North-west MPs advise Sata not to underrate their chiefs

North-west MPs advise Sata not to underrate their chiefs

Kabinga Pande

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) from North Western Province say the conduct of Chiefs and other political representatives and citizens during the recent demonstration in Solwezi and the consequent resolutions by  chiefs from that province does not constitute a treasonable offence.

The MPs argue that the act by Chiefs, some citizens and their political representatives in the province during the recent demonstrations is not tantamount to any treasonable offense as they merely wanted a fair share of the country’s wealth.

According to the statement made available to ZANIS and signed by 10 opposition MPs, the lawmakers claim that people from North Western province are not benefiting from the wealth mines from that area contribute to the national treasury.

The MP further state that Kansanshi Mines in Solwezi contributes about K2.7 trillion to the national treasury which they claim the province does not benefit from.

“We do not see any treasonable offense committed by either our Chiefs or indeed any other concerned citizens including  their political representatives in North Western province in their acts in the recent past,” the statement reads in part.

They have noted that North Westerners were simply demanding reasonable representation in the governance of the nation and development to take place in North Western province especially in view of the province’s huge contribution to the national wealth.

The MPs say President Michael Sata should not craft treason charges against Northwestern province politicians and chiefs but respond to their requests and those of the ordinary residents constructively.

They have further noted that punishing the province as a result of the nation’s voting pattern is undemocratic saying that any resolutions made by chiefs requesting for equitable treatment should not be seen as treason.

The explained that the demonstration that occurred in Solwezi by concerned citizens on Monday 5th December, 2011 was in response to an earlier  demonstration by alleged Patriotic Front cadres who demanded among other things, the removal of the acting provincial Deputy Permanent Secretary and the Solwezi Municipal Council Town Clerk who they accused of being opposition MMD cadres.

The law makers have further claimed that North Westerners have been left out from the appointments in Cabinet where the sharing of the national cake takes place adding that the political landscape that has resulted in the PF party not obtaining anymore seats beyond the three local government seats in Solwezi was as a result of a democratic process which they said Zambia has embraced.

Among those who signed the statement include Kabinga Pande, Kenneth Konga, Charles Kakoma, Ambrose Lufuma, Danny Chingimbu and Sarah Sayifwanda.

Others are Lucky Mulusa, Richard Taima, Humphrey Mwanza and Steve Katuka while Elijah Muchima has not signed despite his name appearing on the statement.

President Sata yesterday warned that the law will not take kindly anyone inciting people in North Western Province to rise against his government.

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