Editor's Comment

MPs should serve people

MEMBERS of Parliament and invited guests listerning to President Lungu’s speech. PICTURE: SALIM HENRY/ STATE HOUSE

DURING campaigns, all political parties hoped to form Government in the event of being elected.
It is a fact though that only one political party can form Government at a given time.
This does not, however, in any way deny those not in government the opportunity to contribute to national development. This they can do by providing checks and balances as well as helping shape policy.
Opposition political parties also help by encouraging their members to provide input during pre-budget discussions while their members of Parliament (MPs) debate the budget.
This is the direction any country should take after elections are held.
We therefore commend United Party for National Development (UPND) Manyinga MP Robert Lihefu for his positive stance on serving his constituency by pledging to work with the Patriotic Front (PF) administration to deliver development.
Mr Lihefu has urged his fellow MPs to do the same.
Mr Lihefu is being sincere because as things stand now, there is a government in place and there is need to collaborate in the implementation of plans.
All the MPs – from the ruling PF, UPND, FDD and independents – will need to lobby for finances or implementation of projects in their respective constituencies.
It is Government’s responsibility to develop the whole country, but given the limited resources, the MPs play a key role in ensuring that their constituencies are prioritised.
How then does any MP ensure that his or her constituency is on top on the priority list if such a people’s representative does not want to work with, say, the Ministry of Finance?
This is why Mr Lihefu said on Monday that he will work closely with the government to address the challenges that the people of Manyinga are facing, such as lack of access to clean and safe drinking water and a poor road network.
It is not Mr Lihefu alone who wants State intervention. And to get what these MPs want, they have to work with the government of the day.
The PF has another five-year mandate to drive the country’s transformation agenda.
It is therefore in the best interest of all MPs to co-operate with the government to ensure that development reaches all parts of the country.
We hope that this is the direction or attitude that all MPs will take, rather than keep pursuing an evidently lost cause of disputing the August 11 elections outcome.
We do not want to perpetuate the argument over the presidential petition, suffice to say that the courts made a ruling and we have an elected President in office.
Parliament has officially opened and business is in progress. The people that the MPs represent expect to see progress in what will be done for them as promised during campaigns.
It could seem difficult for some opposition MPs not to tow their party line, but there has to come a time when the needs of the people, and not individuals, matter the most.
People want feeder roads to facilitate the smooth movement of goods and services; people want boreholes; people want telecommunication; and people want electricity.
All MPs ought to remember that at the end of their five-year term, they will have to face the electorate again and account for their time.

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