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INDEPENDENT Chienge Member of Parliament, Given Katuta says Speaker of the National Assembly Nellie Mutti has departed from her responsibility as a guardian of fairness, impartiality, and equal representation. 

Ms Katuta says the Speaker   holds the power to transcend partisan divides and ensure that the diverse voices of the nation are given a platform.

“Unfortunately, we find ourselves witnessing a departure from these principles. Equity is the bedrock of democracy, embodying the very essence of fair representation. It requires a commitment to unbiased facilitation, granting every Member of Parliament equal opportunities to express their viewpoints and contribute meaningfully to the legislative process.

“It is disheartening to observe the erosion of these principles, as some members resort to tribalism and regional biases in their debates,” Ms Katuta said.

She said it was disappointing that United Party for National Development (UPND) members of Parliament were allowed to disrespect opposition members and presiding officers did nothing about it.

Ms Katuta said biased rulings could not be ignored, especially when members of Parliament from the ruling party had gone as far as disrespecting the Speaker, which has never been addressed.

Ms Katuta added that her suspension was questionable as it underscored the presence of regional bias within the parliamentary proceedings.

“Minister Of information and Media Chushi Kasanda disrespected the Speaker in the presence of the House but nothing was done due to the unfair representation of the Speaker of the National Assembly,” Ms Katuta said 

He also refuted claims that she assaulted and insulted a journalist as the only thing she did was stop the reporter from capturing her.

“The Nation Assembly has its own photographers and videographers that capture events that happen in Parliament and as such, a journalist away from the National Assembly is not entitled to photograph happenings in parliament,” Ms Katuta said.

On Friday, Ms Mutti slapped a seven-day suspension on Ms Katuta for breaching parliamentary privileges and contempt of the House. Rev Katuta’s suspension is effective from July 19 to July 25, 2023.

This article is supported with the WAN IFRA Women In News (WIN) Social Impact Reporting Initiative (SIRI). Gender equality, diversity and inclusion ( GEDI) Information in this article does not reflect the views of WAN IFRA Women In News.


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