Parliamentary proceedings today last only 30 minutes as opposition Members of Parliament continued their protest over the constitution.
When the house resumed sitting at 14:30 hours before adjourning prematurely at 15:00 hours, twenty questions for oral answer were on the order paper, nineteen of which were supposed to be asked by opposition Members of Parliament from the UPND and MMD.
However, when Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini called out the names of the questioners, none of them was in the house except for Patriotic Front Chipili Member of Parliament Davis Mwila whose question was the only business on the order paper the house deliberated upon today.
This prompted Lupososhi Member of Parliament Lazarous Chungu to rise on a point of order whether opposition Members of Parliament were in order to absent themselves deliberately and allow their questions to lapse when the stationary used to print the order paper and the time spent to provide answers for the questions is at great cost to the Zambian tax payer.
In his ruling, the Speaker said he was also taken aback by the absence of the Members of Parliament who were supposed to ask the questions.
Dr Matibini said the action was unfortunate considering that a lot of time is put in to list the questions on the order paper.
Earlier, Dr Matibini informed the house that the moving of a private Members motion by Mazabuka central Members of Parliament Garry Nkombo to urge government to provide a roadmap for the enactment of a new constitution and to expedite the process, which was supposed to be done on Wednesday, has been deferred to Friday.
Dr Matibini said this followed a successful consultative meeting held this afternoon between representatives of the government and the opposition.
Last week opposition members of parliament paralyzed parliamentary proceedings for two consecutive days demanding government releases the draft constitution.