22 September 2012

Zambia: Take Part in Development, MPs Urged

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has called for an all-inclusive participation from all Members of Parliament (MPs) in implementing the development of Zambia regardless of their political affiliation.

Mr Sata, having clocked one-year in office, said the country's development should be a responsibility of every Zambian and that MPs were key to ensuring development was attained for the betterment of every citizen.

The President said this when he officially opened the second session of the 11th National Assembly at Parliament in Lusaka yesterday.

Addressing MPs during his delivery of the key note address, Mr Sata said Parliamentarians were properly positioned to bring development to their constituencies, thus benefiting the people that brought them into office.

He said despite a successful year for the PF Government, much more was still to be achieved hence the need for everyone to participate.

He said various parts of the country had different needs such as improved agriculture, access to market for livestock, among others, and that these requirements could be achieved if everyone worked with the Government to attain all development goals.

He saluted the National Assembly for its exemplary conduct during the previous session and urged old and new MPs to continue on the same footing.

He implored the House to maintain a momentum of vibrancy as it conducted business on behalf of Zambians.

He called on Ministers to render their relevance by providing the opposition bench with adequate answers whenever they requested for information regarding Government's performance.

"Ministers, you should provide answers whenever members of the opposition request for them. Let us work together and make our ministries accessible. In some ministries it is a lot easier to enter hell than to enter a ministry, so let us change this scenario and make it easier to access ministries than entering hell.

"You, the opposition, you should take on these ministers and my ministers, you should not get tempered whenever you are asked. You should provide answers on everything. Mr Vice President, answer all the questions, it doesn't matter who is asking," Mr Sata said.

He said MPs while in the House, could ask whatever they so wished but only avoid partisan approaches and unpalatable language, which would not be condoned by the Speaker.

He said MPs constituencies should remain priority. He said criticism was welcome as it acted as a yardstick for Government to measure its performance but as long as it was constructive and had a positive bearing on the needs of the people.

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