By SILUMESI MALUMO
WE are ready to face any action for not being part of the Members of Parliament who walked out when Bill 10 was presented for second reading in the House because we will not be compelled to break rules of the House, two United Party for National Development (UPND) MPs have said.
“For those of us who remained in the chamber we were part of the select committee especially for me and Honourable [Teddy] Kasoso [Solwezi West MP], and according to the procedures of Parliament as outlined in the standing order if you are a member of the select committee or any other committee and your report is being tabled in the chamber you are supposed to be in a chamber and defend your recommendations.
The report was being presented on that day, would it have made sense to walk out. If one is following the procedures of Parliament, does one need to be punished for that,” he said.
Solwezi MP, Teddy Kasonso and his Nalikwanda counterpart Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa said in separate interviews that they were not shaken by theats to discipline them.
Mr Kasonso said an outsider who had never been in Parliament before cannot control Parliamentarians and make them defy the proceedings of the House.
“If an outsider tells you wrong things you just need to do it because you are told, no. There are standing orders when it comes to the select committee, select committee is not like an ordinary portfolio. The committee has certain procedures especially when you are a member of the committee you need to follow them.
“People like secretary general Stephen Katuka who have been in Parliament before must know the procedures of Parliament. He served for two terms, so he needs to understand. If the party leadership feel that we betrayed the party, it was very free to charge the MPs,” he said. Mr Kasonso however wondered what charge the party would impose on the MPs for exercising their Constitutional right.
And Prof Lungwangwa said he was more than ready to be charged for exercising his rights. He said he would wait and see the action the party leadership would take against him. I don’t think what we have done as MPs amounts to punitive action.
The UPND leadership warned that the MPs did would be dealt with internally because they betrayed the party by defying the instructions.