Speaker of the national assembly Dr Patrick Matibini today forced Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo to withdraw his statement after he declared that the PF is corrupt.
This was during a question and answer session after Minster of Housing and Infrastructure Development Ronald Chitotela made a ministerial statement.
“Thank you very much sir, honourable minister, in your response to one of the questions regarding graft or corruption, you said that it is a perception that there is corrupt practices in your government. We all know that you are corrupt as a government,” Nkombo said.
But Speaker Matibini asked him to withdraw the statement.
“Honourable member take a seat! Take a seat, let’s have order, let’s have order. Honourable member for Mazabuka I don’t think it is fair and proper to make that kind of assertion. You see, its conclusive, now before you reach a conclusive state obviously they must be evidence and also to make it into a cater-blank fashion is also not fair, we know the challenge in question but I don’t think we should characterize especially colleagues, your own colleagues in that fashion, I would urge you withdraw,” Speaker Matibini demanded.
Nkombo, however, refused to withdraw his statement saying even President Edgar Lungu had called his ministers corrupt.
“Sir, I have difficulties to withdraw, I would rather just forgo the question because the President of the Republic said the PF ministers were corrupt, it is not me who is saying it, I would rather withdraw the whole question in respect of your counsel but its truth that we know that President Lungu said they were corrupt,” Nkombo said.
This forced Matibini to intervene again: “Point of order! Can you sit down! Let’s not debate on a ruling, let’s not debate on a ruling, I have made a ruling and I have made a directive, I have given you a directive honourable member for Mazabuka, it’s a directive. You have to withdraw that statement.”
But Nkombo said: “Painstakingly, I withdraw the statement which was said by the President of the Republic.”
Matibini intervened, again, and strongly ordering Nkombo heed to his directive.
“No, No, No, it’s not accepted, can you sit down! Conclude! This is a simple issue. The President is not involved here now, and we don’t want to go to what the President said. Order on the right, Order! Proceed, I want us to finish this business first,” said Speaker Matibini.
Nkombo then reluctantly withdrew his statement.
“Painstakingly, I withdraw the fact that PF government ministers are corrupt. Sir I have also withdrawn the question just to please everyone.” said Nkombo.