THE interim PF top leadership on Sunday received a rude shock when only 15 out of 60 members of Parliament showed up for a meeting to which they had been invited.
And PF acting president Given Lubinda has cautioned members of parliament, saying “pretence and smoke screening” will not take the party anywhere.
Meanwhile, acting PF secretary general Nickson Chilangwa says it is disappointing that members of parliament are not doing what they are supposed to do when the party leadership is trying to mobilise funds for their legal fees.
Speaking during a meeting with members of parliament, Sunday, the visibly angry Lubinda said it was saddening that only 15 out of 60 MPs showed up for the meeting called by the chief whip.
“Pretence and smoke screening will not take us anywhere. Honourable chief whip, pretence will not take us anywhere. The fact that the chief whip called all members of parliament to come to this meeting means all of them should have been here to come and stage manage this and try and show the people out there that all members of the central committee and all members of parliament are here. Who are you lying to? Yourselves,” he said.
“I know you do not want to be embarrassed as members of parliament, I know that. The truth of the matter is that you are not here. All the 60 members of parliament should have been here. Those of you who are here, sorry for being the ones who are receiving my harsh voice but this harsh voice is meant for those who are not here. But to smokescreen this and tell the world that all the 60 (MPs) are here when there are only 15 of you is also not right.”
Lubinda said the parliamentarians were members of the party before being members of parliament.
“Had I [had] my way, I would have said those who are not here, their names must be exposed. You are members of a political party first of all before being members of parliament and to try and stage manage this and act as though really everybody is here is wrong. I have to apologise to those of you who are here that you are the ones receiving my rant. This rant is meant for those who are not here. If the streaming of this live is going to assist us to change, then let it be,” said Lubinda.
Meanwhile, Chilangwa said it was disappointing that members of parliament were not doing what they were supposed to do when the party leadership was trying to mobilise funds for their legal fees.
“I should also hasten to say [that] I am very disappointed with the number of members of parliament here today [which] does not represent PF. This is the reason why we are having challenges as a party. The last 48 hours, me, honourable Lubinda and honourable Mundubile have been working to try and find money to liquidate the dues that we owe the lawyers for all your cases. What kind of support are we getting from you honourable members of parliament? It can tell. Yesterday we finished after 22:00 hours and the other day we finished after 23:00 hours because lawyers are up in arms to say ‘if you do not give us money we shall sue individual members of parliament’,” said Chilangwa.
“We do not want to get to such a situation where each individual member of parliament is being pursued by lawyers. We are doing our part every day to ensure that we look for resources so that you can do your work without too much problems. The kind of support we are getting from members of parliament is pathetic. I know that 80 percent of members of parliament are in Lusaka but they are not here. They are not in their constituency in Kabwata or in their wards. Truth be told is members of parliament are not doing what they are supposed to be doing and it is totally unacceptable.”