UPND Mazabuka central Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo says United Liberal Party president Sakwiba Sikota should name UPND MPs who were sending him text messages during the National Dialogue Forum sessions to sneak in their contributions.
And Nkombo who referred to the National Dialogue Forum as ‘the National Drunkards Forum’ said UPND MPs will vote freely when the NDF resolutions are taken to Parliament, adding that he has no worries that some of them may vote in favour of the resolutions.
On Sunday during ZNBC’s Sunday Interview program, Sikota said some UPND MPs were sending him text messages to contribute to the deliberations of the NDF because they couldn’t attend physically as their party threatened not to adopt them in 2021.
But in an interview, Nkombo challenged Sikota to name the MPs who were sending him text messages at the NDF.
“Mr. Sikota is a man of very high integrity and he cannot end at saying some MPs were sending him messages, he must just name them. Because if he doesn’t we will then start doubting his integrity, a man of integrity must always face reality. I don’t know what point he was trying to drive, but it would be nice to hear him mention the names of those MPs who were giving him ideas about the ‘National Drunkards Forum’,” Nkombo said.
And Nkombo said it was below Sikota to say that those who stayed away from the NDF should not complain about its resolutions.
“That is below a man of his caliber, if he said that, it’s really below and I am wondering what has happened to my elder brother. He cannot say that because legislation is not his job, it is our job. So how can he say, we shouldn’t do our job? Mr Sikota used to be a legislator and he lost his slot in Livingstone; so maybe he is having a hung over of his days when he was an MP in Livingstone, he is no longer MP and therefore he doesn’t even have the right to talk about the way the MPs should conduct themselves inside that house. They were elected by people, not to go to the forum but to go and legislate. So obviously that sentiment is totally misplaced and it’s surprising that it’s coming from a man of his caliber, the man who I respect so much,” Nkombo said.
“I stand on the premise that when the process is wrong, the content is not protected. So my views remain the same and I am so happy with myself, I am even patting myself on the back for not going anywhere near that place; so in short, there is no regret.”
Meanwhile, Nkombo said UPND MPs will vote freely when the NDF resolutions are taken to Parliament, adding that he has no worries that some of them may vote in favour of the resolutions.
“Well, that is the furthest thing on my mind right now. You shouldn’t forget that we are all UPND and I think the reasons advanced by some of our MPs, those who went to the forum, was that the law was punitive, that none attendance would result in those threats that you heard from Mr (Tutwa) Ngulube, the chairman, from the minister of justice and others, that those who would stay away from the NDF would face prosecution. So the feeling is that they attended that forum under intimidation, because of what the law seems to be saying by misguided people,” Nkombo said.
“But when it comes to Parliament, there is nothing punitive to voting ‘no.’ but it will also depend on their own consciences, I cannot rule out anything, I can only depend on their consciences to do the right thing, the right thing being; to express the views of those people who chose them as their representatives. So therein lies a difference; one process was a forcing matter, the process that’s coming is a matter that people will vote with a free conscience without any fear of anything.”