By SILUMESI MALUMO
UNITED Party for National Development (UPND) president Hakainde Hichilema and other party officials must allow members of Parliament to carry out their duty of debating the National Dialogue Forum (NDF) resolutions without being intimidated, the Bishops Council of Zambia (BCZ) has said.
And political analyst Alex Ng’oma has warned the UPND leadership that threatening lawmakers for discharging their duties is a serious offence because they will be violating the principles of Parliament.
Bishops Council of Zambia secretary general Abel Kaela said UPND leaders should put aside their aggressiveness on national issues.
Bishop Kaela said in an interview yesterday the UPND leadership should allow the MPs to exercise their constitutional rights to participate in national issues.
He said it was wrong for the leaders to instil fear in the lawmakers when they were supposed to do what was right for their electorate.
“Our view as the Bishops Council is that let Hakainde Hichilema and his secretary general Stephen Katuka scale down a bit and show good leadership to allow MPs to do what is right,” Bishop Kaela said.
“And our advice to the MPs who are being threatened is that if Mr Hichilema and his secretary general do not want to scale down, let them go ahead and exercise their Constitutional rights.”
He said UPND MPs should not be scared of being expelled from the party but Zambians would applaud them for being courageous for doing what was good for Zambia.
“I am saying the truth. If they debate they will win kudos from the Zambian people,” Bishop Kaela said.
And political analyst Dr Ng’oma says if the UPND will continue threatening MPs it will be violating principles of Parliament.
Dr Ng’oma said MPs were not elected by a political party but by the Zambian people.
He said in a separate interview yesterday MPs were in Parliament to represent the people.
They could therefore not operate according to the demands of the party.
Dr Ng’oma said it was undemocratic and dictatorial to threaten MPs who wanted to serve their electorate diligently.
He appealed to the lawmakers to be real on national issues and forget about being expelled from the party.
There was life after politics.
He said the opposition MPs should support what was worth supporting and oppose what was not part of the NDF resolutions when presented before Parliament.