DEMONSTRATE FOR WHAT?

Share this article

Chishimba Kambwili is an intellectual midget bereft of analytical skills to appreciate intricate public policy.

He is a real living danger to good order and governance because his demagoguery somehow appeals to the equally intellectually disabled community.

His recent mindless rantings are a clear demonstration of his depraved but perverse influence.

We are now confronted with the phenomena of two strange political bedfellows Hakainde Hichilema and Chishimba Kambwili planning joint demonstrations on none issues, demanding Government’s revocation of the statutory instrument on the increase of allowances and salaries for ministers, Members of Parliament and the Presidency.

This was a cause initially championed by Kambwili.

Just what could be the motive for their planned demonstrations apart from playing truant, and of course to the gallery.  After all, this is their speciality, or should we say their favourite pastime.

Their choice of what issues to demonstrate for is quite baffling.  This time round, they want to protest over what is not an issue – a change in policy that President Edgar Lungu had directed the Secretary to Cabinet, Dr Roland Msiska to implement.

As Presidential spokesperson Amos Chanda had told the Daily Nation, the President had ordered the reversal of the new allowance through a memo to Secretary to the Cabinet dated November 13, 2018.

The scrapped monthly allowance of K32, 715.20 was introduced in January this year following the abolition of personal to holder vehicles for ministers and government officials.

For salaries, Members of Parliament, Ministers and all constitutional officer holders had their perks adjusted in January 2018 as per government gazette.  Unlike ministers, MPs started receiving their adjusted salaries in January 2018.

If anything, Mr Hichilema, the United Party for National Development president and the middle of the road, Roan Member of Parliament cum national consultant for the National Democratic Party, Mr Kambwili should have voiced their concerns last January.

No wonder questions have been raised as to why Mr Kambwili and the UPND Members of Parliament who were among the first beneficiaries of the salary increments they now want to protest over have been quiet all along.

This is what Zambia Republican Party president Wright Musoma, 3rd Liberation Movement’s Enock Tonga and Change Life Zambia leader John Kasongo and all Zambians want to know.

Mr Musoma noted that Mr Kambwili and UPND parliamentarians should have rejected the new pay immediately the revision was done if they were genuine leaders as they claimed to be. Government has abolished the newly introduced vehicle replacement allowance awarded to Cabinet Ministers and other officials and reverted the officers to their previous conditions of service following a presidential directive.

According to a press statement issued by Cabinet Office, the affected officers would revert to their old conditions service which were abolished early this year. The old conditions of service had included personal to holder vehicles.

As Mr Musoma observed, the opposition leaders had been quiet all this time because they were directly benefitting from the increment and now crying foul because there were no ministers among them.

“Had they been appointed ministers, they would have been quiet, like they did when their salaries were revised last year. This is pure hypocrisy,” said Mr Musoma.

Zambians for a start should be reminded that the withdrawal of personal to holder facility to ministers and other government officials was made as a cost saving measure.

Apart from ministers, presiding officers two deputy speakers, Catherine Namugala and Mwimba Malama and leader of the opposition, Jack Mwiimbu (UPND) were also entitled to both personal-to-holder and utility vehicles and furnished houses.

However, following the introduction of austerity measures, furniture allowances and personal to holder facilities were removed and instead an allowance of K32,000 was introduced for ministers and presiding officers and the Leader of Opposition in Parliament.

When back benchers, who have never enjoyed these conditions before wanted the same K32, 000 to be extended to them, calculations showed that the austerity measures would not work if this facility was extended and therefore Cabinet Office explained the implications to the President.

On November 13, 2018, the President wrote to Secretary to the Cabinet directing him to reverse the new arrangement in the light of protests from back benchers and in the light of the facility being untenable in terms of cost if all MPs demanded ministerial perks.

So on what grounds would Mr Hichilema and Mr Kambwili base their demonstrations if not to attract attention?

The only snag though is that their planned “mischief” is not likely to lead anywhere for no one takes them seriously – what with their penchant for fake news and trying to cause alarm in the nation – the recent riots in Kitwe for example!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!