Vice-President Inonge Wina says politicians are vanguards of tribalism and urged them to stop dividing the country and it’s people through unsubstantiated allegations.

And Wina says the 2019 budgetary allocation to the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) has decreased by almost 50 per cent from K54,48,820 in 2018 to K27,872,298 next year, in accordance with the austerity measures.

Reacting to opposition members of parliament who in their debates complained about Parliamentarians’ lack of access to State House and the President, as well as the dismissal of civil servants from government on tribal lines, Wina said there was no evidence to prove that civil servants were being dismissed based on tribe.

“Madam Chairperson, we have taken noted of the issue of appointment of more judges, access to State House by members of parliament, the Presidency and the need to respect the sanctity of and the integrity of the office and the need for the police to be more professional. However, Madam Chairperson, accusations of corruption that cannot be substantiated, accusations of tribal appointments, tribal dismissals or dismissals based on tribal background of an officer are issues that have not been brought with evidence. So Madam Chairperson, I would like the politicians to take heed of what has been expressed on the floor of the House today to stop dividing our people on the basis of tribe. It looks as though the politicians in this country are really the vanguards of tribalism, and this should not be allowed by all peace-loving Zambians. But for all the contributions, I want to say thank you,” Wina said.

And in her policy statement on the estimates of expenditure for the Office of the Vice President for the year 2019, Wina said the 2019 budgetary allocation for DMMU for both personal emoluments and none personal emoluments had decreased by almost 50% from last year’s allocation.

“I wish to remind the honourable members of parliament to take into account as they debate that the estimates of revenue and expenditures for the 2019 budget have been prepared taking into account strategic documents such as the Seventh National Development Plan and the vision 2030. The honourable members will realise that there are some reduction in budgetary allocation to certain allocations and activities resulting from the change in the strategic focus of government as guided by the Seventh National Development Plan and the thrust of the budget speech by the honourable Minister of Finance. In this regard, there is need for enhanced coordination framework to actualise the strategic development objectives of the plan. During the 2018 financial year, Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) was allocated a total of K54,487,820 for both personal emoluments and none personal emoluments,” said Wina.

“However, in accordance with the austerity measures and the principle of decentralising disaster management to provinces and districts, the allocation for 2019 has been reduced by almost 50%, to K27,872,298. The 2018 allocation facilitated the implementation of a number of key programmes and activities in line with my office’s mandate. However, implementation of these programmes posed a number of challenges, given the budget constraints. Notable among the programmes implemented include; 1. response to cholera outbreak during the 2017/18 rainy season. Two, continued with the operationalize of the disaster management and mitigation framework and the community based disaster risk management facilitation manual in collaboration with key stakeholders in order to build community resilience and three, attending to emergencies through the activation of response and recovery action plans that were developed and also rehabilitation of critical infrastructure such as bridges, markets and schools in some areas.”