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ACTING Republican President Rupiah Banda has sent back the constitutional office bearers’ emolument bills to Parliament following public outcry over the matter.

Mr Banda has also asked his colleagues in Government to equally re-look at the bills, taking into consideration the concerns raised by the people, before resubmitting them to Parliament.

Mr Banda explained in Lusaka yesterday that he had not signed the bills to make them law, as he was considerate of the increasing cost of living that most Zambians were going through at the moment.

Mr Banda who is also MMD presidential candidate was speaking during the launch of his campaign at Hotel Inter-Continental yesterday.

“I have listened to the concerns raised over the proposed increment of salaries and allowances for constitutional office bearers.

“I will ask my colleagues to also look at the legislation again and send it back to Parliament for consideration,” Mr Banda said amid cheers and ululation from the audience.

Last month the bills went through all the three stages in Parliament and were only waiting for the Presidential assent amid calls from various interest groups that Mr Banda should not sign them to make them law.

Mr Banda said there was no need to play politics about issues concerning lives of people as Zambians were tired of empty promises usually coming from opposition political parties.

On Wednesday, the civil society organisations implored the Government to call for an urgent Cabinet meeting to provide the nation with information on the current status on the proposed salary and allowance increments.

Speaking on behalf of civil society and Church bodies, Citizens Forum executive secrtary, Simon Kabanda said since the death of president Mwanawasa, there has been no information from Cabinet on the matter.

He had said the stakeholders who met Mr Banda on August 13 were wondering what step Cabinet would take, hence the need to inform the nation.

© 2005 Times Printpak Limited. All Rights Reserved

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