UPND Parliamentary Chief Whip Garry Nkombo says Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini must render a public and written apology to Namwala Member of Parliament Moono Lubezhi for wrongly including her on the list of those he suspended for 30 days.
On June 13, 2017, Speaker Matibini suspended 48 opposition UPND MPs for shunning President Edgar Lungu’s address to Parliament. But yesterday, the Speaker lifted the suspension of Lubezhi, saying the member of parliament was erroneously included on the list of absent MPs when she had sort permission from the House.
He added that it was inadvertent and regrettable that the Namwala lawmaker was suspended from the House and asked the Clerk to correct the record.
“Honourable members, I would love to confirm from the offset that the Honourable member for Namwala was expressly granted authority to be absent from the House on 16th and 17th March, 2017 by the Honorable Chief Whip to enable her attend a Court session. Therefore her inclusion on the list of the 48 UPND suspended Members of Parliament was both inadvertent and regrettable. Honorable members, you may however wish to note that while the ruling contained an accidental omission, the ruling can and should be corrected and it is in view of this fact that I here by amend my ruling of 13th June 2017 to reflect the fact that the Honourable Member for Namwala Constituency was absent with permission on 17th March 2017. I further direct the Clerk to ensure that the records are amended accordingly and remedial measures taken immediately,” said Dr Matibini.
In an interview with News Diggers! Nkombo who is also UPND Mazabuka Member of Parliament said the speaker should publicly apologise for including Lubezhi on the ‘walk of shame.’
“In fact it was not the Speaker’s decision to lift that suspension, if it was not for Honourable Ephraim Belemu who rose on a point of order to challenge the Speaker, Hon Lubezhi would still be serving that suspension. You see why we are saying that the Speaker applied emotions when making that ruling?” Nkombo asked.
“The Speaker really needs to make an apology to Hon Lubezhi, he should make a written apology and a public apology because in that ‘door of shame’ they said, Honourable Lubezhi was included. So the speaker should amend his mistake publicly.”
Nkombo however said the party would leave Lubezhi to decide when she would want to return to the House.