UPND MPs to attend parley opening
ALL the 58 opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament were expected to attend President Edgar Lungu’s official opening of Parliament scheduled for Friday, 15th September.
UPND Chief Whip Gary Nkombo confirmed in a telephone interview that as elected Members of Parliament and by constitutional rights, the MPs would attend the function.
Mr Nkombo, who is Mazabuka MP, said the UPND members had resolved to be part of the National Assembly’s address by President Lungu because that was the work they were voted for by their constituents.
He said his party which has previously boycotted President Lungu’s official address of the National Assembly had rescinded its decision not in submission but for genuine dialogue and unity.
Mr Nkombo said the decision of the UPND members to attend Parliament should be seen as a gesture of goodwill towards an opportunity for genuine dialogue in the hope that the Patriotic Front (PF) MPs would demonstrate a similar attitude.
“There is this window for genuine dialogue, that is why we have no problem with attending. Parliament belongs to the people of Zambia and we happen to work for the people of Zambia,” he said.
He says the UPND MPs were members of the Legislative Assembly conferred by the constitution of the country and maintained that it was wrong for the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to punish UPND MPs by suspending them.
“We are convinced that the speaker was wrong to act in the manner he did because we are members of the legislative assembly chosen by people to represent them and that is why this matter is still being pursued in the Court of Appeal,” he said.