Speaker of the National Assembly, Nelly Mutti, has suspended 17 Patriotic Front (PF) and Independent Members of Parliament for 30 days over alleged gross misconduct.
Among those suspended are Nkana Indepedent Member of Parliament, Binwell Mpundu, Chinsali PF Member of Parliament, Kalalwe Mukosa, Stephen Kampyongo for Shiwang’andu, Leader of Opposition in the House Brian Mundubile and Lunte MP. Mutotwe Kafwaya.
Kalalwe and others were on Tuesday made to take a walk of shame from Parliament following the decision by Mutti to suspend them.
Mutti told those suspended that they would not get paid their salaries during the suspension period, would not participate in any activities involving Parliament nor visit the National Assembly Motel.
Others who would save the 30 days suspension are Brenda Nyirenda, Mulenga Fube, Munir Zulu, Emmanuel Tembo, Binwell Mpundu, Kampamba Mulenga, Jean Chisenga, Maureen Mabonga, Luka Simumba, George Chisanga, Davies Chisopa, Melesiana Phirj, Tasila Lungu, and Emmanuel Jay Banda
“The National Assembly Act, Cap. 12 of the Laws of Zambia, provides guidance on these issues. Section 19 (c) provides that any person shall be guilty of an offence who causes an obstruction or disturbance within the precincts of the Assembly Chamber during a sitting of the Assembly or of a committee thereof,” Mutti said.
She said in addition, section 25 (f) of the Act provides that any person who creates or joins in any disturbance which interrupts or was likely to interrupt the proceedings of the Assembly while it was sitting shall be guilty of an offence.
Mutti said such a person shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five thousand penalty units or to imprisonment with or without hard labour for a term not exceeding twelve months, or to both.
“Further, Standing Order 205 (a) of the National Assembly of Zambia Standing Orders. 2021, provides that a member commits an act of gross disorderly conduct if he or she defies a ruling or direction of a presiding officer,” she said.
Mutti added that in line with parliamentary practice and procedure and the rules of natural justice, the Office of the Clerk wrote to all the identified Members requesting them to explain why they should not be found in breach of parliamentary privilege and contempt of the House for participating in inciting a Member to defy an order of the Speaker.
She said several other MP responded that they did not participate in the misconduct and disruption of proceedings in the House on November 1, 2023 when Kamfinsa Member of Parliament was raising a point of order and was incited by others to defy the Speaker’s orders.
“Lawlessness is not equal to freedom of expression. Deliberately defying the Speaker or any presiding officer is not only an affront to the Speaker but it is an assault or attack on our constitutional democracy,” Mutti said.
She said Kango’mbe, and the 16 MPs who participated in the protest in the Chamber, were in breach of parliamentary privileges and in contempt of the House.
Mutti noted that the suspension was with effect from Tuesday, November 7 to Wednesday, December, 6, 2023.
However, with regard to Jay Banda, who was currently on fourteen days suspension, the suspension was with effect from Saturday, November 25 to Sunday, December, 26, 2023.
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