When we are in the House, they demonise us, when we get out they say they are coming to my office, Higher Education Minister Nkandu Luo told Parliament, Friday.

Luo said this when she debated on President Edgar Lungu’s speech to parliament on the application of national values and principles.

“Madam Speaker, the President talked about democracy, democracy Madam Speaker should not be abused by opposition members. Democracy is not about opposing everything. Praise where it’s due. When we are in this House, they demonize us [and] when we get out [you hear them say] ‘professor you know I am coming to your office.’ If you don’t believe in what PF is doing [don’t come to us]. Madam speaker, democracy entails that we must become mature in our dealings so that where there is need to oppose and you have justification to oppose, you oppose,” Prof Luo said.

Prof Luo said it was shocking that some members of parliament were questioning President Lungu’s remarks on alcohol abuse when it was a real problem.

“Secondly even if we have a bar in this August House Madam Speaker, it is supposed to be used just to refresh ourselves and not to go there, get drunk and then come here to start and demonizing your colleagues. And I was surprised somebody questioning [that] ‘why is the president questioning alcohol abuse?’ if you are member of parliament like myself especially if you are a member of parliament in the urban along the line of rail, we all know what damage alcohol has done to our children. Our children have become alcoholics, some of them are in our institutions of higher learning [and] instead of getting involved with the future, they are involved in alcohol abuse. And how do we explain a lawyer who has just graduated is admitted in Chinama Hospital due to alcohol abuse? This is why all of us here should have converged on alcohol abuse. All of us here should have actually praised His Excellency the president of this Republic for coming here to remind us as representatives of the people [on] some of the things that are happening in our constituencies,” said Prof Luo.

“Madam Speaker, when the president came here to address this August House, he did not come here on partisan lines, he came here to remind all of us here as leaders that we need to start upholding our national values. And I would have expected our colleagues on the left to be part of this great movement where we want the value system as a people, where we are going to move this country to greater heights. But I was very surprised madam speaker that our colleagues did not want to think about the importance of integrity. Madam speaker what makes a human being is integrity. When you stand anywhere, if you are person of integrity, a person that promotes ethics, you are respected by the people.”