Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini has suspended Luapula Province Minister Nickson Chilangwa from all services of the assembly for seven days for disrespecting his deputy, Catherine Namugala, by pointing a finger at her in protest.
In a ruling, Wednesday, Dr Matibini said he had received a complaint letter from Nalikwanda UPND member of parliament Professor Geoffrey Lungwangwa that Chilangwa had disrespected Namugala in her capacity as chairperson for the Committee on Supply on November 20, 2018.
“On Wednesday November 21, 2018, I received a letter of complaint from Professor G Lungwangwa member of parliament for Nalikwanda parliamentary constituency against member N Chilangwa MP, Minister for Luapula Province. In his letter, Prof G Lungwangwa alleged that the Honorable Minister for Luapula Province exhibited a highest level of disrespect to the Honorable madam first Deputy Speaker Catherine Namugala, sitting as chairperson of the Committee of Supply on Tuesday 20thNovember 2018. Professor Lungwanga’s letter of complaint was couched in the following terms; “complaint against Honorable Mr N. Chilangwa MP, Provincial Minister for Luapula Province,” Dr Matibini said.
“I humbly bring to your attention a disturbing incident of the highest level of disrespect to the chairperson of Committee of Supply, the Deputy Speaker Honorable Catherine Namugala MP displayed by Honorable Chilangwa MP. Honorable Chilangwa tried in vain to get a point of order against Honorable Mweetwa MP when Honorable Chilangwa was ordered to leave the chamber because of his unruly behavior, he stood up and started shouting at the chairperson and continuously pointing his finger at the honorable deputy speaker. This was highly disrespectful to the honorable deputy speaker and should not be condoned in the August House.”
Dr Matibini suspended Chilangwa from the service of the National Assembly for a period of seven days.
“In view of the foregoing and in keeping the precedence in the Chizyuka case, I have not been persuaded by the recommendation of the committee that honorable N. Chilangwa MP should be formally warned because at any rate of alleged attendance by presiding officers to infringe on the purported rights purported in contradistinction to privilege of the members to raise points of order. In declining the recommendation of the committee, I have decided that Honorable Chilangwa MP be suspended from the service of the National Assembly for a period of seven days beginning from today Wednesday 20th March 2019,” Dr Matibini ruled.
Dr Matibini further ordered Chilangwa to reflect as his conduct was unbefitting the conduct of a honorable member and worse still a minister.
He said he would not tolerate gross indiscipline from any member of parliament.
“I wish to reiterate that I will not tolerate gross indiscipline and misconduct from any member of this House. The honor and decorum and dignity of the house must be protected and preserved at all times. I trust that you will reflect seriously on your conduct and in future, desist from conduct unbefitting a member and moreover a minister of State. This thus in accordance with Section 28 (2) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act which requires a resolution of the House to suspend a member from the house,” said Dr Matibini.
“Honorable Chilangwa MP before you take the walk of shame through the main entrance door of the Assembly Chamber, I wish to inform you that in accordance with section 28 (3) of the National Assembly Powers and Privileges Act, during the period of your suspension, you shall not enter the precincts of the assembly and this extends to the National Assembly Motel; participate in any activity of the assembly or any committee that you are assigned in, in your capacity as member of parliament; and [you shall not] be paid a salary or allowance that you are entitled to as a member. I now order you Honorable Chilangwa MP to take a walk of shame and leave the chamber through the main entrance of the chamber on seven days suspension with effect from today Wednesday 20th March 2019 to Wednesday 27th March 2019.”