National Assembly Speaker receives complaints on protesting MPs

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Dr Patrick Matibini
Dr Patrick Matibini

Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has formally received two complaints against the opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) who included those currently serving in the privileges parliamentary committee.

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The Speaker disclosed in parliament yesterday Feb 28th that the complaints would soon be processed accordingly.

 

Dr. Matibini said this when he made a ruling in the House today following a point of order raised by Patriotic Front (PF) Shiwangandu MP, Stephen Kampyongo on whether the opposition MPs who disrupted business of the House would not be allowed to seat because they breached standing orders 70 of the parliament procedures.

 

The Speaker said the opposition MPs had breached the parliamentary code of conduct with impunity therefore action would be taken accordingly.

 

“I have formally received two complaints against the opposition MPs for their unruly behavior exhibited in the last one and half days on grounds for your refusal to debate accordingly in the House surrounding the absence of the draft constitution. But I can assure this Honourable House that the complaints will be processed,” Dr. Matibini said.

 

Meanwhile, the Vice President’s question time was characterized by points of order aimed at pressurising the executive (government) to release the constitution.

 

The many points of order prompted Dr. Matibini to disallow them in order for the business of the House to continue.

 

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“I will not allow any points of order until we complete the Vice President’s question time session,” Dr. Matibini said.

 

On February 26th 2014 and yesterday, Dr. Matibini was forced to suspend business of the House following a protest by the opposition MPs who demanded to know from the executive when exactly the draft constitution would be released to the Zambian people.

 

The Speaker noted that the opposition MPs were no longer interested to debate and accordingly suspended business of the House.

 

This boycott by the opposition parliamentarians in two days is the first of its kind in the history of Zambia. Other protests experienced were mere walk-outs but business of the House still continued.

 

The protest was caused by a ministerial statement presented to the House on Wednesday by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.

 

And the Vice President Guy Scott has said 25,000 metric tonnes (mts) of relief food is required for hunger stricken areas.

 

Dr. Scott told parliament today that 209,498 vulnerable people were recommended to be provided with food supplies amounting to 12,570 metric tonnes in 18 selected districts in the country.

 

He said 8,262 metric tonnes has so far been released to the targeted districts.

 

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