SHIWANGANDU PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo says President Hakainde Hichilema did not provide clarity on free education when he addressed Parliament.

And Mporokoso PF member of parliament Brian Mundubile says President Hichilema’s speech was a progress report for the former ruling party.

Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremonial opening of the first session of the 13th National Assembly, Friday, Kampyongo said access to quality education and free education were two different things.

“Access to quality education and free education are two different aspects. We would have loved him to see how he could have stuck to his promise to the Zambian learners and the parents, all of us who are sending our children to school, we know the realities about the challenges of offering free education but he was very clear in his campaign messages but today we are treated to a lecture, quality education when you spoke about free education. I hope our learners have picked a message regarding that,” Kampyongo said.

“So I think there is need for clarity so that people can have clear information on what the UPND government is going to do in the education sector, especially, which has been realigned. But free education must be made clear to our parents and to our learners.”

He said farmers expected to start accessing fertiliser at K250 per bag.

“Farming, we are rural MPs who represent poor farmers who have been expecting to start accessing fertiliser at K250 per bag. But again, we are going to see what will be in the budget as the ministry comes because the President was always speaking about lowering the cost of inputs. These are things we have spoken to. If you look at the PF manifesto, these are things that we are speaking to and we have been very clear in terms of how we wanted to reform the agriculture sector. We are elected by the people of Zambia to ensure that we hold the current government accountable and we will also make sure that they don’t veer off from their promises, that is very key,” he said.

Kampyongo said the Head of State should have talked about the social cash transfer programme.

“The President should have gone further to talk about the social safety net programmes such as social cash transfer because all these are designed programmes to alleviate poverty of our poorest in the community. So these are the issues we want to take on as we get to table the budget which will be coming,” said Kampyongo.

And Mundubile said President Hichilema was merely giving a progress report for the PF during his speech.

“If you look at most of the things the President spoke to, he was basically giving a progress report for the PF. Most of the things he was talking about are things that are actually happening. If you talk about ending load shedding, there is no load shedding now. We appreciate that he has no intention to stop some of the projects that were started by the PF. But we want to state that we felt very comforted that his speech was full on a progress report of the PF programsme that were done during president Edgar Chagwa Lungu’s era,” he said.

Mundubile lamented that President Hichilema never talked about the people who died at the hands of electoral violence.

“We have experienced a number of deaths where some members of the Central Committee were killed like Jackson Kungo and many other members. So if there is going to be reforms in the electoral law regime, the President needed to come out very clearly in saying he condemns the violence that occurred in the past elections and secondly to also say that he will not condone or tolerate electoral violence going forward, that is when you make propositions to the legal law regime. Otherwise, we are playing lip service,” said Mundubile.

“Because on one hand you make a statement as a President, your cadres continue beating up people everyday, they are following witnesses to courts as was the case in Kabwe and the President never spoke about it when he was paying tribute to the lost lives of the deceased persons. He never included the people that died at the hands of electoral violence. We think that those propositions are merely lip service.”