Politics Has Made Me Lame - Nakatindi

The Post (
January 29, 2004
Posted to the web
January 29, 2004

By Bivan Saluseki

POLITICS has made me lame, Sesheke UPND Member of Parliament Princess Nakatindi Wina has said.

Contributing to President Mwanawasa's opening speech to Parliament on Tuesday, Princess Nakatindi urged government to reconstitute the Human Rights Commission (HRC) because as politicians, they might need the commission.

"I am now lame because of politics. My spinal problem started when I was in incarceration," she said.

Princess Nakatindi said she now had a spinal problem which needs an operation.

"I am a very sick woman and anything can happen to me now," she said.

Princess Nakatindi reminded members of parliament that they were politicians and at some point, they might need the services of the HRC.

"We definitely need a Human Rights Commission. It does a lot of help when you are in need," she said.

Princess Nakatindi said during her incarceration, she could not be allowed to bury her brother who was an MMD member of parliament.

"We shouldn't be singing about human rights and good governance when you can't even have a Human Rights Commission," he said.

Princess Nakatindi said she was on a drip nursing a spinal injury when the state took her to Mukobeko Maximum Remand Prison.

She said the HRC helped her during her incarceration.

However, Princess Nakatindi wondered why there was only one commissioner at the HRC.

Princess Nakatindi condemned the shooting of a man in Sesheke by Namibian security officials.

She said Kakoma Lionze was shot while carrying three bags of mangoes.

Princess Nakatindi said the man was not attempting to take hand grenades or firearms to Namibia but just mangoes.

"Zambia has paid dearly for liberation of our neighbouring countries. It's painful that we must be repaid in this way," she said.

Princess Nakatindi asked government to discuss with Namibian authorities so that their people stop shooting Zambians in Sesheke.

"They also come to us but we don't shoot them," she said.

Princess Nakatindi said Caprivi was part of Barotseland in the colonials days but she wondered why Namibian security officers were hostile to Zambians.

On corruption, Princess Nakatindi President Mwanawasa's fight against corruption was not serious per se.

She said the fight could seem to be merely a political platform to gain political mileage.

"We can't confine ourselves to the Chiluba administration because even in this government, there is corruption," she said.

Princess Nakatindi said in Sesheke, for instance, party cadres were given Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) funds.

She said K120 million from HIPC was abused by cadres who were awarded contracts together with the district administrator, a Mr. Mwangala, who is an MMD member.

Princess Nakatindi said she had since reported the DA to the Anti-Corruption Commission so that they probe him for abuse of money.

She said it pained her to see government keep quite over the Auditor General's report which revealed that huge amounts of money had been diverted and could not be accounted for.

"The President did not touch on this one. If we don't respect the Auditor General's office, then I don't know what we are supposed to do," she said.

Princess Nakatindi said President Mwanawasa was elevating DAs to District Commissioners so that they help him get back to power again.

She commended agriculture minister Mundia Sikatana for the increase in food production.

However, Princess Nakatindi wondered why the 6,480 metric tonnes of maize was bought at an exorbitant price of US $180 per ton.

She said freedom of movement and speech were allowed but the rate at which President Mwanawasa was poaching members of parliament from the opposition was not fair and did not make sense at all.

Princess Nakatindi said what was important was one's principles.

"If you lose your principle and move with a flag in town they will not respect you," she said.

Princess Nakatindi quoted former Kenyan president Daniel Arap Moi's speech to his colleagues in 1984: "I call on all ministers, assistant ministers and other people to sing like parrots. During Mzee Kenyatta's period, I persistently sang Kenyatta's tune until people said this fellow has nothing to say except to sing for Kenyatta. I say I didn't have ideas of my own, why was I to have ideas of my own? I was in Kenyatta's shoes and therefore had to sing whatever Kenyatta wanted. If I had sung another song, do you think Kenyatta would have left me alone? Therefore you ought to sing the song I sing. If I put a full stop, you should also put a full stop. This is how this country would move forward."

Princess Nakatindi later explained that the quote was in reference to the defections by opposition members of parliament to the MMD.

She said the members of parliament were defecting without knowing what they were up to