PRINCE Akashambatwa Mbikusita Lewanika says the heated altercation between Kantanshi PF member of parliament Anthony Mumba and Lumezi independent member of parliament Munir Zulu is a wakeup call for Zambians who vote blindly.
And governance activist Brebner Changala says the argument between the two members of parliament tells the character of the people that have been sent to the National Assembly to preside over national matters.
In a WhatsApp voice note conversation that has gone viral, Mumba is heard engaging in a heated altercation with Zulu, exchanging insults and ultimately resulting in a mixed martial arts challenge.
But in an interview, Prince Akashambatwa said nothing could be done for now as voters needed to wait until the next election if they wanted to change their member of parliament.
“It is too late. You just leave them in Parliament and vote better next time. I know people are very intelligent. It is only when they vote for other reasons like if you vote blindly for the party or because people have bribed you when you do not even know the candidate properly. It is not because you are incapable of doing so. The right choice is what you want, so you have to examine whether what you have is what you want,” said Akashambatwa.
“If you do not examine it properly or you misidentify it, you will have to wait for five years to change it. I think it has to be ignored. If you make it into real big news, you are just insulting a country. It should be ignored. It is a wake-up call to voters. If that is what they want then fine and if they do not want that next time, they should be sure. They are already in Parliament and we can only wait after five years.”
And Changala advised Zulu to tone down.
“The audios that have gone viral between the Kantanshi MP and Lumezi independent MP is extremely worrying. Munir Zulu has come to Parliament for the first time. And in the first few months that he has been in Parliament, he has proved to be a busy body. He is extremely excited and to some extent, he is not behaving like an honourable member of Parliament but like a teenager that has just come out of age. The exchange between the two members of Parliament does not sit well. It also tells us the caliber and character of the people that we have sent to the National Assembly to preside over national matters and legislate laws that the people of Zambia should follow,” Changala said.
“The topic of discussion and exchange between these two MPs lacks substance, it is full of innuendos and character assassination. It must not be encouraged by men who are called honourable to engage themselves in dishonorable conduct. I appeal to the young man Munir, to tone down. Leave the moon and find space to respect society, the institution of Parliament and respect his colleagues in the National Assembly. If he has got issues, he must learn to approach whoever he has issues with and try to resolve their outstanding challenges.”
Changala said lawmakers needed to resolve their issues in a respectable manner.
“Going to social media and releasing live videos in which he engages in nothing but character assassination is uncalled for. He has created enough drama and the people of Zambia have heard him. It is either they appreciate what he is doing or they hold him in contempt. Whichever way, he has done enough damage to himself or to the seat that he represents. Mind you, he has a constituency [as] member of parliament,” said Changala.
“So he must confine certain grievances to the men and women who stood in the queue to vote for him. MPs must learn to resolve their differences adequately and not starting unnecessary fight innuendos. If it is a fight against corruption, they know how to write reports and how to make the system react to their concerns.”