Kabimba Backs MPs Pay Rise

Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba says the demands by Members of Parliament for a pay rise are justified.

And Kabimba has stuck to an open ended constitution making process saying he does not know when the matter will be tabled before cabinet.

Featuring on ZNBC’s Sunday Interview programme Kabimba also accused Kabwata Member of Parliament Given Lubinda of playing to the gallery by saying that citizens should never abdicate the right to give themselves a constitution to government.

Kabimba, a nominated Member of Parliament, said MPs had a right to demand a pay rise if they to avoid being corrupt.

The PF Secretary General who initially tried skirting around the subject eventually laid bare his support for a pay rise.

“Members of parliament go through difficulties and I know the distances because I travel across the country myself, if we want MPs to serve the people to the degree that we expect them and promote democracy and interact with the people we should facilitate,” Kabimba said.

“How do we facilitate that, we facilitate that through emoluments. If you want to curb corruption, to ensure that our MPs do not fall in category of people who do not have the interest of people at heart then we should look at the issue of emoluments. You can justify the demands.”

He said MPs should not be crucified for airing their concerns on their emoluments.

“There is nothing wrong with MPs talking about an increase nothing has been done anyway. Why do you want to crucify them on the altar [when] nothing has matured.” he said.

“It is a proposal they are entitled to say how they feel about their emoluments. If you do not agree with me it does not necessarily mean I am wrong let us be fair minded, let us be objective. Don’t be a judge leave that to God. I see nothing wrong with Members of Parliament raising the issue I will see everything wrong if MPs are going to turn out to be an elitist class over and above everybody.”

Kabimba said the constitution making process was one of the 28 programmes in the PF manifesto and would compete for being a priority.

“The point I am making is that it is one of the 28 programmes that we have in the manifesto. The debate obviously becomes individualized whether for you it is a priority over health, it is a priority over education or any other programme then it becomes a question of debate,” he said.

“The constitution making process is just as important a programme as good health care or education reforms.”

Kabimba also said the PF manifesto was not a document that was meant to be followed religiously.

“The manifesto is not cast in concrete. The manifesto is not the divine word of the PF, it is not framed under the atmosphere of divinity, and it was framed by men and women of flesh and blood. There is nothing wrong with amending our intention of the programme,” he said.

He said the matter of tabling the draft constitution before cabinet was administrative.

“That is an administrative issue it is like you asking me when are you going on leave next? That is an administrative issue. I don’t know when it will be tabled because that is an administrative issue,” he said.

Kabimba said Lubinda was trying to play to the gallery by saying that people should never leave the issue of the constitution to the government.

“It is very dangerous when you want to make unguarded statements, when you want to make statements of appeasement, when you want to play the gallery. The point is this government has made it clear that this constitutional making process shall be people driven, through several statements in the house and outside that we are committed and dedicated to a properly guarded constitutional making process,” he said in apparent reference to Lubinda.

“So if some of my colleagues out there want to make statements or posture outside that line they are more of champions of this process than the government which they belong to, I can only describe that as a sad thing.”

Kabimba also said President Sata could not hold a press conference as he had nothing to tell the public.

“… even this outcry you know that the President should address a press conference, to come and say what? You want him to just come and posture that he is holding a press conference,” he said.

Source : Zambia Reports

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