KANCHIBIYA PF member of parliament Dr Martin Malama says some of his colleagues have splashed more money than what they earn in gratuity from Parliament.

In an interview, Dr Malama said that PF members of parliament had continued to splash more cash than what they earned in gratuity from Parliament, a situation he said was destroying the economy at a time when the annual rate of inflation soared to 22.2 per cent, while the kwacha was at its worst-ever level per dollar.

“Of course, there will be some people who will tell you, ‘no, we would want to replace him for this,’ there are those that will want a quick handout because for us, we don’t give some of these handouts people are giving. Surprisingly, we don’t know where they are getting the money from. But when you go on the ground and you count the money given by some people, it goes beyond the gratuity a member of parliament gets. You wonder, where are they getting this money from? And from wherever it’s coming from, it’s destroying the economy, and this is why I agree with the President that telling our aspiring candidates that, ‘don’t use issues of money, go and gain the confidence of the people’,” Dr Malama said.

“This is what the President is urging, to gain the confidence of the people. And for me, the people of Kanchibiya have seen what I have done, so if they would want another hand, I mean, it’s their choice. You can’t force someone to hire you, but for me, being in there is an opportunity for me to continue speaking for women.”

He added that he had also not given anyone handling nominations any money because he believed that leadership should not be bought.

“You will note here, if you go to any elector, any of those who are doing nominations, you hear, ‘has Dr Malama given you one ngwee,’ they will tell you ‘no.’ Probably, they may tell you that someone has given them maybe a K30,000 as handouts or given them this, you even see on social media some money that’s moving, but this is because I want to see to it that people who are aspiring for politics should not buy leadership. I think they should go to the people and the people say, ‘let’s have this person.’ So, if they think that leadership should be bought, that’s up to them. But for me, I know that the PF does not want to buy leadership because when they brought me, it was purely in 2016 because they avoided those, there was a lot of vote buying so they avoided those and they came to me,” Dr Malama said.

And Dr Malama, a former Inspector General of Police, expressed disappointment that there was no woman among those aspiring for parliamentary adoption in his constituency.

“I am actually disappointed that in Kanchibiya, I have not seen a woman, and in fact, I wanted to see women participate because the SADC protocol, 50/50, which I really so much cherish is that, we should be able to have gender representation, not Just in Kanchibiya, but in all constituencies and this is why I am encouraging the women who are standing to stand firm, not to feel intimidated and really just to express themselves. And I am also urging people in Kanchibiya, including women, particularly that they should be able to stand at all levels. Then coming to me, I have already expressed interest to stand,” he said.

“When we look at the current Parliament, we only had 18.6 percent females standing for Parliament. And at local government, only nine per cent. So, my cry, let’s have more women in these positions. You remember when I was Inspector General of Police, we pushed more women into leadership, higher positions. In fact, for the first time we had the first female deputy inspector general, we had five commissioner females, five commissioner males. I believe so much in ensuring that women are empowered so I have utilised this time in Parliament to speak for development and for women and the marginalised.”

He stressed that he wanted to be succeeded by a woman.

“The other day I met my young brother Sunday (Chanda, PF media director) I also told him: ‘Sunday, I want a woman to succeed me.’ It’s not to block him, no, I mean, he is a good young man, he has performed well as PRO for our party and he has continued to work. He works hard, I mean and he has really moved the youths very well in the constituency,” he said.

“I am appealing through you to other news agencies that let us watch the political parties, see to it that they support women. And I was just cautioning the UPND because in their National Management Committee, only 28.6 per cent (of positions) have been given to women so I told my brother HH, I said, ‘that is wrong! We should not have such a small number of women when we have more of the people that are in UPND, more of the people that are in PF are women, more people in Zambia are women…’ Why have you allowed the system where you have got 28.6 per cent?”

When asked whether he was confident of being nominated, Dr Malama said he would leave that to the party’s central committee.

“I leave it to those that are given the power to nominate. But listen, in 2016, I was very humbled, really very grateful to have been brought on the scene when I didn’t file in but I was brought in. Those filed in, but I was brought in, it’s a very humbling situation by those that nominated me to stand. This particular time, you know, the party can be able to look through and look at the capabilities and positioning, the party does in the party interest, so it’s not about me, I think it’s about the party agenda,” replied Dr Malama, who expressed satisfaction on the Cyber Security and Cybercrimes Bill’s successful passing in Parliament.