YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka
THE Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) andÂ some political parties have condemnedÂ the near-punch-upÂ betweenÂ Kasama memberÂ of Parliament (MP) Geoffrey Mwamba and hisÂ counterpart ofÂ Mfuwe, MwimbaÂ Malama, atÂ Parliament on Friday.
The confusion was sparked by Mr Mwamba, who was recently appointed as United Party for National Development (UPND) vice-president, after his tribal remarks against Mr Malama and Chilubi MP Obious Chisala, labelling them as people coming from tribes which Bembas would finish politically.
Mr Mwamba cast aspersions against Bisas and Tabwas and bragged that Mr Chisala and Mr Malama were enjoying fruits of his works in the Patriotic Front (PF).
SACCORD executive director Bornface Chembe said yesterday that the conduct of the MPs is unfortunate and un-honourable.
Mr Chembe said the scuffle between the MPs is testimony of the continued and increasing intolerance among political players.
â€œThe conduct of the two MPs is not only unfortunate but does not befit honourable members of the house. MPs should strive to exhibit exemplary behaviour,â€ Mr Chembe said.
He said politicians and Zambians in general should learn to be tolerant to divergent views adding that violence should never be an option.
â€œThat kind of behaviour is normal in other parts of the world and not in this country. If this behaviour is left unchecked, it will be disastrous,â€ he said.
Patriotic Front deputy secretary-general Mumbi Phiri said Mr Mwamba should exhibit leadership and tolerance, especially that he was recently appointed vice-president for administration in the UPND.
Mrs Phiri said in an interview that Mr Mwamba should learn to be humble and desist from bragging about his wealth and belittling other tribes.
â€œWhat Mr Mwamba should know is that wealth will not vote for him in 2016. Let him also learn to respect his juniors as the saying goes, give respect to receive respect,â€ Mrs Phiri said.
UPND spokesperson Charles Kakoma described the incident as regrettable.
Mr Kakoma said in a separate interview that a difference in opinion should not be a passport to engage in violence.
â€œIn this modern day and age, we should strive to engage in peaceful dialogue rather than fighting,â€ Mr Kakoma said.
He is optimistic Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini will take the necessary disciplinary action in the matter.
And MMD presidential spokesperson Raphael Nakacinda said MPs should desist from turning Parliament into a battle field.
YANDE SYAMPEYO, Lusaka