By CHILA NAMAIKO –
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Mazabuka Member of Parliament (MP) Garry Nkombo yesterday lost a private member’s motion in Parliament after it was rejected by members through electronic voting with Justice Minister Given Lubinda urging the UPND leadership to respect the will of the majority citizens having democratically elected President Edgar Lungu.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini yesterday ejected UPND Bweengwa MP Kasautu Michelo and directed him to return in 2018 when the House resumed sitting.
Mr Nkombo, in his motion, urged the Government to persuade the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to immediately direct its efforts towards improving democratic governance.
He said this was in view of the human rights violations and political instability in some parts of the SADC region.
He said the Government needed to persuade SADC to address human rights abuses, citing some UPND members allegedly killed by police while his leader Hakainde Hichilema was recently charged on what he termed as a trampled-up treason case.
But in his debate to the motion, Mr Lubinda described it as ‘mischievous’, saying democracy and governance were a process and Zambia’s peaceful atmosphere was a product of good governance system by President Edgar Lungu.
He cautioned Mr Nkombo against wanting to promote a gesture where every citizen looked at each other on tribal lines, saying such a move had potential to cause divisions in the country.
“Issues of looking at tribes bring confusion. Those who aspire for leadership such as UPND should accept the will of people who democratically elected PF and must respect court judgments,” he said.
Foreign Affairs Minister Harry Kalaba counselled Mr Nkombo against propagating matters promoting tribalism in the country.
He said the motion lacked merit and was only promoting the interests of UPND and Mr Hichilema, especially that he did not make any research to appreciate the role of SADC’s Parliamentary Forum and its core objectives.
He said Mr Nkombo should have known how the SADC Tribunal operated, thus his motion was detrimental to Zambia as it was only putting the country’s good image with SADC in disrepute.
Home Affairs Minister Stephen Kampyongo said Zambia’s smooth transition was a testament of the country enjoying its tenets of democracy and good governance.
As Mr Nkombo was on the floor delivering his motion, Mr Michelo kept passing comments, promoting the Speaker to eject him from the House immediately.