Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala says the office of the Clerk has failed to locate Namwala UPND member of parliament Moono Lubezhi to serve her with a letter lifting her suspension from the House.
And Namugala says Monze Central UPND Member of Parliament Jack Mwiimbu asked the Chief Whip to allow him to stay away from the House for some time despite his suspension being lifted.
Namugala was ruling on a point of order which was raised by Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Jean Kapata, who wanted to know whether or not the two members of Parliament were in order to continue staying away from the House despite their suspensions being lifted by the Speaker.
“Honourable members, a review of our record indicates that honourable Jack J Mwiimbi, MP, leader of the opposition obtained permission from the Honourable Chief Whip to stay away from the sitting of the House from Friday 13th June to Friday 7th July 2017. In this regard, Honourable Mwiimbu’s absence from the House is in accordance with standing order number 1513 of the National Assembly standing orders of 2016 which requires that members of parliament who intend to stay away from the sittings of the House should obtain the permission of either the Honourable Mr Speaker or the Honourable Chief Whip,” said Namugala.
“Honourable members, with regard to Ms Moono Lubezhi, MP, I wish to inform the House that on 26th June, 2017, the office of the clerk wrote a letter notifying her that suspension had been inadvertent and requested her to return to the House. However, from that time to date, the office of the clerk has made numerous attempts to find the Honourable member and serve the letter on her, the clerk has been unable to locate her because her whereabouts have been unknown and her phones have been constantly switched off. In this regard, the office of the leader of the opposition was engaged to assist in locating the Honourable Moono Lubezhi, member of parliament for Namwala but to no avail. It means therefore that the Honourable member for Namwala has not yet received the letter lifting her suspension and hence the reason she is absent from the House. I thank you.”