FIRST Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala says Kanchibiya PF member of parliament Dr Martin Malama should desist from stating or suggesting that the UPND members do not support the fight against climate change.

Speaking when rendering a ruling on a point of order, raised by Katombora UPND member of parliament Derrick Livune against Dr Malama, Thursday, on allegations he made that the UPND did not take climate change seriously, Namugala said Dr Malama was out of order.

“Honorable members will recall that on Tuesday 25th February 2020 while the house was considering a ministerial statement on the floods situation in the country, delivered by Olipa Phiri Minister in the Office of the Vice-President and Mr K Mbangweta Member of Parliament for Nkeyema constituency was on the floor. Mr D Livune Member of Parliament for Katombora Constituency raised the following point of order; Sir, before His Excellency the President Edgar Lungu came to this House to talk to us about climate change over which we all agreed with him. The UPND brought a motion to this House after consultations with its leadership including Mr Hakainde Hichilema. It is on record that we members of the UPND moved a motion in this House on climate change and told our honourable colleagues on your right side that climate change is real,” Namugala narrated.

“His Excellency President Lungu just agreed with the UPND when he came to address the House. Mr Speaker, it is now a trend by honourable Dr Malama to bring up the issue of climate change and purporting that the UPND does not agree with the fact. On the contrary Dr Malama is one of those who voted against the motion that the UPND brought to this honourable House. Is Dr Malama in order to continuously bring up the same issue and mislead the nation thereby bringing confusion in this House when we on your left side agreed with his Excellency the President Mr Edgar Lungu, Mr Hakainde Hichilema and even you Mr Speaker and the whole House on climate change. Dr Malama continuously brings up this matter to mislead the nation. Is he in order when your records show that he is one of those who does not believe that climate change is real because he voted against your noble motion. Sir, I seek your ruling whether he was in order to continue to play it simple on the issue of climate change,”

Namugala said Dr Malama in his debates said some opposition leaders criticised President Lungu on the threat of climate change.

“On the 5th of November 2019, when the House was considering the supply motion, Dr Malama debated as follows; Sir, not long ago the President came to this House and was talking about climate change. And some politicians went to town laughing about it. However, when the heatwave came, he wanted to talk about climate change and load shedding. But the Zambian people questioned him. That man has now stopped talking about climate change because he has realised that what the President was talking about is real,’,” Namugala recalled.

“On 21 February 2020 during her honour the Vice-President question time, Dr Malama asked the following ‘Mr Speaker, not long ago His excellency the President of this Republic Zambia came to this House to address the nation. Amongst the many challenges he talked about was the threat of climate change. Some opposition leaders however have gone to town criticizing him about this. What advice does the government have for the UPND leadership to ensure that it does not unnecessarily criticize well intended messages from the Executive,”

Namugala ruled that Dr Malama was out of order.

“Honorable members, at this juncture the issue for determination whether the UPND tabled a motion on climate change as alleged by Mr D Livune. Accordingly, the office of the honourable Mr Speaker conducted a search of the verbatim to the House to ascertain whether such a motion had been brought to the House by the UPND. The search revealed that on Wednesday 19th October 2019, Mr AL Lifuma a UPND member of parliament for Kabompo Constituency moved a motion to urge government to accelerate implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the motion was seconded by Mr H Kunda,” said Namugala.

“Honorable members, it is clear that combating climate change is one of the SDGs. Therefore, the UPND’s motion on SDGs shows that the party is in support of the fights against climate change. And that it acknowledges the challenges associated with climate change. The UPND is therefore on record as supporting the fight against climate change. In view of the foregoing therefore, Dr Malama was out of order and should in future desist from stating or suggesting that the UPND members do not support the fight against climate change because that assertion is not supported by the record referred to above.”