KATUBA Member of Parliament Jonas Shakafuswa claimed in Parliament yesterday that UPND is a party which is regional, selfish and intolerant to divergent views.
Mr Shakafuswa told the House that because of this he had chosen to work and support President Edgar Lungu because he was all-embracing, loving, humble and did not believe that he knows it all.
Mr Shakafuswa also branded UPND as a “bantustan” political party.
He said this during the Vice President’s question time when he wanted to find out whether it was wrong for him to leave a tribal party and support PF.
“Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the Vice President especially that I worked with her when she was in UPND under the leadership of Anderson Mazoka, a leader who was illustrious, visionary and today, if he were alive, he should have been the fourth President of this great country.
“I want to find out from you, madam, whether the regionalism which is being exhibited, the hatred which is being exhibited by people who believe that if you don’t belong to their bantustan you are politically stupid.
When asked by the Speaker to explain the term “bantustan”, Mr Shakafuswa said it was a political grouping from one region (province).
“Mr Speaker, I want to find out from the Vice President whether it is right in this country for people who have got the rights and freedom to choose associations, to choose who they want to work with especially a person like me who has chosen to work with the President (Lungu) whom I believe doesn’t promote regionalism, a President whom I believe is humble, a President who is not one who, because he comes from a rich background, a President who doesn’t believe that he knows it all. And then other people should reduce you to say that you are politically insulted. I want to know your views, madam,” Mr Shakafuswa said.
In her response, Ms Wina said no Zambian should be intimidated for the political beliefs they hold.
Mrs Wina said one could not become President of Zambia with the support of one province.
“You cannot enter State House with the backing of one province. You require the majority vote from all Zambians and hence the 50 percent plus one vote,” Mrs Wina said.
And responding to Lukulu West MP Misheck Mutelo who wanted to know if there were specific regions where one was supposed to come from in order to become President, Mrs Wina said any Zambian was free to aspire to the highest office in the land.
“All Zambians are equal in the eyes of God and the Constitution. There is no discrimination whatsoever based on tribe, gender or age. What Zambians object to is the use of tribe to rise to the position of President,” she said.
Responding to UPND Siavonga MP Kennedy Hamudulu who wanted to know how to describe someone who speaks ill of others like Mr Shakafuswa had done, Ms Wina said there was no bantustans in Zambia.
“There are no bantustans in Zambia. Maybe you wish to create a bantustan club but it will not last because it did not last even in South Africa,” Mrs Wina said.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini outlawed the term “bantustan” after a point of order from UPND Mazabuka MP Garry Nkombo who wanted to know if his counterpart was in order to use such a term.
“Mr Speaker, is Mr Shakafuswa in order to label us as bantustan, when he is sitting with us here?” Mr Nkombo asked.
In his response, the Speaker said he had wanted to deal with the matter on Wednesday but Choma Central MP Cornelius Mweetwa walked out on him.
“There was intra-party violence in your political grouping on Wednesday. There was disorder. If that ever rises again, I will deal with it. It is a sign of disrespect for a member to walk out on me. ‘Bantustan’ refers to a political grouping or system and in this case apartheid. It therefore does not apply to us here. And so in one word, the member was not in order to use that term,” Dr Matibini said.
And Speaker said it was in public domain that there had been a lot of political shifts by Members of Parliament and so he was hesitant to declare any seat vacant on such basis.