THE Patriotic Front (PF) has accused opposition UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and his MMD counterpart Dr. Nevers Mumba of giving wrong advice to opposition parliamentarians to walk out of the National Assembly when debating the budget.
Commenting on the continuous walk outs by opposition Members of Parliament, Western Province Minister Obvious Mwaliteta said that there was no rationale in the decision by the MPs to walk out of parliament.
He said that the opposition legislators needed to be reminded that they had a duty to represent their electorates in a more responsible manner than walking out of the house.
The Kafue PF parliamentarian said that one thing that the opposition needed to understand and accustomed to was that government was not run by individuals but by all ministries.
“Government does not run separately, ministries work together to ensure that government programmes and goals set are achieved and we had an input in the formation of the 2013 budget and not in the manner they understand,” said Mwaliteta.
Mr. Mwaliteta said that the opposition was trying to be copy the PF conduct while in the opposition but that the way they were doing it lacked issues and substance.
“These people are trying to copy cat the PF in opposition but that they lack issues unlike the PF that brought out issued based criticism while in opposition. They know that when we walked out of parliament we even gave out reasons for doing that but our friends in the opposition is not doing that. That is why when you ask them some of them are just saying that it is an instruction coming from their party leaders not to attend and support our budget. But I have to warn them that we shall go to the people and tell them what their envoys in parliament are doing,” he said.
On Friday UPND president Hakainde Hichilema rubbished the first ever PF 2013 national budget saying it would not respond to the needs of the people.
Mr. Hichilema cited the allocation of K 1.8 trillion to the agriculture sector as minimal and nothing before describing the allocation of K300 billion to the Food Reserve Agency (FRA) as a joke.
The outspoken opposition leader also said that though government considered the tourism sector to be a pillar of economic growth only K63.8 billion had been allocated to the sector which he describes as a drop in the ocean.
Mr. Hichilema also raised concern on the increased borrowing as opposed to increased revenue collection through the reintroduction of windfall tax.
Mr. Hichilema also expressed confidence that the opposition would win the Mufumbwe parliamentary seat saying that he would soon personally camp in Mufumbwe to campaign for the opposition candidate Stanford Mulusa.
He said his party did not want to field a candidate but opted to support MMD in the spirit of strengthening the opposition in parliament and in the country as a whole especially that the ruling PF was being dictatorial in the manner it was governing the nation.
Mr. Hichilema pledges his party’s support urging members to rally behind Mulusa’s candidature.