Mind your language, Speaker warns MPs

National Assembly

SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has said the use of unparliamentary language and making running commentaries during debates are fast reaching endemic levels in the House.

Dr Matibini has cautioned Members of Parliament (MPS) who are in the habit of displaying undignified behaviour against breaching parliamentary rules.

He said the vice was unacceptable, and would erode public confidence and bring the institution of the National Assembly into disrepute, which he would not allow.

The Speaker’s remarks came in the wake of a point of order raised by United Party for National Development (UPND) Lukulu West MPMisheck Mutelo who wanted to find out if Youth, Sport and Child Development Minister Chishimba Kambwili was in order to pass running commentaries.

Mr Mutelo had earlier raised a point of order when Mr Kambwili passed a comment that “umwaice ala pepa ichamba” (the young man smokes dagga).

The incident happened on October 18, 2013 and Mr Mutelo raised the point of order against Mr Kambwili on November 6, 2013.

Mr Mutelo wondered whether Mr Kambwili was in order to make reference to him in the manner he did.

In his ruling, Dr Matibini said the use of unparliamentary language in the House was alarming.

He urged MPs to guard against the use of offensive, provocative or threatening language in the House as that was strictly forbidden.

He further admonished MPs in the habit of debating, while seated as that was in contravention of the rules of the House.

Dr Matibini, however, rendered Mr Mutelo’s point of order inadmissible as it was made out of time.

 [times of Zambia]