Opposition MPs speak out

PRESIDENT Lungu with government chief whip Richard Musukwa (right) and Kabwe Central member of Parliament Tutwa Ngulube (centre) after a meeting with parliamentarians at Parliament Building on Thursday. PICTURE: COLLINS PHIRI

MEMBERS of Parliament (MP) have been urged to take advantage of the parliamentary business recess to visit their constituencies and explain to the people why

Government decided to invoke Article 31 of the Constitution.
And 14 independent legislators have assured President Lungu of their continued support and collaboration with the Patriotic Front (PF) in the management of national affairs.
Special assistant to the President for press and public relations Amos Chanda told journalists that the 14 independent MPs made the assurance during President Lungu’s open dialogue with PF, MMD, FDD and independent lawmakers at Parliament yesterday.
“Some of the valuable contributions during the discussion came from the independent members who said they fully support the President and want to work closely with him and the PF in a much closer manner,” Mr Chanda said.
He said four independent MPs also spoke at length in commending President Lungu for measures Government is taking to maintain peace and security in the country.
And President Lungu, who was happy with the discussion, called for regular meetings and open conversations on all issues that matter.
“President Lungu interacted with the MPs and urged them to visit their constituencies to explain decisions taken by Parliament and government,” Mr Chanda said.
President Lungu also emphasised the need for MPs to understand the importance of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF).  
“CDF is extremely important, you must utilise it properly and you must continue visiting your constituencies and interact closely with the electorate,” President Lungu said.
The head of State also discussed the welfare of MPs and encouraged them to explain all decisions made by Government such as the introduction of cost-reflective electricity tariffs and reforms in the agriculture sector.
And government chief whip Richard Musukwa commended the opposition MPs for working with the PF during the just-ended parliamentary sitting.
Mr Musukwa said MMD, FDD and independent MPs worked hard to ensure that business of the House went on normally despite the absence of the UPND parliamentarians.
He also reaffirmed President Lungu’s commitment to working with all MPs from the opposition for the benefit of the country.
“We wish to also commend the independent members for pledging to support President Lungu and collaborate with the PF,” Mr Musukwa said.

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