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Nkombo explains why UPND MPs walked out of ParliamentBy Sipilisiwe Ncube on 3 Apr 2018
UPND parliamentary whip Garry Nkombo says opposition MPs walked out of Parliament last Friday as a way of showing displeasure that there was need for the house to suspend standing orders since there were only two question on the order paper.
Vice-President Inonge Wina condemned the conduct by UPND MPs, saying it was wrong for the opposition to turn the house into a political playing field.
“This house is an Honorable House and a citadel of our democracy, and should not be turned into an unruly political playing field like what we witnessed on the floor of the house this afternoon. I therefore urge all honorable members to observe the decorum and etiquette of this house,” Wina said.
But Nkombo told News Diggers in an interview that the Vice-President was unfairly accusing the leader of the opposition of challenging the speaker’s ruling.
“There was a motion on the floor to drop standing orders in order to allow the House to sit endlessly until the business of the day was done. Now there were only two questions on the order paper, and each question could not last more than 30 minutes. So we were very certain that there was no reason to suspend those standing orders on that account. So when a motion was put, it was supposed to be debated,” Nkombo said.
“And all what Mr [Jack] Mwiimbu did was to oppose the motion to drop standing orders. What is political about that? Then they should have not brought the motion altogether if they didn’t want it to be debated. So it was brought for debate and debate is for or against. That is where the breakdown began. Now, the Vice-President, Her Honor, in our view started chastising our leader and saying things that he did not say. She started accusing him of having said things that he never uttered such as that he was challenging a ruling of the chair. He didn’t challenge the ruling of the chair because there was no ruling of the chair on that particular motion.”
Nkombo said there was nothing wrong with them walking out of the house as it was parliamentary.
“We thought that the abuse was going to go on and there is a convention, a parliamentary convention that if you want to show displeasure, you walk out. And so there is nothing strange about that because we have walked out many times before,” he added.
Meanwhile Nkombo said he would not respond to David Silubaje’s allegation against his party president Hakainde Hichilema because Silubanje was simply a dagger man.
“I head that from a man called Silubanje, Silubanje in Tonga means dagger man. So i cant engage based on that. Silubanje is a dagger man, so i would not want to engage in such a person because the public may not know the difference,” Nkombo said
And Nkombo who is also Mazabuka Central member of parliament said those saying that the impeachment motion was frivolous were the ones challenging the speaker’s ruling who earlier said that the motion was in order.
“Squarely to someone challenging the ruling of the speaker. Speaker Namugala said the [impeachment] motion that was moved was valid. So now those who are saying its frivolous, they are the ones challenging the speaker’s ruling. That’s a punishable offence and that young Dr Jonas Chanda shouldn’t forget, he doesn’t seem to learn because just under 10 days ago, the speaker reprimanded him for debating a motion which is before the House. Dr Jonas Chanda, he seems to be very slow to learn because just now, he was asked to stand and he was censured by the speaker for doing exactly what he was done now. So what’s laughable, it is Jonas Chanda,” said Nkombo.
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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