I am sorry, says Kaingu

MOVEMENT for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Mwandi Member of Parliament Michael Kaingu has unreservedly apologised to people living with HIV and the nation as a whole for referring to the national Budget as a beautiful lady infected with HIV.

And MMD youths in Southern Province have resolved to participate in celebrating Zambia’s independence Golden Jubilee because they believe the country cannot afford to be divided at a time when its citizens were expecting their political leaders to unite.

Dr Kaingu said he was deeply sorry for referring to the national Budget as a beautiful girl infected with HIV and that his intention in debating the Budget was not to stigmatise the people living with the virus.

He said his debate on the national Budget was off tangent and that it had caused a lot of pain and stigma to Zambians living with HIV, adding that his focus was on how the Budget was not meeting the aspirations of the people.

“I wish to apologise to my brothers and sisters living with HIV and the country as a whole for erroneously referring to the national Budget as a beautiful lady infected with HIV. I would like to state that I am sincerely sorry for my off tangent debate on the Budget and I had no intentions of stigmatising people living with HIV and I hope they will find room in their hearts to accept my apology,” Dr Kaingu said.

People living with HIV have threatened to protest against Dr Kaingu for describing the 2015 national Budget as a beautiful young woman living with HIV and AIDS.

The Treatment Advocacy and Literacy Campaign (TALC) director Felix Mwanza has warned that it would protest if Dr Kaingu did not apologise.

And the Council of Churches in Zambia (CCZ) has challenged Dr Kaingu to resign from his position as a parliamentarian because he had allegedly failed to represent the people.

CCZ secretary general Suzanne Matale told journalists in Lusaka yesterday that Dr Kaingu’s comments in Parliament were unwelcome and uninspiring.

“We want to caution him that if he has run out of steam in Parliament since he has been there long enough; he can be shown the exit door to give a chance to others who have serious issues to debate on our behalf in Parliament. We want to caution all other members of Parliament that they are role model as leaders in this nation, and so they must watch their words,” she said.

Meanwhile, the MMD youths in Southern Province have said they would take part in celebrating the Golden Jubilee because the event was not meant for the party in power but for Zambians to reflect on their achievement and failures.

Southern Province MMD youth secretary Jordan Malawo said Zambians had good reason to celebrate the Golden Jubilee and advised politicians with the intention of politicising the event to avoid doing so because the country needed to be united more than ever before during this period.

Mr Malawo said most of the leaders in the Patriotic Front (PF) were from MMD and that it would not be correct for the former ruling party not to join its members in commemorating the country’s 50th independence anniversary.