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D/Speaker demands ministerial statement on Chengelo bullyingBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 12 Oct 2017
Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Catherine Namugala has asked general education minister Dr Dennis Wanchinga to issue a ministerial statement on the graphic bullying involving pupils at Chengelo Christian Boarding School.
Namugala said this in Parliament yesterday when she gave a ruling on a point of order raised by Mazabuka Central UPND member of parliament Garry Nkombo, who asked general education Minister Dennis Wanchinga why he had not informed the house about government’s position on the Chengelo school bullying case.
In his point of order, Nkombo said: “Madam Speaker, Last week, on social media, and out of social media, and we have now seen this on print media… There is a school in central province called Chengelo Primary School and Chengelo Secondary School. There is a trending matter of pupils bullying each other to a point of brutalisation. What makes this particular case worse is that the pupil who is a victim of this brutalisation is of caucasian nature, he is a white young boy who is alleged to have been assaulted brutally by two Zambian boys, pupils at that same school,” Nkombo observed.
“As you know social media has no boundaries madam speaker. I have gotten calls from friends of mine from Canada and Japan where they are now saying ‘we have been hearing about violence in your country and now it has escalated even to schools’.”
He asked the Deputy Speaker to rule the general education minister out of order for being silent on the matter.
“Madam Speaker, is it in order for the minister to sit so comfortably here without coming to this assembly to inform this house about the facts relating to that assort and what remedial measures his Ministry has taken in order for us to reclaim if we are able to, our standing on the world stage. Because what is going on out there is that we are racists and we are a violent group, is he in order to keep quiet and just sit the way he is seated without coming here?” asked Nkombo.
In her ruling, Namugala said although government was not obliged to respond to social media reports, the Chengelo issue was of national interest.
“The ruling of the chair is that while the government will not be expected to comment on every news item. On this particular matter, especially that it has been reported even in the public media, print media. I will request the Honourable Minister of General Education to shade light on this matter through a statement indicating government’s position next week, Thursday. That should be sufficient time for the Honourable Minister of General Education to prepare himself to come and give that statement. That is my ruling,” said Namugala.
About Sipilisiwe Ncube
Sipilisiwe Ncube is a Zambian journalist with a background in radio news.
Email: sipilisiwe [at] diggers [dot] news
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