Statement by Kelvin Sampa ,MP Kasama Central
Friends in the Media, all protocols observed!
Colleagues, Vox Populi, Vox Dei, which means that the Voice of the People is the Voice of God! In thanking God Almighty, let me join the leadership of the Patriotic Front (PF) in expressing gratitude the people of Zambia for unanimously renewing our mandate in order for us to continue delivering on our promises contained in the 2016-2021 Election Manifesto. The election of His Excellency President Edgar Chagwa Lungu and Her Honour the Vice President Madam Inonge Mutukwa Wina is testimony that Zambians resolved that for the next five (5) Years, PF will continue to manage the affairs of the Nation.
Let me also state here that we in the PF, like many Zambians, is happy with President Lungu’s efforts to restore Zambia’s standing in the region and globally. Zambia has always been a key player in international affairs, brokering peace initiatives, inviting foreign investments and asserting its respected diplomatic influence in Africa and the World!
Let me touch on a few areas of national importance this morning.
1. A Judiciary on Trial?
The past week has witnessed intense debate following Presidential Spokesperson Mr. Amos Chanda’s Sunday Interview on ZNBC. The debate was caused mainly because the Opposition UPND with their counterparts in the LAZ chose to exaggerate and misreport the manner in which issues were raised during the interview. LAZ has reduced its significance to that of ordinary NGO because for some reason it has forgotten that it is a creature of statute. It’s dangerous when LAZ measures its efficiency and effectiveness by the standards set for it by Oasis Forum. It is time that legislators took interest in the Law Association of Zambia Act to understand whether the association has departed from the objectives and purpose behind its creation. We must interrogate whether LAZ was designed to serve as a political pressure group and since its created by parliament, I will personally take interest in studying its creating statute. I refuse to believe that LAZ should adopt the “Cheap talk-shop NGO mentality”. LAZ cannot reduce its role to that of armchair critics but this is happening because its compromised its core mandate by going to bed with a misguided Oasis Forum whose relevance has fizzled with the passage of time. I am calling on the cream of our lawyers in this country to stand up and salvage the image and crucial role of LAZ which is at the verge of being severely compromised under the current leadership. Demand to bring the original LAZ back!!! Society looks up to LAZ to provide unbiased and non-politically inclined guidance to the nation. Demand to bring the original LAZ back!!!
To all Zambians who listened to the repeated Sunday Interview featuring the Presidential Spokesperson, it is clear to see that LAZ gave a partisan and political reaction during its Press Briefing which was also beamed live on Mr. Hakainde Hichilema’s Facebook page. LAZ is today pampering to the UPND forgetting that recently Hakainde Hichilema called judges criminals and thugs and LAZ was mum! The challenges at LAZ are exactly the same ones in the Judiciary where certain officers have elected to take a political side at the expense of discharging their core functions.
To make it even clearer, Zambia deserves an effective and efficient Judiciary that is above reproach because that is the only way it can dispense justice without appearing compromised. As an institution of the people, the Judiciary therefore is not immune to criticism and reform. The Judiciary cannot escape rebuke and will suffer ridicule if its members conduct themselves in a manner deemed to be corrupt, tribal or bias in nature.
Let me state here that in dealing with the concerns raised regarding the judiciary, it is incumbent upon the Chief Justice to ensure that officers in the judiciary conduct themselves in an ethical manner befitting the institution.
Further, members of the public are also encouraged to complain through the Judicial Complaints Authority in the event that they construe unethical, tribal or corrupt conduct of any judicial officer.
The spirit within which we have engaged in this debate as PF is still anchored in our belief that regarding on-going Petitions, PF will respect the ruling from the Courts, will appeal judgments deemed unfair, misdirected or misplaced.
My call to the nation is for them to guard against those advancing tribal allegiances under the disguise of raising legal arguments. Let me repeat that tribe remains UPND’s tool of analysis for anything they plan and execute, including the infamous watermelon which was a tribal strategy to the core!
2. UPND must accept that PF has a full five year Mandate to Rule
President Edgar Lungu and PF won fairly and squarely and has a five (5) year mandate to rule Zambia.
Here are a few facts regarding the last election:
• PF won in 7 Provinces out of 10
• PF won in over 80 Constituencies
• PF won the Referendum (with a runaway margin of 1,700 million Yes Votes against 700,000 NO votes even though we didn’t surpass the required threshold. This goes to show that we won the election this election. PF won the largest number of votes in Provinces, districts and a big number of constituencies and wards!
I want this to sink into the UPND leadership and their followers. Let me mention that machinations by Opposition UPND to abuse legal systems so as to create uncertainty in the nation are an exercise in futility. We are aware that the UPND seeks to distract PF from service delivery by creating tension and animosity in the country. We all know that this is the strategy being executed by the UPND.
But our message is very clear that we are 100 steps ahead of them and Zambians can be assured of our focus on improved service delivery and creating a better life for all our people.
3. Hichilema and GBM’s activities in Markets on the Copperbelt Province
Let me speak to the Copperbelt and those public officials aiding the Opposition that we know what you are doing and there will be consequences for your actions. In particular we have information of Councils on the Copperbelt aiding political activities for Hichilema and GBM. My message to the Minister of Local Government is that we have no time for Watermelon within the Councils because if it is allowed, it will compromise and frustrate service delivery. Comrade Minister of Local Government, we shall stand with you in cleaning up some of these Councils frustrating Government Programmes.
What the two are doing on the Copperbelt in markets and business stations was experimented in Northern Province and it failed. The same way they tried to “buy” Councils in Northern Province is what they are doing on the Copperbelt. Those Councils found wanting in this endeavour must be ready to go because they are in Office to ensure improved service delivery. PF takes Local Government as a delivery point for service delivery and there is no way we shall allow compromised civil servants in our Councils.
Lastly, let me correct some writing in one of the tabloids attributing the closure of the Post Newspaper to the PF. There are some people who today would want to blame the PF for the closure of the Post Newspaper. We wish to state the fact that it is not the PF and we have nothing to do with the closure. This is a tax issue regarding the $21m the Newspaper owed!
God Bless Zambia