Shang’ombo UPND member of parliament Mubika Mubika says he has stopped consuming food from the National Assembly restaurant as a way of protesting against government on the suffering of his electorate.
And Mubika has urged government to apologise to its corporate partners and resolve the impasse on the suspended Social Cash Transfer funding so that vulnerable communities could resume receiving support.
Speaking when he debated on the 2020 national budget in Parliament, Friday, Mubika declared that he stopped consuming food from Parliament restaurant as a way of protesting against government.
He also said it depressed him to be an MP of the least developed constituency in Zambia.
“Government has already stated that there is enough food to feed the nation. Whatever you are taking to the people of Shang’ombo is not enough for the people. You are giving 12 and half kilogrammes [of mealie meal] per household [and] there are about 447 households in Shang’ombo who are starving! How do you expect a 12 and half Kgs to feed a family of 18 people for a month? It’s not possible! Don’t downplay the hunger situation in Shang’ombo because it is serious. No wonder, as a country, we are regarded as the (third) hungriest nation on earth! It is because of Shang’ombo. People are starving in Sikongo, Nalolo, and Sioma. I mean well when I am telling you,” Mubika said.
He said there was no way he could be enjoying nice food at the National Assembly alone when his people were suffering.
“The reports that you get from some of your technocrats are not correct. On the road network, Madam Speaker, I am appealing to government, please, Honourable Minister of Finance (Dr Bwalya Ng’andu) consider putting up a special fund for Shang’ombo! It really saddens me to be standing here out of the 116 constituencies, to be the MP for the least [developed] district or least constituency. And actually from this moment, I will stop eating from our restaurant here to protest until I see a difference from government! I will only be drinking water here. There is no way I can be enjoying here when my people are suffering,” Mubika complained.
Meanwhile, Mubika urged government to apologize to its cooperating partners it resume donor funding.
“The issue of [social] Cash Transfer, Madam Speaker, for Shang’ombo it was only in May, this year, that they got the Social Cash Transfer – and those were arrears for 2018! So, government whatever differences you have with our cooperating partners, please, just apologise so that we start receiving for the sake of the people who are not getting that,” pleaded Mubika.