Some of the ministers’ dogs eat better than our poor Zambians, says Bweengwa UPND member of parliament Kasautu Michele.

Debating on President Edgar Lungu’s speech to parliament last Friday, Michelo also said the entire PF government beginning from the president, had failed the nation.

And Choma Central UPND member of parliament Cornelius Mweetwa observed that instead of using his opportunity to talk about the constitutional amendment, the president wasted it on defending China.

“Madam speaker, the leadership they are providing to our people here in Zambia is not inspiring. The entire PF government beginning from the president to the last man in PF are failing this nation. We are not going anywhere and if we the Zambian people continue allowing this PF government to rule us beyond 2021, I think even dogs will start eating better than us. Already, the fact is that some of the dogs for the ministers right now they eat better than our poor people in Zambia. This is what is happening,” Michelo observed.

“The speech which was given by His Excellency President Edgar Lungu last week was just a mare academic, just to fulfil a constitutional requirement. There was completely nothing in it and the entire presidential speech was not even backed by figures. It can only liken it to a Tommy and Jerry type of presidential speech. Our economy right now is suffering and it is suffering from negative energy balance which has got limited capacity to bring it to normality. When you look at also the theme “working together to achieve vision 2030” I don’t think that President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and his team to your right can manage to bring development to this country. They don’t have capacity.”

At one point, Michelo indirectly referred to President Lungu as a Malawian, but he withdrew his remark on the Speaker’s instruction before continuing to talk about tribalism in the PF regime.

“The country is in a shambolic manner [because] most of the development just goes on one side and this motto of calling ‘One Zambia One Nation’ is no longer making sense. The motto of one Zambia one nation has become one Zambia one Chipata and I will justify that. We have not seen development in the areas where we come from. We have only seen some of these infrastructures like the tar marks. There is no way you can only be constructing tar marks to places where you know that you can be selling rats on the roadside. You can’t do that,” he said.

“The thing is you cannot only be developing social roads, you need to construct the Kafue-Mazabuka road and the Monze-Namwala road [because] those are economic roads. Madam speaker, when you look at the PF government and its leader Edgar Chagwa Lungu, the way they have become international beggars, it is not helping our country. There is no way a president and his entire ministers can become international beggars in this country. Imagine 54 years after independence, you are still trotting from one country to another to go and ask for money when we can manage on our own. Shame indeed. There are some people even in this honourable house who are saying that when Edgar Lungu is out of office in 2021, there are people who think that we better have a Chinese president instead of a Zambian president which is a shame to this country. and we are not going to allow this as Zambians.”

But Michelo’s debate provoked some PF ministers who felt that the member of parliament on the floor was insulting the President.

“Honourable members on my right, you are not helping the situation. The Honourable member for Bweengwa granted is giving the house a little discomfort but he is expressing his opinion and for as long as he is within the rules of the house and he is not using unparliamentary language, he will be allowed to continue with his debate and I urge the right to take note of what he is saying so that the impression being created can be corrected. He has said [that] ‘there are some people who are saying that they would like to have a Chinese president.’ That’s his opinion,” deputy speaker Cathirine Namugala guided.

Namugala also counselled Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo and advised him that good leadership entailed that one listened even the things they didn’t like.

“Honourable Minister of Home Affairs, that Honourable member for Bweengwa has a right to come to this house and debate just like everybody else. My role here is to help him debate within the rules of the house which I have just explained. Let us allow the debate to continue. The time will come sometime next week for the right to respond. And as I have said always [that] the hallmark of leadership is to sit while things that you don’t like are being said, but listen anyway,” Namugala said.

Meanwhile Mweetwa said instead of using his opportunity to talk about the constitutional amendment, the president wasted it on defending China

“If I were to grade this particular one (presidential speech), I think it was 3/10. And the three marks I have given is because (i) he met the constitutional provision, (ii) he appeared and (iii) he read what was written for him. That particular presidential address was below par and anybody who is serious about the development of this country going forward was not inspired by that speech. The citizens though that President Lungu would address the nation as to the stage where the constitutional amendment is, but the president I should have said he was mute he was usually quiet on such an important matter. On a state of national address, you turn it into a national address in defence of China,” said Mweetwa.