NEWLY-elected Members of Parliament should not harbour the sole purpose of enriching themselves or forget about being re-elected in 2021 because electorates gave them the mandate to represent the people to develop their constituencies, the Gallant Youth in Zambia (GYZ) has warned.
GYZ executive director Henry Mulenga told the Daily Nation yesterday that the trend where MPs in the past abandoned their constituencies soon after winning election was a recipe for lack of development in most parts of the country.
Mr. Mulenga said there was need for continued interactions between MPs and there electorates as they lobbied for developmental projects for their constituencies so that the grassroots become part of any project taking place in their area rather than cutting communication soon after being ushered into power.
He said Zambian politics have changed significantly from what they used to be in the past and that the 2016 election should be an eye-opener to those who had been given the mandate to be MPs in the next five years because all those who were in the habbit of taking voters for granted had tumbled.
He said the increase in the number of independent candidates was testimony that Zambians were no longer interested in voting for MPs on party lines but were looking for people that would foster development in the areas adding that holing themselves in Lusaka at the expense of development in their areas will be a ticket to voting themselves out of parliament in 2021.
He said 2021 will have a lot of casualties among the parliamentarians that have been voted into office who will be re-contesting unless they changed their attitude towards the electorates the election will be based on performance and not the popularity of the party one will stand for.
“our message to the MPs is that they should not go to parliament with a sole purpose of enriching themselves otherwise they should as well forget about being re-elected in 2021 because electorates gave them the mandate to represent them to develop their constituencies The current MPs should realise that Zambians are desperate for development and that and therefor they put them in that position because they know they can lobby for development.
“This year was a defining moment in the history of Zambian politics because Zambians have shown that they are nolonger interested in voting for people along party lines but they want individuals who have what it takes to represent them. The increase in the number of independent MPs shows that people are nolonger swayed by [party popularity and so, whoever will take the electorates for granted will have voted himself out in the 2021 elections,” Mr. Mulenga said.