Bahati PF member of parliament Harry Kalaba says he is not going to relinquish his parliamentary seat because his people did not elect him to sing PF praises in parliament.
Kalaba told News Diggers in an interview that he was not going to allow Zambia to be ruled as if it was owned by an individual.
Meanwhile Kalaba said those calling for him to relinquish his parliamentary seat were only wasting their time because the people who elected him have not said so.
“The people of Bahati constituency did not elect me to sing praises, no. They elected me to speak for them, to speak on wrongs and ills. So I am only doing that which I was elected for [and] if that is being looked as being opposition, I don’t care. As for resigning my parliamentary seat, why should relinquish my parliamentary seat when the people that elected me have told me to continue as member of parliament? So if those are the insults they are referring to, then they should be prepared for those insults because we will continue offering checks and balances,” Kalaba said.
“We will not allow this country to continue being governed as if somebody owns all of us. We will make sure that there are proper checks and balances [and] if they thought that they will go to bed and take tax payers’ money without being brought to check [then] they are mistaken because now is the time for Zambians to get a real deal [and] not a raw deal.”
He said those calling him to resign as MP should as well call for those minister who were fired to relinquish their parliamentary seats too.
“So I resigned as minister because when the people of Bahati elected me, they didn’t elect me so that I become minister. I became minister simply by coincidence, simply because the appointing authority found me worthy at the time, to be appointed. That was a privilege to be a minister. [And] that is why it is not all members of parliament who are ministers. Unless you are telling me that all those that have not been appointed as ministers should also relinquish their being members of parliament. Unless you are telling me that those that have been fired as ministers should as well go and relinquish their positions as members of parliament because they have been fired as ministers because if they fire you as minister, then why should you remain in parliament? So there all these in parliament but you are not talking about them,” Kalaba observed.
He said just like he resigned as Foreign Affairs Minister, he would choose to resign as MP if he saw the need, but without being pushed by anyone.
“When you are a member of parliament, the truth of the matter is I was elected by the PF people, fine and I am very grateful but it is also true that some of the people that elected me that time were not even belonging to the PF. It is also true that some people who voted for me as member of parliament could have been UPND, it is also true that some people who voted for me could have been even FDD and so on and so forth. So to resign simply because you have resigned as minister therefore you should also resign as member of parliament for me does not equate the equation.,” Kalaba said.
“I cannot resign because I was elected and I was elected for five years. The five years has not ended. Some were saying ‘no Kalaba Harry should resign because he is being hypocritical [and that] why should he hold on to a party that he keeps attacking and he doesn’t want to relinquish’, it doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t mean that because you are PF and therefore everything that the PF does you should support, no. When I resigned from the position of Foreign Affairs Minister, you must have been shocked, I shocked everybody because they didn’t see it coming so even now, if at all it will come to relinquish my position of member of parliament, I will do it on my own accord and nobody is going to push me.”
Meanwhile Kalaba said he was man who has always kept his principles and his word because he refused to accept the K300, 000 which every minister is given for buying furniture.
“Me as Harry Kalaba, even in Bahati constituency, yes I am human and I am bound by human [limitations]…but I can tell you that even in my own constituency, that is why I kept having more votes every time I stood because I kept my word. When I told the people of Bahati constituency that my allowance from parliament will be going to the constituency from 2011, I kept my word. When I was appointed deputy minister in 2012 by President [Michael] Sata, they asked me to get K300, 000 which they give ministers when they are appointed to buy furniture and a TV, I refused to get that money. I said can you take this money to UTH to help the women that are suffering in the cervical cancer department. So this is just about leadership [and] it is about the country because the country is eternal,” said Kalaba.