By SIMON MUNTEMBA in Chinsali
THERE must be a mechanism that would allow electorates to recall their under-performing Members of Parliament (MPs) before the end of their term, President Edgar Lungu has proposed.
And President Lungu said government will not be forced by certain stakeholders to declare hunger situation experienced in some parts of the country a national disaster when it was under control.
Wrapping up his working visit of Northern and Muchinga provinces, President Lungu told Journalists that it was sad that traditional leaders complained about the absence of Members of Parliament in their constituencies.
He proposed that just like the President was liable to impeachment before the end of his term, a mechanism should also be put in place to allow electorates to recall their underperforming MPs.
“Our system is such that when you are given a mandate its five years whether you are President or MP unless you resign.
One would have loved a system where people are answerable periodically to the electorates. And electorates should have rights to recall. Only the President is liable to impeachment, MPs are not.
“So, I tend to think that there has to be a mechanism that will allow the people to maintain a check and a watch in a way of an oversight mechanism over their elected MPs and those who are not working should be recalled,” President Lungu suggested.
He however said that was a constitutional matter which should be considered by Zambians.
The Head of State said as a political party leader, he encouraged his MPs to regularly visits their constituencies to appreciate the challenges faced by their electorates and to explain government policies.
And President Lungu said his government will not be rushed to declare hunger situation a national disaster before interrogating all aspects.
He said the Office of the Vice president had the mechanism through the Disaster Management and Mitigation Unit (DMMU) to deal with such matters.
Mr Lungu urged stakeholders not to politicise the hunger situation, saying he had not stopped anyone to come forth and help the people.
“If you think that the people of Kasama are suffering too much and you have been touched, go directly and contribute to them.
But I will not be stampeded into making such decisions against the best judgment of technocrats who know better,” President Lungu said.
He also expressed sadness at some stakeholders who were rushing to the opposition each time they wanted to help government.
On his reunion with former UPND vice president Geoffrey Bwalya Mwamba, President Lungu said as a Christian, he believed in forgiveness.
He said a good leader should not have a desire to revenge or habour hatred, but forget, forgive and move on.
He extended the olive branch to all those that had left the ruling party but are now willing to work with him to come back.