I am very happy to have joined the “winning side” through the door, since there is no MMD, I am PF and people shouldn’t dwell in the past, says Petauke Central member of parliament Dora Siliya.

Siliya was responding to Mitete UPND member of parliament Misheck Mutelo’s debate on the 2020 national budget, Friday, in which he kept linking the chief government spokesperson to the MMD.

In his debate, Mutelo said the PF government was taking the country’s economy back to what it was during the one party state.

“UPND and Hakainde seems to be giving sleepless nights to PF. In 1972, the multi-partism democracy changed. It went. And for the 19 years that we had a one party participatory democracy as it was, the economy of Zambia was on its knees. There were no services to the people. Whatever you wanted to buy, you had to queue for hours from 02 hours, if you cannot handle the economy of the nation properly. Madam speaker, I only hope we are not going towards that,” Mutelo said.

But as he was still debating, Siliya rose on a point of order, seeking the Speaker’s ruling on whether or not Mutelo was in order to use a historical background when debating on current issues.

“Madam speaker, just over a week ago, my colleague who is on the floor Honourable Mutelo came to this House with a very long historical lecture on the budget in reference to the president’s speech. And one point in that speech, he told this House and the whole nation how he knew who were the owners of the 48 houses. And we have since been told that when the Anti-Corruption Commission went to interview him, he decided to claim parliamentary privilege in a criminal matter in which the whole nation is interested in knowing who the owners of the 48 houses are. Now, if indeed that is the case madam speaker, and I do recall your ruling. Is he in order to come back to this house again and attempt to debate using the same method again giving us a historical lesson? And is he in order to make us believe that now we should believe what he is saying when just over a week ago, he could not even substantiate what he was claiming he knew in this house, publicly on the 48 houses? I seek your ruling madam speaker,” Siliya asked.

In her ruling, Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala said Mutelo was in order because that was his debate style.

When he resumed his debate, Mutelo said he wished the MMD had was not voted out of power because the party had left a strong foundation.

“Thank you madam speaker. Over the 48 houses, up to date, you can tell them to come back again, the owner is not there. So whether they come back or they don’t, tell them to do their job. When you talk about the 2020 budget, you have to look back first. No wonder you are failing PF. Madam speaker we are not a complaisant government. That was MMD where I guess if I was there, maybe even the current Minister of Finance was there in 2011. If PF was to leave government today, what will the incoming government find? Zero. And for now there is no money in the reserves. How are you going to stabilize the economy? How I wish the MMD was not voted out of power in 2011. It was a biggest mistake [such that] even the Honourable Minister of Information is agreeing with me. It was a biggest mistake to vote out the MMD,” Mutelo said.

Siliya, however, rose on another point of order wondering why Mutelo was dragging her into his debate and linking her to the MMD, a party which was “no longer existing”.

“Madam speaker is the honourable member of parliament Honourable Mutelo who is trying very hard to fill up his time and he is still struggling to discuss the 2020 budget. Is he in order to bring me into his debate when I am very happy to have joined the PF through the door [and] not through the window. And since there is no MMD, I am PF and if he is living in the past, I am in the present and that is why I am on the side that won the elections. Is he in order to bring me in his debate?” asked Siliya.

In her ruling, Namugala said Mutelo was out of order.

Meanwhile, when Mutelo continued with his debate, he insisted that the PF would leave a shaky economic foundation which would need strong minds like the UPND to build it.

“But MMD madam speaker left a strong foundation. If PF was to leave today, they were going to leave a shaky foundation which would need strong minds and intellectuals to build it like the one you are afraid of (the UPND),” said Mutelo.