Wed, 05 Oct 2016 09:47:49 +0000
PARLIAMENT heard yesterday that United Party for National Development (UPND) Members of Parliament breached the Constitution of Zambia Act no. 2 of 2016 article 86 and further abrogated and violated the Parliamentary Standing Orders and decorum when they boycotted the official opening of the first session of the 12th National Assembly on Friday last week by President Edgar Lungu.
Meanwhile, all the UPND MPs who boycotted the opening of Parliament on Friday yesterday took oath pledging to pay alleigence to President Edgar lungu and to protect the Constitution after refusing to recognise the head of State. And Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has announced that he will appoint a Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services to discipline all the UPND Members who boycotted the official opening of Parliament.
The Committee on Privileges, Absences and Support Services examines every case where a member has been absent for any period from the sittings of the House or any sessional committee without the permission of the Speaker or the Chief Whip and reports whether the absence should, by resolution, either direct the Speaker to reprimand such a member or suspend him from the National Assembly for such a period as it may determine.
Dr Matibini said this yesterday when rendering a ruling on a point of order raised by Patriotic Front Lupososhi Member of Parliament Bwalya Chungu who wanted to find out if the UPND MPs were in order to have boycotted Parliament after taking oath of allegiance to the President and to protect and defend the Constitution of Zambia. Dr Matibini also informed the House that he had also received a written complaint from the Government chief whip Richard Musukwa over the matter.
He said according to Standing Order 1 to 5 sub-sections 2 and 3, he resolved to refer the matter to the privileges committee for disciplinary action. Dr Matibini said the decision by the UPND MPs to boycott the official opening of Parliament was a grave matter which he said would be dealt with by the committee which he was yet to appoint. In his point of order, Mr Chungu accused the UPND MPs of abrogating their responsibilities as Members of Parliament.