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UPND MP spot on

UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) Zambezi East Member of Parliament Brian Kambita is right in saying that all parliamentarians have an obligation to work with the government of the day.
Mr Kambita’s views are not only progressive but a reflection of his sincerity and desire to serve the people that voted him into office.
According to Mr Kambita, and rightly so, parliamentarians have the responsibility to serve the government of the day because they draw their salaries from the State and not their political parties.
If they draw wages from their parties, that is a bonus, but they are accordingly budgeted in using national resources.
“I don’t draw my salary from the party but from the Government and don’t look at me as an MP from the opposition but look at me as a Government employee who has been employed by the people to foster development in Zambezi East,” Mr Kambita said.
It is saddening that some MPs by virtue of being in opposition do not want anything to do with the government of day.
This is why some opposition MPs shun development programmes taking place in their constituencies.
In their misconstrued opinions, working with the government of the day compromises their stance as members of the opposition.
Unfortunately, such views are entrenched by political parties who warn and reprimand members seen to be working alongside Government.
It is unfortunate that some opposition political parties have labelled as an act of betrayal for their MPs to be found at government functions even if such were held in their constituencies and meant to benefit the people.
Truth be told, it is not only self-centredness but an injustice of the highest order for any MP who was voted into office by people to represent them to shun activities meant to improve their welfare.
It is also hypocrisy for MPs who draw allowances from public coffers to completely detach themselves from Government activities.
It is not possible for any opposition MP to develop their constituencies without engaging Government.
Similarly, it is difficult for Government to develop any area without the engagement and support of its MP.
It is commendable that the Zambezi East lawmaker is cognisant of this fact.
The sooner other opposition and independent MPs come to this realisation, the better their chances to deliver according to people’s expectations.
All MPs whether from the ruling or opposition parties have an obligation to deliver on their promises to the people who voted for them.
Come 2021, all candidates with intentions to re-contest their seats will be judged by their performance.
It will be easy for those who have proof of what they have done to convince the voters to retain them as representatives.
However, those without any proof to show how they improved the lives of the electorate during their five-year tenure will have difficulties to come up with convincing campaign messages.
The lack of development in the areas will certainly overshadow whatever campaign messages they put up. The blame game does not hold water for the electorate.
Opposition MPs opposed to working with Government should therefore wake up from slumber and self-deceit and come to the realisation that by distancing themselves from Government activities they are depriving their areas of development and subsequently branding themselves as non-performers.
In other words, all those MPs who claim they cannot work with Government to take development to their constituents are simply de-campaigning themselves.
Serving MPs and those with intentions to vie for the office should understand that this is a noble calling which obligates the office-bearers to put national interest first.
However, the sad reality is that some MPs put party interests before the people that voted for them. This is why when given to choose between blind political loyalty and development for their areas, some opt for the former.
This also shows that some MPs may not have quite grasped how important their role is in facilitating development for the people who voted for them.
This could also just be evidence that some MPs are not there to serve the people but the interests of their respective party leaders.
It is, however, comforting that we have MPs like Mr Kambita who know how to draw the line between politicking and national interest.
This is the kind of progressive politics Zambia needs. Otherwise the country’s development journey which requires concerted efforts will take longer than expected.
Politicians, regardless of political divides, need to work together for a prosperous Zambia.
It is hoped that many other politicians, including councillors, will emulate the stance taken by the Zambezi East lawmaker.