Zambia: Another UPND MP Given Govt Post

A SECOND United Party for National Development (UPND) Member of Parliament (MP) has accepted a ministerial appointment defying threats of expulsion from his party leadership.

Mr Richwell Siamunene, who is MP for Sinazongwe, was yesterday sworn-in at State House as Commerce Trade and Industry Deputy Minister, barely a few days after his Itezhi-Tezhi counterpart Greyford Monde was sworn in as Deputy Agriculture Minister and was immediately dismissed from the UPND.

During the swearing-in ceremony, President Michael Sata urged the UPND parliamentarian to work for the people of Zambia and ensure that development was taken to all corners of the country.

The President also swore-in Effron Lungu as Foreign Affairs Minister, Roland Msiska as Secretary to the Cabinet, and Robert Kamalata as Senior Private Secretary in the Office of the Vice-President.

And in a separate interview, Mr Siamunene condemned the UPND for prioritising the expulsion of members that were being included in Government.

Mr Siamunene thanked the President for appointing him into his Government, adding that he would not be threatened by the UPND leadership with expulsion as he was already prepared for that.

He said his interest was to serve the people who voted for him and would not allow them to continue suffering just because he was not allowed to work with the Government.

The law maker said he had already reported to the police, death threats he had continued to receive, suspected to be from UPND members.

"I have been receiving death threats and I know they are from my party, they are the ones who have been intimidating me for taking the Cabinet position to check on roads and health centres in my area, and I have since reported the matter to police and it is being investigated," Mr Siamunene said.

When contacted, UPND deputy party spokesperson Edwin Lifwekelo said the party had not yet received any official notification from Mr Siamunene on the appointment apart from media reports.

He said the party would, however, study the matter and take punitive action as it was against the UPND policy for any MP to be appointed into Cabinet without the approval of the party leadership.

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