East MMD to discipline ‘traitor’ MPs

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—The opposition Movement for Multi-party Democracy (MMD) in Eastern Province has said it will discipline its Members of Parliament (MPs) who voted for the removal of former President, Rupiah Banda’s immunity last Friday.

Provincial Secretary, Samuel Phiri, said MMD Members of Parliament serving as Deputy Ministers would be disciplined for being on the side of Patriotic Front Members of Parliament during the voting to remove the former President’s immunity.

But Nyimba Member of Parliament, Forrie Tembo, and his Kapoche counterpart, Nicholas Banda, said they voted in favour of the motion to lift former Republican President Rupiah Banda’s immunity because they were working with the government of the day.

The two, who are Local Government Deputy Ministers, said there was no way MMD Members of Parliament working as Deputy Ministers would have voted against the motion.

They said there was a rule in parliament called the Three Line Rule which advices every MP to support the motion tabled by parliament.

“We voted in favour of the motion to lift the former republican president’s immunity because we work with the government of the day and you do not expect us to work against it,” they said.

And Mr Tembo said he was ready for any action that would be taken by his party against him, saying he was abiding by the rule which requires supporting the government of the day.

The three MPs have been accused of being traitors by the MMD in Eastern Province despite serving in government and the former ruling party believes they could have supported the former Republican President by not participating in the voting.

Efforts to get a comment from Mkaika Member of Parliament, David Phiri, failed by press time.

The Provincial Secretary said the MMD in the province was disappointed with the manner in which the motion on the removal of former republican president’s immunity was handled in Parliament.

Mr Phiri said that his party wondered why Justice Minister, Winter Kabimba, went ahead to table the motion when the matter had already been taken to court by Mr Banda’s lawyer.

Mr Phiri said the matter has been handled prematurely, adding that voting for the removal of Mr Banda’s immunity was a mockery.