KELVIN CHONGO, Lusaka
PATRIOTIC Front (PF) member Edwin Lifwekelo has urged United Party for National Development (UPND) members of Parliament (MPs) to put the interests of their electorate first as Parliament resumes sitting next month.
Mr Lifwekelo said in a walk-in interview yesterday that UPND should ensure that there are no suspensions of its members in the next sitting of Parliament.
“UPND MPs must put behind their party interests and instead enhance responsiveness and accountability to their voters who put them in office,” he said.
Mr Lifwekelo, a former UPND spokesperson, said UPND legislators should avoid further punishment like what happened to 48 of them during the last sitting of Parliament.
He said the voters’ expectations are high, and that Parliament is responsive to the requests and demands of the electorate.
Mr Lifwekelo said it is time to move away from political rhetoric.
“Since MPs are representatives of the people, it is only fair to recognise that their oversight function is to safeguard the rights and liberties of ordinary citizens and not individual interests,” he said.
Mr Lifwekelo said MPs should use their lobbying skills to increase citizens’ control over Government and not party interests.
“Political rhetoric will not add value to the voters. We therefore call upon our MPs to take business seriously,” he said.
And Mr Lifwekelo has called for loyalty and discipline among PF members and has urged them to rally behind President Lungu’s leadership.
“As members, we must remain disciplined and rally behind the leadership of President Lungu and focus on the party manifesto to take development to the people,” he said.