MPs’ willful disregard of my authority constituted criminal offence – Matibini

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Speaker of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini says the conduct of opposition Members of Parliament to willfully disregard his authority during their protest on the constitution which disrupted the proceedings of the house constituted a criminal offence.

Making the final ruling on the many points of order raised in relation to the protest by the opposition MPs in February over the enactment of the new constitution, Dr Matibini ruled that the conduct of the opposition Members of Parliament not only undermined the integrity, dignity, decorum and the authority of the house, but also demeaned the office of Speaker. 

Dr Matibini adds that the behaviour of the MPs was not only a breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the house but also constituted a criminal offence under the provisions of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act and Section 127 of the Penal Code which criminalizes disobedience of a lawful order issued by a public officer.

He says the Director of Public Prosecutions is at liberty to prosecute the criminal conduct of the Members of Parliament with dire consequences on the part of the lawmakers.

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