30 May 2013

Zambia: By-Elections Inevitable - Lungu

ACTING President Edgar Lungu has charged that by-elections are inevitable as most of them are perpetuated by opposition political parties that intimidate their Members of Parliament (MPs), compelling them to resign from their political parties.

Mr Lungu said it was unfair for some sections of society to continue blaming the Patriotic Front (PF) Government over the by-elections when they are caused by opposition parties.

He said this in Lusaka yesterday following the expulsion of Sinazongwe United Party for National Development MP Richwell Siamunene from his party.

Mr Lungu, who is Home Affairs minister, said by-elections were inevitable going by the constitutional provision that they should be held whenever there was an expulsion, resignation and death of an MP.

"Section 67 of the current Constitution provides that whenever a vacancy occurs in the seat of the National Assembly as a result of death, expulsion or resignation by the MP, a by-election shall be held within 90 days," he said in a statement released by Home Affairs spokesperson Moses Suwali.

Mr Lungu implored all Zambians and stakeholders involved in the Constitution-making process to be serious and work hard so that they come up with a document that would stand the test of time and would not be a drain on national resources.

And Mr Lungu has welcomed the move by Mopani Copper Mines to create about 3,000 jobs, saying this was in line with the PF manifesto of creating more jobs for the Zambians.

He called on the labour movement and all interest groups to work hand-in-hand with investors and ensure that Zambian workers were not the first casualty whenever investors were faced with challenges as a way of reducing their costs of production.

Meanwhile, Mr Lungu has challenged police officers to be vigilant and ensure maximum protection for the citizens in the country.

He regretted that a civilian was attacked and robbed of his property right at the premises of Manda Hill Police Post.

Some criminals on Wednesday trailed a Lusaka man and attacked him right at the police post where he went to seek refuge after he noticed that he was being followed.

The incident happened after the man withdrew money from Stanbic Bank Arcades Mall Branch, and was attacked by the suspected criminals who got away with KR12, 900 from him.

Mr Lungu said the incident was a wake-up call for the police officers to be alert all the time.

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