Government says it is saddened and highly disappointed with the behaviour of Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) Spokesperson Dora Siliya in Parliament last week on Friday.
Ms Siliya raised her middle finger while walking out of the chambers in parliament on Friday in protest to the motion to lift former President Rupiah Banda’s legal immunity tabled before the House by Justice Minister Wynter Kabimba.
Information and Broadcasting Services deputy Minister Mwansa Kapeya said the offensive gesture by Ms. Siliya is not only an insult to the dignity and sanctity of Parliament but the people of Zambia whose representatives sit in the House.
Mr. Kapeya said in a statement made available to ZANIS in Lusaka today that Ms. Siliya’s insulting behavior falls short of self respect, dignity and basic tenets of leadership in a person purporting to be a representative of the people.
He assured the people calling for an apology from Ms. Siliya that the matter will be dealt with through parliamentary procedures once it is followed and tabled.
Mr. Kapeya wondered what sort of morals Ms. Siliya’s behaviour will impart in the young people that watched her gesture in the manner she did.
He said leaders must be mindful of their actions even in the diversity and difference of opinions especially on matters of national interest.
Meanwhile, Mr Kapeya stated that the motion to lift the immunity of former President Mr. Rupiah Banda visa-vis the court process, as was clearly explained in the House by the Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini, such motions and other procedures of the house are not subject to interference by a court process in the initial stage.
He said the removal of the immunity of a former Head of State, unlike the other matters such as electoral petitions to determine the validity of a member’s election to the House, determination of whether or not a member has been legally expelled from his or her party and criminal or civil proceedings against a Member of Parliament are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the Courts of Law.
Mr. Kapeya has since advised individuals who are dissatisfied with any process in Parliament to freely question that in any court of Law but should know that they cannot stop a Parliamentary proceeding.