They all PROMISE to bring water, build schools, construct bridges, erect clinics, put up youth empowerment/resource centres etecetra.
However, once these candidates win elections they change their hymn and start claiming that it is NOT their job to develop their respective constituencies; they all claim that theirs is just to legislate, kwamama!
So what’s what, is it the role of an MP to develop his Constituency?
ARTICLE 63 of the Republican Constitution defines the role of Members of Parliament as such:
(1) Parliament shall enact legislation through Bills passed
by the National Assembly and assented to by the President.
(2) The National Assembly shall oversee the performance of
executive functions by—
(a) ensuring equity in the distribution of national resources
amongst the people of Zambia;
(b) appropriating funds for expenditure by State organs, State
institutions, provincial administration, local authorities and
(c) scrutinising public expenditure, including defence,
constitutional and special expenditure;
(d) approving public debt before it is contracted; and
(e) approving international agreements and treaties before
these are acceded to or ratified.
From the Constitutional provisions above, it is quite evident that it is the responsibility of a Member of Parliament to:
a) Hold the Executive accountable
b) Ensure his or each Constituency gets an equitable share of the national cake
c) Ensure that state resources are used prudently to the benefit of his or each Constituency
d) Ensure that the national budget is responsive to the needs of his or each Constituency
f) Ensure that CDF is utilised towards the development of his Constituency
From the above exegesis it is clear that it is indeed the role of an MP to develop his Constituency. Legislation is but just one of the roles of an MP but it is not the only one. Therefore, MPs must be held responsible for failing to improve the social and economic status of their respective constituencies.
Written by Antonio Mwanza