country. Ubufi bwa fita fititi. Meaning black lies or complete untruths.”

Chalikosa said the impeachment motion by UPND was a desperate sign that the party was not ready to face PF in 2021.

“In a democracy if an elected person fails to deliver he or she can be replaced in the same elections. And if so desired by the electorates can equally be given multi chances restricted only by the Constitution. I therefore urge the people on your left particularly the UPND to recognise the fact that atleast in Zambia for now you can only get into state House via the ballot and not through the back door. The impeachment motion is a desperate sign that UPND is not ready to face the PF in 2021 and that they have no manifesto to sell to the Zambian people,” said Chalikosa.

Meanwhile, Vice-President Inonge Wina urged UPND MPs not to turn the House into a political playing field after they walked out in protest.

“Madam Speaker, in adding my voice to the motion of thanks on the President’s speech on national values and principles. I wish to remind all honourable members that Parliament is an honourable House. A citadel of our democracy and should not be turned into an unruly political playing field like what we witnessed on the floor of the House this afternoon (Thursday). I therefore urge all honourable members to observe the decorum and antiquate of this House,” she said.

“Madam Speaker I would like to state that having national values and principles particularly enshrined in the supreme law of the land is cardinal. Stating who we are as the people, what we believe in and what we stand for is the whole basis of our existence. We must realise that setting standards which our future generations must continue to live by is what identifies any nation and uniqueness. Let us be proud Zambians in both word and action. Let us defend with vigour, our truly Zambian nature. Let us indeed uphold our identity with dignity and respect of each and every person we call Zambian.”

Vice-President Wina reminded members of parliament that the highest honour of democracy did not lie in their offices or in titles but in being citizens of Zambia.

“The President emphasized that the application of national values and principles is firmly anchored in our conviction, belief and acknowledgement of the supremacy of God in the affairs of the nation. He also guided that the application of national values and principles is not a matter for government alone but for the Zambian society at large to take responsibility of promoting good values, principles and ethics,” said Vice-President Wina.

“May I remind this August House that the highest honour in our democracy does not lie in our offices or in our titles but in being a citizen of Zambia. The Patriotic Front government under the leadership of the humane President of Zambia his Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu, will continue to work tirelessly to ensure the country’s national values and principles become fully enshrined in every Zambian with continued improvement on their application.”