Zambia: Sata Blames Opposition Parties

PRESIDENT Michael Sata has said there would be no need for by-elections if opposition political parties allowed their Members of Parliament (MPs) to serve in Government.

The President, therefore, reiterated that his Government will work with all progressive parliamentarians regardless of their political affiliation.

Mr Sata said if the opposition parties whose MPs were serving in Government allowed their parliamentarians to contribute without intimidation, there would be no need for by-elections.

"The laws of the land allow the country to hold by-elections as and when they arise. This is the democratic system we have chosen for ourselves. Therefore, it is deceitful for the opposition to hold the PF Government responsible for this state of affairs, which is largely due to their leaders' egoistic rides coupled with grave political judgment deficits.

"The Zambian people are aware that these by-elections are actually as a result of the high-handed actions of the same opposition leaders who are making it difficult for those MPs that have chosen to collaborate with the PF Government to operate effectively," he said.

The President was responding to unfounded allegations by some opposition leaders that the ruling PF was aiming at decimating the opposition through induced parliamentary by-elections.

Mr Sata said this in a statement released by his Special Assistant for Press and Public Relations George Chellah. He said the purpose of inclusivity and co-existence was to stimulate economic and social growth among others.

"To that effect, I have with good intentions appointed our colleagues from the opposition into Government. But it is the same misguided and unpatriotic opposition leaders that have been threatening to make the country ungovernable," he said.

The President wondered what the Government was supposed to do when "injudicious" leaders of the opposition did everything possible to try and undermine its ability to deliver services to the people.

"Our dear Pastor Nevers Mumba, who is at the forefront of expelling others for serving in Government, was made Republican Vice-President from an opposition party. What has changed today? When it was in government the MMD appointed ministers from the opposition parties, why should it be different today?" he asked.

He advised the opposition political parties to appreciate the value of inclusivity and patriotism if they genuinely sought to serve the people of Zambia.

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