UPND Mp For Ikelenge Elijah Muchima

IKELENG’I UPND member of parliament Elijah Muchima says he has no regrets for attending a government function at Ikeleng’i Boarding Secondary School on Saturday.

The function was graced by President Edgar Lungu.

Following his attendance of that event, some online ‘news’ sites have written stories attacking his persona and linking him to the PF.

Muchima, however, says he loves UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema and that he is an out-and-out loyalist of the opposition party.

He told journalists in Lusaka on Monday that it was unfortunate that he was receiving condemnatory comments from some Zambians.

Muchima noted that objectivity among citizens was needed when dealing with socio-economic and political matters.

“I’m a member of parliament for Ikeleng’i’; it is always a pleasure that a Head of State visits a constituency and I was already in the constituency. I can’t shun a Head of State! We are always lobbying for development and providing [an] oversight role,” Muchima said. “It was high time for me to provide checks and balances to the President. In Parliament we are always told that there is massive development and when we argue, they tell us the opposite. [But] this time he (President Lungu) was in my area; I wanted himself to prove what we talk about.”

He explained that when he was invited to Saturday’s event, “it was an opportunity to stand with him (President Lungu) on the podium, away from politics.”

“This is the man with the key to the treasury; as we lobby through ministries, ministers, the Vice-President, leader of government business in the House, it is summed up to the Head of State,” he said. “I’m always saying whether you look at PF having won their election by hook and crook, but at the moment they are the people with the key. But that doesn’t mean that I’m compromised, that doesn’t mean that I’m paid. We should run away from these cheap politics like what happened when my president, Hakainde, went to make a donation [of a genset] in Chawama. He was being attacked by cadres.”

Muchima added that he wanted to show leadership that President Lungu was most welcome in Ikeleng’i, away from politics.

He lamented that the people of Ikeleng’i were suffering over the “impassable” Jimbe road.

“The road is impassable. [It’s] totally damaged and yet it is a very important road. Ikeleng’i is sitting in a very economically important province. But look at the road from Solwezi to Mwinilunga and from Mwinilunga to Jimbe! It is taking five hours from Mwinilunga to reach Solwezi, instead of a mere two hours. All these are issues that we need to bring to the attention of the President,” Muchima complained. “With the gold mine [in Kasenseli in Mwinilunga], they are rushing – government has a lot of interest but the same government has no interest in the people on the ground. Now when he comes I shun away from him! I’m leaving a goal post for him to score easily by saying ‘we don’t have leadership [in Ikeleng’i].’”

The lawmaker insisted that his presence at the President’s engagements in Ikeleng’i was an act of providing leadership.

“I was merely providing leadership and those who are calling me corrupt, to have been bought, they are the ones who are corrupt [and] who are bought. Edgar Lungu is the President of Zambia now; he is the leader of everyone at the moment,” Muchima said. “Had he an opportunity to meet president Hakainde; we wouldn’t say president Hakainde was compromised [by meeting with President Lungu]. I’m also a leader and I have to provide leadership.”

He clarified that; “I never praised this government.”

“I was saying ‘you have come to shame your ministers, to shame those who are saying there is a lot of development in Ikeleng’i.’ Look at all the projects; they are all standing, without completion and yet Ikeleng’i is one of those districts which was declared by MMD in 2010. These are issues which we should be talking about bravely. We talk about them in Parliament and why should I shy away today?” he said.

“There was no private meeting for PF which I went to attend. I was invited and we inspected the secondary school, we went to the three chiefs; Nyilamba, Ikeleng’i and Nyakaseya. They (chiefs) also presented their issues which married with me. We went where the village headmen were; there was no politicking.”

Muchima noted that he was in his UPND apparel during the events.

“I love Hakainde [and] I’m still 100 per cent loyal to him. Those who are criticising me just want to destroy the party. The party cannot grow with this cheapness we are seeing, which is going on social media. I thank all those who are responding positively,” noted Muchima. “I have no regrets because I was lobbying to the highest office to account for what they have been promising the people of Ikeleng’i. He launched that road (Jimbe) but it has been abandoned. He launched a lot of projects there (in Ikeleng’i) but nothing has happened and now we are going towards the elections. These are issues I wanted…My people of Ikeleng’i are so happy with what I did. I have no regrets!”


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