A CROSS section of society has strongly condemned the near punch-up and tribal remarks attributed to former Defence minister Geoffrey Mwamba (GBM) to fellow parliamentarians, Mfuwe’s Mwimba Malama and Obious Chisala of Chilubi.
MMD president Nevers Mumba said it was unfortunate that the lawmakers who should show exemplary personality at the honourable House could not exercise restraint.
Dr Mumba said as a leader, he condemned the violent behaviour exhibited by the MPs and urged the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini to address the issue amicably to avoid future recurrences.
“Yes they are human beings who can be provoked and angered but they should not forget the responsibility on their shoulders of making the laws and representing their people. They are in Parliament to make laws, not to break laws,” he said.
Southern African Centre for Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) executive director Boniface Chembe described the fracas as unfortunate and that such a culture should not be entertained in Zambia.
“We do not expect, as SACCORD, our National Assembly to now start being the centre of exchange of punches among members of Parliament whenever differences, either political or personal views, arise,” he said.
Foundation for Democratic Process(FODEP) executive director McDonald Chipenzi said it was difficult to comment on the matter as there were two different stories on Friday’s altercation but urged all MPs to respect each other as they conducted their parliamentary duties.
Young African Leaders Initiative acting president Isaac Mwanza described the conduct exhibited by the lawmakers as uninspiring to young people.
Mr Mwanza challenged the MPs involved to step down if they had no better ways to represent the electorate in Parliament as the country was desperately searching for leaders who would inspire confidence in the Zambian people in addressing the challenges the country faced.
Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Pukuta Mwanza urged politicians to desist from tribalism.
“Talks of tribalism have led to serious civil wars, and genocide and parliamentarians should desist from such talks,” he said.
Former Copperbelt permanent secretary Christopher Mutembo said people in villages lived as one but politicians were the ones bringing tribal talk.
Times of Zambia