SHIWANG’ANDU PF member of parliament Stephen Kampyongo says intruders disguised as President Hakainde Hichilema’s security detail had entered the National Assembly during the Presidential address to Parliament.
And Mansa Central PF member of parliament Dr Chitalu Chilufya has urged President Hichilema to ensure that honest people are placed in charge of governance institutions.
Debating President Hichilema’s speech to Parliament, Wednesday, Kampyongo, who is also former home affairs minister, said it was the responsibility of his successor to ensure that only those from state institutions handled matters of the Presidency.
He added that as the President attends the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, the Minister of Foreign Affairs should ensure that what transpired at Parliament does not repeat itself because it would embarrass Zambia.
“This Speech the President came to deliver here is a national document and its conveyance to this August House to deliver is done procedurally. On that day, we experienced something unusual, we had so many intruders in this August House which should never repeat itself. That included the person that delivered the speech, the President is now the national asset number one and it is the responsibility of the Minister of Home Affairs to ensure that only those who are from the state institutions handle matters of the Presidency,” Kampyongo said.
“I am happy that the Minister of Foreign Affairs is here, he should ensure that as you take the President to New York to deliver his maiden speech at the UN General Assembly, what transpired here does not repeat itself, because we will be embarrassing the nation. The Commander-in-Chief comes here with his aides of service institutions, that is a serious undertaking. So, you should make sure that it does not happen again. We started doubting the document from that same time because we thought maybe the President was handed a wrong document.”
And Kampyongo said President Hichilema’s speech lacked clarity on several issues.
“It is true that it was a missed opportunity for the President to state affirmative policies in line with the campaign promises made to the people of Zambia. Some of the critical issues we wanted to hear from the President was one we remember him being interviewed by the BBC and he talked about the debt stock, which he briefly referred to in this speech. We expected him to come to this House and come and state clearly what he meant by saying this House and many other institutions including the IMF have received wrong figures in terms of debt stock,” he said.
“It was important for us to hear so that we can know who we can hold accountable between the current Minister of Finance and the past Minister of Finance. We further expected him to clearly state how the Ministry of Finance was going to come here when the coffers they have inherited are empty. We would have loved to hear as to what extent. Madam Speaker this speech lacked clarity on a number of issues.”
While Kampyongo was still debating, Foreign Affairs Minister Stanely Kakubo rose on a point of order, wondering whether he had drifted away from the motion to debate President Hichilema’s security detail.
“Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order looking at the way the debate is flowing in the House. Madam Speaker, what we are seeing now is that members want to stand and then debate the President’s security detail. Madam Speaker, in the Presidential speech nowhere does he mention who his security detail is, members here are going all out to discuss the details of this security. Madam Speaker, I rise so that you can give guidance,” said Kakubo.
In response, Speaker of the National Assembly Nelly Mutti guided the members of parliament to debate the President’s speech.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) I did guide that when members are debating, we should stick to the point on the floor that is being debated. The issue of the security detail unless the honourable member on the floor is saying that, that person is not qualified or formally appointed to be in the security detail. I think it is better we avoid discussing the security detail unless there are facts on the floor that the person is not qualified to be a security detail. So, the guidance that I am giving is that, let’s stick to the Presidential speech,” said Mutti.
And Mansa Central PF member of parliament Dr Chitalu Chilufya called on President Hichilema to appoint honest people to key governance positions.
“The people of the country need to be shielded from epidemics; the economy needs to be protected from the shocks of epidemics. Therefore, it is important that we continue investing in health security. I, therefore, make a clarion call that the President continues to invest in security. One of the epidemics that has hit us is COVID-19. The fourth wave is inevitable by and large because of the poor levels of vaccinations in the country. The population is by and large unvaccinated. Madam Speaker, as I talk about health security, I would like him to build on what the PF government started,” said Dr Chilufya.
“As I conclude I would like to state the following, the President spoke about honesty being eroded and dishonesty being frowned upon, that is fundamental. Madam Speaker, I urge the President to embrace intimately the universal values of democracy, rule of law, respect for human rights, individual freedoms and ensure that honest people are placed in charge of governance institutions. So that they are not abused to distort the rights of individual citizens on any other grounds.”
Meanwhile, Chitambo PF member of parliament Remember Mutale said the UPND should go for lessons from the PF on how to govern the country.
“Madam Speaker, this speech is a reflection of what the PF was doing. This speech, it is still the PF which is ruling. Madam Speaker, I know why the President did not want to speak about all the promises they made when they were in opposition, he knew and he came to realise that governance is different from being in the opposition. They should realise now that they are in power, they should start doing what Zambians want them and expect them to do. For them to do that whether they like it or not they must come for training to us the PF. We are available to offer them this free training because we shall not continue to bear with them each and every day changing goal posts,” said Mutale.