Kalabo MP weeps in parliament for calling his constituency a rural area


Kalabo MP weeps in parliament for calling his constituency a rural area

A tempest in a teapot erupted in Zambia’s parliament yesterday when the Energy Minister, Peter Kapala, dared to describe Kalabo Central constituency as “rural.”

The normally dry parliamentary chambers witnessed a tearful outburst from the constituency’s MP, Chinga Miyutu,.

The dispute arose after Miyutu inquired about government plans for a fueling station in his constituency.

Kapala, in his response, revealed the government’s shift away from funding rural filling stations.

“Madam speaker, it’s a very good question to give an answer on what criteria was used in disengaging from the construction of rural filling stations, madam speaker just like government has disengaged in the procurement of petroleum product, it is on the same basis why we had to disengage from the construction of rural filling stations, I submit,”responded Kampala

This explanation, however, did not sit well with Miyutu.

He argued that Kapala’s use of the term “rural” to describe Kalabo was discriminatory, especially since the constituency boasts a Kalabo Town Council.

Miyutu expressed his disappointment, highlighting the economic disparity between urban and rural areas.

He argued that government support is crucial for rural development, especially when it comes to attracting private investment.

“It hurts me because it shows disregard and negative discrimination, why is it that the government centers on the urban areas?” Miyutu questioned.

“… You know madam speaker, governments are meant to save those without.”

The MP’s emotional plea for the minister to retract the “rural” label was unsuccessful.

However, deputy speaker Malungo Chisangano clarified that the “rural” classification originated from the Ministry of Local Government.

Chisangano said it is not a disadvantage to belong to a rural setting, but rather an advantage with investors who intend on developing such areas as they are given other incentives.

“Ohhh, Don’t cry, don’t cry,” some MP’s were heard shouting in parliament consoling Miyutu.

By Buumba Mwitumwa

Kalemba June 19, 2024


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