By XAVIER MANCHISHI –
SPEAKER of the National Assembly Patrick Matibini has warned Members of Parliament to exercise good judgment of matters they bring to the House.
Dr Matibini said MPs must exercise better judgement on matters they bring into the House given that they are national leaders who must represent their constituents in a dignified manner befitting the institution of Parliament.
The Speaker was reacting to Siavonga MP Kennedy Hamudulu (UPND) who rose on a point of order to ask what Government was doing about threats on President Michael Sata by some Patriotic Front members as alleged by Fr Richard Luonde in sections of the media.
“The time we are using here is so precious. Someone is paying for it.
Let us exercise good judgment on matters we bring here. We should not be in the forefront bringing matters that ridicule the dignity of this House,” Dr Matibini said.
He told Mr Hamudulu that as a law abiding citizen if he felt there was a crime about to be committed against the presidency, the lawmaker should proceed to report to the nearest police station instead of bringing it to Parliament.
The Speaker said Fr Luonde said what he said in the newspaper article as a way of exercising his freedom of expression but that it takes the MP’s better judgment on whether it was relevant to bring the matter to Parliament.
“It doesn’t matter the source you are quoting in the House. Your source is immaterial because that is his freedom of expression. Let us select the matters we bring to this very dignified House,” he added.
Mr Hamudulu had also charged that Fr Luonde’s remarks explained why the President was in hiding prompting Dr Matibini to remind him that he had already stated in response to another point of order that Mr Sata was not in hiding.
“I am not aware that the President is in hiding. In fact, I already made a ruling that he is within the country. That is why when the request was made to visit the President, a particular location where to meet him was mentioned, in this case State House,” Dr Matibini said.
Earlier, during the Vice-President’s question time, Kalomo Central MP Request Muntanga asked for an update on his request for Parliamentary whips to meet President Sata to which Dr Guy Scott said he was still awaiting response from State House.
The Speaker also told Dr Scott to issue a statement next week on when the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) would be disbursed. This was in response to a question from Monze Central MP Jack Mwiimbu.
Times of Zambia