The United Party for National Development (UPND) has asserted that Batuke Imenda, the party’s Secretary General and Chief Executive Officer, possesses a constitutional right to visit and monitor Constituency Development Fund (CDF) projects. In response to the criticism voiced by opposition Members of Parliament, particularly those from the Patriotic Front, the UPND emphasizes the importance of Imenda’s role as custodian of the party’s manifesto and policy guiding document.
Stephen Kampyongo, Member of Parliament for Shiwang’andu, and Mulenga Fube, Chilubi counterpart, have questioned Imenda’s capacity to inspect and engage civil servants regarding CDF project implementation. The UPND highlights that Hon Gary Nkombo is responsible for government policy implementation, while Mr. Imenda safeguards the ruling party’s guiding document. Given that all government policy documents align with the UPND manifesto, it is only natural for Imenda to take a keen interest in their implementation.
Moreover, the UPND reminds the two opposition parliamentarians that CDF is funded using public money and, therefore, citizens have a vested interest in overseeing the utilization of these resources. The party argues that it is a constitutional duty for citizens to provide checks and balances. The UPND expresses disappointment that lawmakers would question a citizen’s right to fulfill their constitutional mandate and monitor public projects.
Regarding Mulenga Fube’s threat to take legal action against Imenda, citing Articles 148 to 152 of the Republican Constitution, the UPND suggests that these provisions do not prevent citizens from carrying out their roles as outlined in Articles 8 and 48. The party challenges Fube to pursue the matter in court and assures that Imenda is prepared to defend the constitution.
The UPND advises Kampyongo, Fube, and other lawmakers to focus on ensuring the successful implementation of community projects funded through the CDF, particularly in rural areas. The party emphasizes that their Secretary General and responsible citizens have the right to inspect and question the use of public resources as long as they adhere to the provided guidelines. The UPND warns against obstructing government development projects and asserts its commitment to advancing the nation’s development.
The UPND reiterates that Imenda’s role is to promote and safeguard the interests of the party and the government. They reject threats and falsehoods and pledge to remain focused on their development-oriented agenda. The party affirms its unwavering support for Imenda and encourages him to continue his efforts.
The UPND’s statement concludes with a resolute commitment to advancing development and serving the public interest. They assert that opposition lawmakers will no longer deceive the public regarding CDF funds and projects, as these initiatives are supported by public funds.