Opposition United Party for National Development (UPND) leader Hakainde Hichilema has directed his Members of parliament (MPs) not to participate in the pay rise debate being championed by the MMD.
Mr. Hichilema says leadership is about service and should not be viewed as a platform for MPs to enrich oneself.
The UPND president says the call for a pay rise by MPs was un-timely because Zambians were wallowing in abject poverty, high un-employment and that the government had slapped a wage freeze on government workers.
“Us in UPND we disagree when the MPs demanding more money in their pockets. Being a civic leader, an MP or a minister is not an income generating venture but calls for commitment and selfless in execution of duty,” Mr. Hichilema said.
Mr Hichilema was speaking at a press briefing held at the UPND Secretariat in Lusaka today.
Back-benchers last week demanded that their emoluments be increased to save them from becoming destitute once they left Parliament.
Mafinga MMD MP Catherine Namugala led other back-benchers in demanding that their emoluments be increased to cope with the so many demands they faced as legislators.
But this development has widely been condemned by stakeholders among them opposition Alliance for Democracy and Development(ADD) leader Charles Milupi.
And Mr. Hichilema has said he would not allow government to build him a house as a Republican President when he comes into power.
He declared that instead of repossessing the houses, he would finish the houses for all the former Presidents .
He accused President Micheal Sata of misappropriating public resources by building his House whilst still serving as Head of State.
Meanwhile, former MMD Eastern Province Chairman Mike Banda together with 10 others have with immediate effect resigned to join the UPND.
Mr. Banda, who was recently recalled as deputy ambassador to Congo DR led the defectors at the UPND Secretariat in Lusaka today saying they have ditched the former ruling party because the UPND has proved to the best alternative to stir the development of Zambia forward.
UPND leader Hakainde Hichilema who received and welcomed the defectors commended them for their bold decision to join his party.
MMD Deputy National Secretary Chembe Nyangu when contacted for a comment over the development said MMD is not shaken by Mr. Banda’s move saying every person had the democratic right to join a political party of his or her own choice.