Sinazongwe Area Member of Parliament Richwell Siamunene says he is ready to be expelled from the opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) if his efforts to work with government in alleviating the suffering of people in his constituency are hampered by his party.
Mr Siamunene said people in his constituency were suffering and he would continue partnering with government openly to ensure efficient service delivery to people in Sinazongwe district.
“If I am expelled for working with government and exposing people’s problems in my constituency, then it is okay. I joined politics to serve the people and it will be good to be fired when attending to people’s problems,” he said.
Mr Siamunene said this in Sinazongwe yesterday when he accompanied Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Harry Kalaba to the broken down Simwaala Bridge on the Bottom Road in Dengeza area.
He charged that he was not in parliament to receive allowances but to inform government on the challenges people in his constituency were facing in a bid to have them addressed.
“It is my duty as an MP to inform government of what challenges people in my constituency are facing and to remind the people in power of the promises they made and if they don’t address them, it becomes their problem,” he said.
Mr Siamunene said people in Sinazongwe district were facing a lot of challenges including poor road network, lack of medical supplies, lack of teachers in schools, maternal deaths and high poverty levels due to poor crop yields among others.
“When bridges are flooded, children cannot go to school, pregnant women cannot be taken to the hospital, agricultural produce cannot be marketed and medical supplies cannot be delivered on time due to the bad state of the Bottom road which has been left unattended to for the past 50 years or so,” he said.
He also revealed that hunger was looming in his constituency following the stunted growth of most maize crops and sorghum in the area.
Mr Siamunene said some areas were already hunger stricken and people were surviving on wild fruits and seeds from wild grass locally known as ‘Mpunga’.
And Deputy Minister in the Office of the Vice President, Harry Kalaba urged UPND Leader Hakainde Hichilema to emulate Sinazongwe MP Richwell Siamunene by working with government.
Mr Kalaba said it was not time for politicking but for leaders in opposition to go beyond party lines and work with government to alleviate the suffering of vulnerable people in the country.
He said the country was not interested in leaders that were blocking development and good governance.
Mr Kalaba stressed that government would not allow people in Sinazongwe district to die of hunger and pledged to have relief maize sent to the area.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister revealed that Zambia Army Officers would move in at Simwaala broken down bridge within seven days to reconstruct the bridge which he said would be completed in 21 days.
And commenting on the expulsion of UPND Itezhi Tezhi Member of Parliament, Greyford Monde, Mr Kalaba said the law maker did the right thing by accepting to serve in government as Deputy Minister of Agriculture.
Mr. Kalaba explained that governance was about embracing each other and collective responsibility and Mr Monde’s decision was for the larger good and not personal interest.
He reiterated that President Michael Sata was not killing the opposition by appointing its MPs to serve in government as it was his constitutional right to appoint ministers from within parliament.
Mr Kalaba said opposition MPs needed input from government to develop their areas as they could not just rely on Constituency Development Funds (CDF) which is inadequate and prone to mismanagement.